Here at Forty, we’re big proponents of championing humanity. Maybe we’ve just become super aware of the subject, but we’ve been noticing an onslaught of articles popping up all over the interwebs that preach this same message, deeming it the “new” way doing business. It’s encouraging to hear businesses are figuring out customers deserve to be treated like real, live people. However, it got me thinking about this “new” idea and how it really isn’t as new as everyone likes to think.
Long ago, businesses were completely based on serving people. They knew their customers by name. They related to them and made decisions based on what would make their customers happy. They put their life’s work into producing a fan-freaking-tastic product or service for their customer because they really cared about them. They understood that without their support, they had no hope for survival.
Then the Industrial Revolution came along. Machines took the place of people, and these new methods of mass production enabled companies to produce products faster and cheaper. Americans bought into the new and exciting array of goods available to them. As business boomed, companies slowly became more and more driven by profits, rather than by the customers who supported them.
Over the past couple decades, we’ve realized it’s no fun to only be a number on a company’s account list. So, we’ve once again become drawn to businesses that create a memorable experience for us by making us feel like we matter to them. We’re right back to “new” business that actually cares about people.
Goodness knows I’m as proud as anyone of our American heritage filled with innovation and ingenuity—including that of the Industrial Revolution—but I’m glad to see things have come full circle and businesses are once again adopting a people-first approach. If you ask me, that’s the way it should always be.