Tech-Enabled human connectionJul 06, 2023 08:21AM ● By Jami Daniels
As technology rapidly improves and the world becomes increasingly automated, things that are declared “dead” are getting more important all the time. Human connection has never been more critical in branding, sales, and customer development. The trick is to effectively use technology to facilitate a conversation and reach your customer where they are.
Low-value interactions that can be replaced with automated tech should be. Your customer doesn’t want to spend a lot of time jumping through frustrating hoops, but when a customer has an important need to meet, or if it’s more of a high-stakes interaction, there’s really no replacement for a real, live person. A bot can help a customer find the right URL for your business; however, it cannot help your customer with an issue that is difficult to verbalize or may even have them steaming.
As you try to build trust in your brand, it’s critical that you connect with your customers in a meaningful way. Creating a positive buying or service experience with your customers is the fastest way to establish trust. It seems so basic, but the fastest way to differentiate your company is by being authentic.
Personal customer service is also the fastest route to surprise and delight. Remarketing is now a basic standard. (Remarketing consists of those ads that show up after you leave something in an online cart then emails you, and seem to haunt your every social media move). Marketers use it because it works. It really works well with a lower-value sale.
A friend in the jewelry business suggested that most interactions with an online storefront can and will be replaced in no time with AI. Imagine that his customer left an expensive bracelet in their cart. What if instead of some pesky email, someone called that buyer to inquire why they didn’t pull the trigger? If a person called, it may create that moment of, “well, since you asked…,” opening an opportunity to create a meaningful interaction with your customer.
Expectations of customers are relatively low. They no longer expect real engagement from a company. A genuine, human-powered interaction creates a huge opportunity for your company and a positive buying experience for your customer. On the other hand, people want to be able to find what they need on their own when they need something quickly. Balancing this correctly is the key to maintaining wildly happy customers.
Using tech tools effectively can help remove tedious, low-value uses of your team’s time. Leveraging your team’s skill set can make their working hours more efficient. If something is easily replaced with tech, replace it. Let your team focus on the critical needs of your business and your customer.
Our business is in an ‘old fashioned’ industry that has never felt more modern. I wonder if young people might be surprised that you can actually have people answer the phone for you! Tech advancements in our industry have enabled us to be faster, more efficient, and do more with less, but the power of what we provide is the human aspect.
We’re used to surprising people when we answer our customer’s phones. Lately though, the true strength has been in reaching out. We work with universities that want to connect more deeply with prospective students. If a student goes on their site and leaves without converting, we give them a call to find out what their interests are or if they have a question about financial aid, etc. We then route them to the expert on the question at hand. This creates a powerful opportunity for the university to actually connect with that prospective student.
Tech has allowed us to be more connected than ever, yet we grow farther away from our customers. What used to seem so mundane can now be a critical differentiator for your company or organization. Build trust and deepen your relationships with your customers by using well-timed, meaningful human interactions.
Jami Daniels is the third-generation business owner of a company that was started in downtown Asheville on a park bench. Brightbell Virtual Receptionist powered by tech-enabled, customer-focused people. Learn more at BrightBellCo.com.