Real Question: Will Your Centre Hold?

Do we know how much we can gain from being conscious in our relationships?

(Part 2 of many. I’m representing Real World Technology Solutions today at RelateLive, Zendesk’s conference in Sydney on customer experience. All of the views expressed below are my own, independent of my relationships with Real World and Zendesk.)

Customers are for life, not just for Christmas.

I glossed through Mikkel’s speech in my earlier post, distilling it down to jokes about JDepp and GoT (but let’s be honest, when you have a photo of Jamie and Cersei Lannister on the screen to highlight complicated relationships, and say: “husband/wife… brother/sister… proud parents?” — you’re basically winning).

But it’s not all jokes. Humour is a connector, and the murmuring of a few chuckles (besides designating the GoT fans) drops us in to a deeper level of connection to each other. Now is the perfect time to pull us into a discussion of values. To sign us up, enlist us, get us on-board and aligned with your implicit goals.

(Photo credit: Relate)

What are the implicit goals of RelateLive? I see a lot of common threads through the program about: conscious consumers, having better conversations, and listening closely (I would mention all of the “humanism” threads I see, but that’s tomorrow. No spoilers here).

Mikkel describes us as conscious consumers when “we want to engage with companies who reflect our values.”

From a metrics side of things, he has a clear and convincing measure of impact: driving down churn by 10% doubles your revenue within two years.

Keep your people around, even by a small margin, and you will be richer for it.

But how do you keep people around? And what kind of richness do I mean?

The nature of customer relationships is changing, says Mikkel. As current consumers, we are connected, empowered, and we are demanding. We know what we want, and we can either be a strong community, or an angry mob.

Keeping people around becomes about: what is the virtue of your core values? What is the strength of the foundation upon which you build your brand, your offering, and your services? All product-generation — all service-providing of any kind — links back to one question: by the strength of your values, will your centre hold?

The conversations this morning all start with relationships. But the most encouraging trend I’m seeing is: the conversations don’t only start with relationships. They revolve around relationships. They prioritise relationships.

The end of the road: the mode by which we measure our success, and our richness, should be by the quality and strength of our relationships.

Great, great take-aways to set us up for the morning’s keynotes, the day’s themes, panels, and breakouts, and the conference’s foundation of values.

More soon.

Emma Sedlak
Communications Manager
Real World Technology Solutions

a nomadic poet with her hands in too many books. Lives at, works as a communications designer, moonlights as an opera singer/actress.

a nomadic poet with her hands in too many books. Lives at, works as a communications designer, moonlights as an opera singer/actress.