Does your business want Customers or Friends?

There is something about the word 'Customer' that doesn't sit right with me in todays world of Social Brands and Social Consumers.

The word 'Customer' creates a sense of "us and them", a kind of barrier to a more fruitful relationship.

When trust and peer referrals are so vital to any brand surly businesses should focus on making friends rather than hunting for customers. Service is the new Sales and efficiency gains are found in enduring mutually beneficial relationships. 

When I'm dealing with a business I like to be treated as a friend, personal and caring not as another file or job sheet. Businesses that don't make me feel comfortable inevitably lose my custom and interest very quickly.

So while your business might pride itself on being customer focused are you really focused on turning those customers into friends and fans or just delivering an expected outcome?

Its not about us and them its about working in harmony together...don't you think?