Here is a crazy idea – sharing while spending time with people! Imagine a photo that depicts people genuinely sharing something – food, coffee or just each other’s time. It’s so rare today that people spend quality time together. Technology constantly connects us, but interferes with the personal time we spend together.

Building relationships isn’t just for personal life. Simon Sinek says “Companies don’t do business with companies. People do business with people.” And that’s true. The best businesses are the ones in which producers have a relationship with their consumers. This makes the customers feel valued (talk about repeat business) and gives the producer more insight into the clients need so a product that fits the market can be aptly created.

When I was fifteen, I hated coffee. Well, I kind of still do, but I often find myself at coffee houses with friends or business colleagues because it’s an easy way we can spend meaningful time together. It’s people sharing a moment together and not needing anything in return.

These casual “business meetings” serve as a foundation to a strong relationship. Clients don’t feel they’re being sold to when you meet in an informal setting and spend time together as two people – not as a business and a client. This meaningful time spent together lays the foundations for trust, which is essential for a client to have with a business. While it takes time and may not be an immediate payoff, these meeting are worth it because a client that trusts you will give you repeat business, recommend your products to their friends and give you honest feedback on how you can improve your product.

Now with this other visual in mind – of people sitting at a coffee shop or café spending time together without expecting anything in return, look at our consumer society where we have two actors: brands and consumers. Usually, brands/producers try to pull one over on the consumers – they try to make money as quickly and cheaply as possible, regardless of how it impacts the consumer. Money is the motive and relationships fall by the wayside. This trend is so pervasive that customers are now weary of brands, but imagine if companies put more emphasis on clients and relationships. That would be groundbreaking and create an infinitely better shopping experience.

Companies blame this impersonal experience on the fact that they are flooded with too much information and have too much to do so they have no time to focus on building these relationships.

The world sometimes seems to be moving too fast and we just need to


So let’s revamp the company-customer relationship. How about this? Try to share that one coffee with your customers and see how it impacts your business. Use the inundation of technology and information to bring you closer to those who are interested in your product and what you’re doing.

We, at SpringTab, build relationships. We help brands reconnect with their customers on a personal level and do this by asking nothing from them in return; we try to understand them on a deeper level, so they get the best experience. We help our clients do the same through social data mining and auto-personalization.

Imagine a world, where a big corporation, like Amazon or Apple, could talk to each of their customers over that coffee. The way things are now, this obviously isn’t possible, but we believe there will be at time where companies and customers connect on that personal level. This is our dream, our goal and what we strive to make a reality.

So the question arises. What do we need to do today to make this dream a reality?

The next step is to create an automated personalized experience all around. Currently, only advertisements are auto-personalized. We need to find a way to be so personal with clients that loyal buyers recommend the product to their friends – and right now, that’s missing.

To get to this point, we need to make a good first impression to take the time to get that first coffee so we can begin to form a personal relationship.

Mark Zuckerberg described this by using Facebook as an example. He said the profile is like a basic introduction, who we are when we introduce ourselves to each other. It shows our basic characteristics and interests. The timeline helps us get to know each other on a deeper level by showcasing the current events in our lives.

We often feel that there’s no time to meet everyone or spend meaningful time together – we’re too busy rushing here and there, which is true. But we need to make time. These personal relationships should be one of the most important things in our lives because it can greatly impact business. Even Mark Zuckerberg, as busy as he is, has made a resolution to meet people in all 50 states. While these meetings may not all be business related, he’ll be building an even bigger personal network and who knows what could happen from those connection. If one of the most successful and busiest men in America feel that this is an important task, we should all take a second look and re-evaluate.

The article was co-authored with Paige Tyrrell.