When you work to create interactions between your clients or customers, you’re using the C2C business model, which stands for ‘client-to-client’ or ‘customer-to-customer’ (and yes, even client-to-customer). Basically, with the C2C approach, you provide a place for everyone to come together, using your products or services in the process. And even if your business doesn’t automatically lend to this model, you can easily adapt it to do so.
In keeping with our culinary theme, C2C is like ranch dressing – you can use in on most anything with yummy results. Ranch ties many things together, and your C2C approach should do the same.
Myriad of Munchies
A veggie tray has a variety of crunchy vegetables to enjoy, such as carrots, broccoli, peppers and cucumbers. However, ranch dip goes a long way in really making them mouth watering. Of course, ranch dressing is the finishing touch on a salad, marrying a variety of elements together in one palatable concoction. You can make a ranch chicken dish, appetizers, soups… ranch can make almost anything come together to satisfy the taste buds.
Businesses using a C2C model are like the ranch dressing in that they bring a variety of people together with delightful results. A coffee house connects business people with stay-at-home-moms and college students. Social media sites like Facebook connect and reconnect most everyone on the planet. Etsy gives boutique craft shop owners the opportunity to come together in one place and sell their wares (as does eBay and Craigslist).
Sure, these shop owners, career people and socialites can function in their daily personal and business lives without a little ‘ranch’ – just as chicken and baby carrots taste pretty good on their own – but why not use the ranch when it’s there and make things even better?
Adding a Little Zing
Some business owners may be reading this article and assuming that, because they don’t offer a product or service that immediately brings people together, this subject doesn’t apply. However, creating a C2C environment can be beneficial to any business, and there are a variety of ways to go about it, even if it’s not an automatic function of your offerings. Consider the following possibilities:
Community Events — Organize a community event related to your business, or participate in a locally organized event in order to create more awareness and foster an interactive environment. For example, if your clothing store has a downtown store front and your community sponsors a monthly downtown event, get your business in on the fun by offering discounts and activities for event patrons. A photographer can offer a photo booth at a kids carnival hosted by a local charity. A baker can host a cooking contest at the community center. It’s easy to get involved and works wonders for creating a C2C environment.
Teach a Little Something — If you have a skill to offer, don’t keep everything to yourself. If you invest in your clients, they’ll invest in you. For example, landscapers can offer a garden design course, photographers can teach mom’s how to use their cameras at home more effectively, and a freelance writer can provide a course on common grammatical mistakes. All you have to provide are just a few basics for a small fee, and you’re not only making extra money, but you’re bringing people together with a common interest.
Ranch Goes With Everything
Have you ever tried to get your toddler to eat something he’s not particularly fond of by letting him dip it in ranch? Even somewhat weird combinations, like ranch and hot dogs or ranch and scrambled eggs, turn out to be surprisingly tasty. The same is true for adopting a C2C business model. Even if your product or service doesn’t immediately say “let’s get together” like a coffee house or Facebook, it certainly can – the creative possibilities are pretty limitless.
Plus, there’s the added bonus of more revenue, and who can dismiss something as important as that? After all, a customer-to-customer interaction means they’re talking – chances are, they’re probably talking about your business. You certainly don’t want to leave them at a loss for words. Dip up (har-har) something exciting to create a flourishing C2C environment, and see the yummy benefits.
(originally posted on Ink’d Content)