Think about communications as H2H, not B2B or B2C

Marketing is full of acronyms. Two that may be past their prime are B2B and B2C (and their child B2B2C).

B2B is Business-to-Business and refers to companies selling to other companies, for instance, companies in the automotive supply chain. B2C is Business-to-Consumer and is all about companies selling to the end-user, such as retailers. B2B2C is thus Business-to-Business-to-Consumer.

Marketers love to bang on about the very different marketing strategies that B2B and B2C require. And it’s true, consumers and businesses are often looking for different things, and we need to approach customers in different ways in order to be successful.

But the differences between B2B and B2C are as big as the differences within each category. For example, we don’t seriously believe that a company in the automotive supply chain is driven by the same needs and imperatives as a company buying or selling educational software, do we? Likewise, consumers buying wedding dresses are motivated by different factors than those buying home insurance.

It could be said that emotion is what splits B2B and B2C. Consumers are more overtly emotional than companies, no doubt. But companies aren’t always driven simply by cost or time. What about the restaurants which buy from local farms and suppliers, or the company which actively employs ex-prisoners, or gives a significant percentage of profit to charity? Not even mentioning all that vanity advertising out there. Cynical positioning or human emotion?

In most organisations, deals are done by and with people. You meet at trade exhibitions, sit around the board table, use Skype or Zoom, send and receive emails and calls, shake hands on a deal.

Marketing strategies are designed to deliver the bottom line by appealing to decision-makers. Those decision-makers in most instances are people and understanding those people is what makes a successful marketing strategy.

Forget B2B and B2C. Marketing is about H2H; Human-to-Human communications.


It’s not a typo, and although Google Translate thinks it’s Welsh, it’s not that either. DWYSYD is the easiest way to build trust with customers, with your team and even in your private life.

DWYSYD stands for Do What You Said You’d Do, and it’s all about personal integrity, credibility and trust.

We’ve all experienced customer service fails along these lines:

  • waiting in for a parcel or plumber that doesn’t arrive when expected
  • never getting the call back you were promised
  • being in a 30-minute meeting that overruns by an hour
  • arriving at the garage to find your car isn’t ready for collection
  • ordering a salad without dressing only for it to arrive slathered in the stuff
  • the friend, colleague or supplier who is always late

They’re all a failure of DWYSYD, because the individual just didn’t. They said they’d do something, we expected them to do it, they didn’t do it, so we’re annoyed/frustrated/disappointed/enraged (delete as applicable).

DWYSYD should be simple: “I’ll call you back at 5pm”, so you call them back at 5pm.

It is simple, but it’s not always easy to deliver. Here are a few practical ideas to help you DWYSYD:

Be a do-er

This means taking the conscious decision to be someone who has integrity, is trustworthy and reliable. People believe you because you DWYSYD.

Take notes

No-one has the memory of an elephant, so listen hard and take notes. The reason you got a flat white when you ordered a cappuccino is because it wasn’t written down.

Use technology

Schedule the call back on Outlook Tasks or iCalendar. Use an EPOS system to get the order to the kitchen. Put notes in the CRM system. Send an automatic SMS to the customer when their car is ready for collection. Technology helps us deliver better customer service.

Apologise, then do it

If it all goes wrong, then ‘fess-up straight away. Don’t make-up some nonsense about why you didn’t DWYSYD – do your customers really care if your cat’s sick, you lost WiFi or the Post-It note blew away? No. They’ll just go elsewhere next time.

Great customer service isn’t an art or a science, it’s just about treating people how you’d like to be treated yourself.