Saturday, January 19, 2013

Keeping the Customer Relationship Going - Key Learnings from My Marital Life

This note was a very personal one when we completed a milestone of completing 20 years of our married life together.

7300 days ago, we had a traditional Malayali wedding in Trichur, Kerala. My grandmother (bless her), till her death insisted till that it was only because of her that we got married – (she got her thrills from it) – after all I was a favourite grandson (did I say only too?) and Latha was her only grand-daughter in law.

Latha is the scheming sort. Pretty soon she warmed her way into the hearts of my relatives. Infact she knew more of them than I did. They would rather talk to her than me. Forget relatives, she managed to swing my father her way. He actually thought that he had a great daughter in law much better than his own son! Poor me!

We are very different persons. I am the impatient one and Latha is just the opposite. My idea of a great time is to relax and chill, her idea of a great time is some action. She loves to party and I love to be at home and only party with a few friends; she loves to dance and I like 'not to dance'. Just when I decided to drop alcohol she felt that she would try to make up for it. I like to read the lighter books and she relaxes with scientific tomes (these typical intellectual Ph.D types!)

While I would call her in various terms of endearments like kutta, she called me eeah! (more like a goat’s bleat!). According to her, I am the old man and she is the young thing and goddam it, she has even convinced our son that I am old fashioned and she is the hip, cool one. This pretty much sums up what she thinks of me!

To use the cliché, opposites attract is perhaps a no brainer in our case. 20 years is a long time and I give Latha all the credit to navigate the turbulent times and come out of it. We have hit the lowest lows and she has been that one person who put everything into this relationship and made it successful.

When I thought life was unfair and faced extremely challenging times, Latha stood by me encouraging and cajoling me. It is with a lot of support from her (and ofcourse my close relatives and friends) that I am what I am.

Sometimes I do wonder why she loves me…..and I am still wondering! Anyway thank goodness for that. Latha, I love you and I am very grateful to you for loving me.

And now let’s move onto the best part of the rest of lives! But last but not the least, I am sexier than you….you know!

There are many learnings from this relationship and this can be extended to our relationships.

  • No two customers are the same.
  • There are ups and downs in any relationship. You need address each one of them separately.
  • Don't take your customer relationships for granted.
  • You have to invest in customer relationships.
  • Dialogue with your customer regularly. Monologues do not work.
  • Be thankful for your customer. 

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