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Recommend This!: Delivering Digital Experiences that People Want to Share by Kirby Wadsworth, Jason Thibeault

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Chapter 8

Developing History

That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.

—Aldous Huxley

How did Kevin Whittemore know that Mrs. Appleyard needed more than a new lightbulb before anyone spoke to her? Well, obviously he is observant. But more than that, he knew her as a customer who had been coming into the store for decades. His understanding of her needs and her history provided him with perspective about the kind of relationship response she expected. Being polite, she did not want to interrupt someone to help her (she was demonstrating the “acknowledgment” relationship type). But as soon as she caught Whittemore’s eye, he recognized her desire for a relationship response as more of a BFF. He knew she came to the store for more than a lightbulb; she was looking to speak with a friend.

Understanding and reacting to those cues, and developing that depth of history does not happen overnight. B.L. Ogilvie & Sons cultivated the relationship with Mrs. Appleyard over decades of interactions.

Unfortunately, we often do not have decades of history or the time and patience to develop deep histories with our online visitors, as we form and nurture relationships in the digital world.

In fact, digital interactions vary by the second. How can you generate a history with someone when you can barely keep his or her online attention between mouse clicks? To answer that, we must look at the two types of histories we can log in ...

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