In today’s world of quick texts, instant information and emoticons there seems to be a general lack of genuine human interaction. Have you ever read an email and glanced down for the “like” button? I don’t really WANT to respond. I just want “Like” what you said. Have you ever sent a happy face after a text to sort of end the conversation? We all do it to some degree or another. I fear that my teens say things in texts they wouldn’t actually say face to face with someone. We lose that initial shock factor, we lose body language and facial expressions and we loose intimacy when we send texts, emails, tweets and FB messages alone. I am not at all against those things! I actually prefer them, but sometimes I wonder what the impact would be on a relationship if I called my friend, or put an actual card in them mail that would come as a surprise on her birthday instead of being one of the 150 FB “happy birthdays” she’ll receive.
Here’s the good news. Communication through digital media can help you maintain more relationships than traditional methods and that can be a really good thing for your business. Here are some ideas that might help you deepen those relationships by building a strong rapport , loyalty and connection with a human touch.
1) Face time. I don’t mean with your iPhone though that is another way to stay in touch in this digital age. I mean real face time. Get in front of your customer when you can. Deliver her product when you know she’s home or at work, some where you can see her face, shake her hand or give her a Mary Kay hug! Chances are, she’s a little disconnected too. The more contact she has with you the more she will feel loyal to you, she will identify you as a real person and as her Mary Kay girl.
2) Texting and emailing is inexpensive, fast and efficient but don’t forget how special it is to receive a phone call, to hear a human voice. Perhaps you could send her a b-day email with a special discount and shopping link, but follow it up with a call. Even a birthday voice mail is more special than being one among a sea of digital salutations. (There is a local store that is actually part of a chain that calls me every birthday. I shop there frequently. They tell me happy birthday and remind me of the coupon I received in my inbox. I almost always spend my birthday money there!) Anytime you need to contact your customer send texts and emails too, but also let them hear your voice once in a while! Don’t lose that human touch.
3) Be real and available, then unplug. Times are different than they were even 10 or 15 years ago. All of these time saving devices have given us more time do to more, and instead of having more time…we just fill it with more busy-ness. Set times when your customers, team members and unit members know they can reach you. For example they know between 6–9 on Tuesday evenings you always answer your phone. They can count on you to be there at the times you’ve told them…and be sure to tell them what to expect! On the other times, unplug. We teach people how to treat us and if we teach them that we will answer the phone at 10:30 on a Sunday night…they will call us at 10:30 every Sunday night. It’s ok to not always work. Even our Creator rested on the 7th day.
Technology is good, it is very good. Technology saves us time and money and helps us extend our selves farther than ever before but don’t forget to be involved, to be real. Your customers and team members will love you for it!
images from theguardian.com and psdhunter.com