When we talk about pandemics, we think Covid. But there’s a new pandemic on our doorstep that’s wreaking havoc with our mental health + longevity.
That pandemic? Loneliness.
Loneliness? Really? Yes, really. We’re more connected than ever before thanks to technology, yet we are the most disconnected from each other than we have ever been in the history of humanity. How sad is that?
The proof is in the pudding
Let’s give you some quick stats for context.
Did you know that almost 1 in 3 Australians feel lonely + that 1 in 6 Australians are experiencing severe loneliness? 15% of Australians often or always feel lonely.
1 in 3 Australians feel lonely + 1 in 6 suffer from severe loneliness
So what does that mean for our society, our workplaces, our ecosystems?
People who feel lonely are:
– less engaged in physical activity
– more likely to have social media addiction
– less productive at work
– 2x more likely to have a chronic disease
– 4.6x more likely to have depression
– 4.1x more likely to have social anxiety +
– 5.2x more likely to have poorer wellbeing.
(Ref: State of the Nation Report: Social Connection in Australia 2023)
Yikes! No wonder mental health is top of the priority list of businesses across the world (if it’s not on your agenda, perhaps it should be!).
So, what's the cure?
Look, I’m no medical doctor (in fact, I failed high school Chemistry, truth be told!), but there are some pretty simple answers that we can all engage in, today.
Connection. Belonging. Human-ness.
I know, it sounds kinda simple, right? But think about it…
During an authentic human connection, people exchange positive energy with one another + build trust. + human connection makes you feel heard + and understood + gives you a sense of belonging.
Well, that sounds like a good thing!
As humans, we seek connection. With each other, with brands, with businesses, with charities, with nature.
So, what does this have to do with my business?
So why does all this matter + what does it have to do with your business?
Connection is one of my favourite topics – a passion of mine. Being the heart-centred half of the Dynamic Duo, I believe that people must be at the top of your list of priorities if you want to succeed in business. That’s not being ‘cute’ or soppy or ‘girly’, it’s a simple fact.
So, what is Customer Connection?
At CF, we think about connection as a fine thread that exists between people, be they friends + families; customers + businesses, or even visitors + destinations.
This thread can be strengthened or weakened, depending on interactions – expectations met, expectations unmet.
The more a customer interacts with you + the better their experience, the stronger this thread becomes. The stronger the thread or connection, the stronger the relationship + the tie that binds that customer to you.
The stronger the thread or connection, the less likely the customer is to leave or complain when a mistake is made or a promise is unkept, the more forgiving they are of our human-ness.
So, the more we can invest in strengthening this connection, the stronger our businesses + regions will be, because the stronger connection we will have with our customers.
A stronger connection means they will continue to come back, they will tell others they know about us, they will spend more money with us more often – we become their business of choice. + who doesn’t want that?
The more a customer interacts with you + the better their experience, the stronger this thread becomes.
Bring back the human, create the connection + watch your business grow
Ask yourself today, what are you doing to create true connection with your customers? What are you doing to draw them back to you, to get them telling others about you, to engage them on a deeper level?
A few tips:
BRING BACK THE HUMAN – don’t underestimate the power of connection. Remember, 1 in 3 Australians experience loneliness. Taking a moment, asking questions, conversing with people can make their day. Make their day + you’ve created that connection, that memory, that story they’ll tell others…
BE YOURSELF – why are people so afraid to be themselves these days? Being human, being you, is what makes you different. Otherwise, we’d all just be robots + with AI knocking on our doors, now’s a good time to start! Remember, no-one can do you like you can. Don’t be afraid to stand out.
FIGURE OUT WHAT MATTERS – ask your customers what matters to them, what would make or break their experience, what would bring them back. What do they like about other businesses like yours? Beyond the ‘tell’ of marketing, have a conversation. People love to be heard. People love to matter.
So friends, tell us – what do you do in your business today, that helps create true connection with your customers? Tell us in the comments below + we’ll showcase them on our socials for the world to see.
Til next time,