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Bruno is talking to Luigi, a customer of the company.

Small and medium-sized businesses: competitiveness and interpersonal relations.

Not all the small and medium-sized businesses have succumbed to the big commercial activities. Many of them have known how to be competitive, resisting the attractiveness of the big cities of business. The relation with the audience, the direct knowledge of the clients has been the winning card for the small familiar businesses. A distinctive element, emergent between the various services offered by the big businesses.

Innovation and interpersonal relations in comparison.

The needs change and the necessities mutate. An entrepreneur must take this into account. The big companies were able to gather these data by exploiting sophisticated technologies, mostly through profiling their users via web, their interests, their needs and commercial preferences. They have known, in other terms, how to use this potential to improve the efficiency of the service: useful apps to consult offers and new arrivals, the home-delivery of goods, a constant update via e-mail, the availability of more products in one place – as it happens in the big shopping centres.

At the same time, small businesses have known how to do the same job, thanks to a constant and direct relationship with the frequent customers, but not only. In this way small businesses have had the possibility of mapping the needs of the customer: the usual ones, unchanged in time, and the new ones, result of further requests and needs from the long-standing customers. The goods requested are selected according to the taste, uses and personal needs, which the small company is willing to satisfy with continuity. In addition, thanks to the interpersonal relationship, to the confrontation, to the dialogue, this is able to anticipate the new trends, the implicit needs, not reported, in favour not only of the old customer, but also of the new ones. The personal relationship between the manager and the user is then able to attract a wide slice of audience. The strength of the relationship lies in the level of interpersonal trust cured over time.

A question of values: trust and dialogue.

It is a question of values. Who purchases, who buys doesn’t do that only on the basis of his or her binding need, the need aroused by the lack of a good. It is also and mostly because that person believes in the work carried out by the company to which he addresses, of which shares the policy, the commercial philosophy and of life in general. So, for example, a family-run book shop focused on the sale of used books, but still in a good condition, might meet the values of the customer more careful to the environmental cause, climate change and deforestation. At the same time a business able to house the products requested by the customer with ecological means, such as the bike, would give an additional value for the purchase in and of itself, approaching the customer not much and not only to the quality of the products, but mostly to the values of a business environmental friendly. The sharing of values is the step that follows the interpersonal relationship then, dialogue, mutual knowledge, the bond of trust developed over the years.

The direct dialogue between customer and entrepreneur.

Where do we find this dimension in the first episode of The Shifters?
Grandpa Bruno is the boss of a business, imagined as a family business and, in its daily relating with his customer Luigi, shows a certain attention to his regards: he knows his needs, speaks with him, he’s empathic and establishes friendly communication exchanges in different moments. There’s trust between the two of them. An implicit aspect though which the characters exchange mutual feedbacks. Bruno, with his kindness, shows himself as available. Luigi, on his side, is satisfied with the service received from the entrepreneur without delaying in looking unhappy when the nephew Lorenzo slows the work. A relationship based on honesty, where negative and direct feedback is really helpful, an immediate input in the process of growth and improvement in the family- run business.

Discover more about The Shifters

Maria Chiara Di Guardo – pro-rector for innovation and territory, Micaela Morelli – pro-rector for research and Roberta Vanni – Director of CESAR tell the dynamics that have led to the realisation of a crossmedial project about the third mission of University of Cagliari.

Watch the project’s trailer

There’s always something fascinating behind change. An obstacle course that talks about our future. Telling the world is our mission.

The Shifters

Telling the research: out mission.

Learn more

Sustainable development: the role of the Shifters inside the community strategy.
A story full of science twist and turns.
Why a Third mission project.


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