Imagine three bookstores, each with identical stock and similar location.

You walk into one and despite the fact that you are the only customer in the store, the two sales assistants ignore you and choose not to acknowledge your existence.

You walk into the second store and are served with standard courtesy and efficiency.

You walk into the third store and are greeted warmly.  The staff are eager to build rapport and find your reading interests.  They also laugh freely as they ably assist you.

Which store is more likely to be around in a year’s time?

Imagine three churches, each with a similar level of contemporary music and preaching.

You visit one for the first time and no-one speaks to you or even acknowledges your presence.

You visit the second one and you receive an obligatory shake of the hand and hello from a couple of people.

You visit the third church and from the moment you drive your car into the carpark, you are warmly greeted.  The regular attenders there seem genuinely glad to see you, ask you about yourself and invite you back.

Which church do you think is more likely to grow over the next year?

We all know that the third option is the prefered one, but there is more at stake than just beating the bricks and mortar competition down the street.

You see, if I want to buy a book, all I need to do is go to Amazon from the comfort of my own home and within 30 seconds a new book is downloaded to my kindle.

And if I want to hear a great message, there are plenty of online options available to me and again, I don’t even need to leave my own house.

Human connection is one of our most important needs, but so often, organisations choose to ignore their patrons.

They cut costs, focus on other priorities and then wonder why people choose to go online to make a purchase or receive a service.

I hear a lot of people in retail complaining that online shopping is killing their business.

It’s not!

But if retail businesses refuse to find ways to connect with their customers and deliver an outstanding level of service, they will die.

If neither a store nor an online experience offers human connection, online will win the battle on the basis of price, convenience and range.

However, if businesses and organisations decide to take human connection seriously, there will always be a place for them, whatever the future holds.

Is your organisation losing the battle against online entities?

If so, is there more that you can do to improve your human connections?

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