One of the most amazing by-products of the social media revolution is that it is easier than ever to build networks online, connecting people that might never have met through common interests or reuniting people who haven’t spoken in twenty years. Better yet, the overall digital revolution has created “self-service” customer care, where our customers can do everything from buying our products to renewing our services to recommending us to friends without us ever having to be involved. This is incredible and saves us a ton of time, right?
Well, sort of.
While automation is amazing and linking in via social media is powerful, there are still some times when some good old personal touch makes all the difference. Let’s face it, we aren’t in Jetson times yet—although who wouldn’t love a conveyor belt to get them dressed in the morning. There are still some times where opportunities are lost when the personal touch is forgotten.
Here are some cases in point:
- The “cold” visit: So many times consumers visit a website only to leave without making a purchase or signing up for more information. Why? For the same reason that sometimes you will abandon a purchase at Target if you can’t find someone to help you. Sometimes people need a little guidance. Use features such as co-browsing to be there to help out your customers. Just a little widget with a friendly person to help can make all the difference in the world.
- The long-time customer carrot: Even in today’s digital world, people like to feel valued. It isn’t enough to just throw people coupons. Keep track of what people do and every once in a while say thank you in person or at least with a truly personalized note, not just an automated offer.
- The new product: Don’t just throw something new out there and expect everyone to love it or even read what you put on your website. Take time to show customers all that your latest and greatest has to offer. Bring them in, make them excited, build ambassadors for your brand. Let’s face it, the only way to get people talking for you is to talk directly to them in the first place.
- The renewal: Every time someone renews your product, you have the chance to get them to expand their relationship with you. The problem is, if everything is automated then there is no time to actually talk about what you have that could be even better for this particular person or company.
So, yes to social media tools, yes to automation, yes to technology. But let’s not forget what really drives people: other people. A slick new tool isn’t what really dazzles customers—it’s the personal touch. Just think: the most amazing box of chocolates means nothing without the handwritten card that goes with it this Valentine’s Day . . . Well, maybe that’s not the best example. But if you aren’t sending amazing chocolates, send your customers some personal attention instead!