I’m guessing the headline for this post brought you here for one of two reasons – you were curious or you were dismayed by the thought of it. And I’m okay with either, but one of you is going to be disappointed.
See, technology has indeed brought us to the point where we can actually run a business, sell a product and serve a customer without the need for human interaction.
This is a glorious thing, right? By throwing off the physical bonds of storefronts, employees and office hours many people have been able to carve out a non-traditional living that wouldn’t have been possible just a few short years ago.
While this is a positive thing for some, it’s also created an opposing opportunity for smart marketers to seize.
You can set up a business so you never have to actually talk to anyone, but the more we engage in automated contact, the more we crave human contact.
As our daily business transactions become cold and machine driven, we seek out and are far more receptive to the kinds of real life interactions this very convenience walls us from.
Think about a typical marketing related engagement these days. You get an email urging you to sign up for an online seminar. You fill out the form, get an email confirmation, miss the call because you know you’ll get the recording, download the recording and put it in a digital folder where it sits today unplayed.
Heck, I do this all the time, so there’s no judgment here; it’s simply the recognition of reality.
So, where’s the opportunity in that? What if we started adding human engagement back into our automated routines? What if we starting shocking people by asking them what they wanted? What if we took the time and energy to warmly greet and welcome people into our communities?
Let’s go back to the online seminar above. Imagine if you enrolled in that online seminar and then received a call thanking you, confirming the time zone conversion for you and offering you some material that would make the call even more useful.
Something tells me you’re gonna be more likely to attend that call and pay just a little more attention to what’s being said and offered.
Now, let’s say you sign up for that session, but couldn’t make it, and then received a call letting you know where to get the recording and how to get the transcript as well. Again, I’m thinking you’re going to respond simply because nobody does that.
Not everyone wants a phone call from you, but a growing percentage of people will be open to contact and so taken by the effort they will feel a sense of obligation to see what else you’ve got in store for them.
And that’s the point – this being human stuff means you’re going to need to raise the bar on everything.
This is one simple example of how you can turn the tide of technology numbing marketing to your favor by being that company that actually delivers value and shows appreciation for every single member of your community.
You can build and add human touchpoints as internal systems initially and as you perfect them and grow use external resources to scale.
This is how you stand out today and this is how you stay close enough to your list of customers (people) to discover what they need and want and how to turn your best customers into raving fans.