Meeting in Digital Land
Many times we rely on digital communications to establish a customer relationship before face to face is welcomed. Consumers want to surf around the internet anonymously and at their own pace. With the privacy and identity theft issues, some are hesitant to provide any personal information until there is a certain level of trust established. How do you meet and nurture a relationship in the digital land to progress into a loyal customer?
How personal can you get with automated communications? It is great to have auto responders set up from your website in case you get an inquiry – people do expect to hear a response quickly or they will quickly move onto someone else. But how many automated responses will one person tolerate? Efficiency is necessary; but will you be able to work to build a relationship with auto-answers? No. It’s important to step onto the next step with some Human Connection as soon as you are able.
The next step from automation is slight personalization with the human touch. Back in the day, our choices were snail mail, email, telephone, or face to face. Today there are many more avenues to communicate. You have to listen to what each individual prefers. Not everyone will want to text message; and some will even be willing to use Tokbox or SKYPE with video chat. The possibilities reach so far spread now with Twitter, Facebook, instant messaging, email, Eyejot video emails, text messages, and even voice talking on the telephone – that communicating with your clients can take on many different formats. Endless possibilities.
Seal the Deal with Face to Face
We have to remember the importance of a face-to-face meeting. Often it will take longer to get to this point, because people want to know and have some trust in the person they are dealing with before moving forward and getting on the other side of their computer. After all, face to face takes more time. Guess what though? It’s also a sign that a consumer is ready to move forward – take the signal and run. Get face to face for an appointment so you can further assess the motivation to move forward. There is no replacement for body language.
Mix and Match
After you’ve utilized the digital and face to face avenues – mix it up. Usually you will be able to get a read, if you are listening, to what communication methods work best for them – but be sure before you’ve determined the best and even a little bit afterward – mix it up a little bit. Instead of just an email, add an eyejot message. If they prefer a text message, send them a picture to their phone of a home or something that reminds you of them.