As more interactions take place on digital platforms and businesses embrace digital transformation, it can be easy to lose that human connection with the customers, leading to robotic communication. With the lingering social restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic, innovative digital technologies, and people living further away from each other, it’s more important than ever that businesses find ways to forge connections with a human touch, even if it’s through a screen.
So how can businesses ensure they maintain a human connection with their customers, particularly during times of crisis? It might be easier than you think.
Shake Up Expectations
Maintaining a long-lasting relationship with your customer base isn’t easy, especially when everyone expects a digital component to their communication. During the lockdown, many people were craving human connection after being at home for many months. And that hasn’t gone away just because the world has opened back up. Businesses can leverage this need by surprising customers with unique ways to interact with their brands. For example, you could have a video chat option at your call center and let a customer see the person they’re talking to. Not only does this satisfy the need for human interaction, but it could also help defuse tense situations when two people are literally seeing eye-to-eye. This also demonstrates your business’s commitment to staying connected to your customers and a willingness to experiment and innovate – both things that will resonate positively with customers.
Businesses can also use social media in unexpected ways such as a Facebook Live to meet employees or join a town hall. Consider inviting customers to an exclusive Q&A video chat on how staff uses the business’s products or services. There are many ways to combine a human touch with digital technology, you just have to get creative.
Stop Talking and Listen
There is a fundamental human desire to be seen and heard in relationships and this is no different for the customer-brand relationship. Even if your business is listening online, your customers will appreciate you taking the time and effort to hear them, and most importantly, take action. Instead of a social media post where your business is talking to customers, consider opening up the space to source ideas on how to improve your latest offering. You could conduct a poll or survey, or invite people to send a quick video with their thoughts.
Be sure to respond to customer inquiries and comments on your channels. Even if you can’t give the customer what they want, listening and responding will go a long way toward them coming back to your brand. You could even send a video message that answers a question, reinforcing that human connection and giving your brand a face and personality.
During times of uncertainty, it’s important to recognize the shared stress and worry that both your business and your customers are experiencing. Remember to keep their concerns and needs in mind during every interaction and to respond with empathy and awareness. This is not the time to roll out talking points as a corporate entity, but rather to interact with customers on a human level. If they feel welcomed and understood, your customers are more likely to commit to your service and keep coming back.
Your business is likely evolving and growing on a regular basis, with changes that may affect your customers. It’s important to bring them along on this journey, so they feel a part of your brand’s story and are fully invested. Be candid in your communications about new strategies or processes your business is trying out, invite feedback, and be open about why you’re changing things. The best way to get customer buy-in is to help them understand why your business is doing what it’s doing. Additionally, customers will feel that you care about their experience with your brand and are growing and changing to benefit them. A video town hall where an executive shares the company’s new strategic initiatives could be a great way to humanize your brand and make your customer feel valued.
It can be easy to think of customer interactions as something to be automated and simplified, but it’s important to remember that each relationship needs nurturing. Going beyond what’s expected, listening to them, expressing empathy, and being transparent are all ways your business can keep a human touch in a digital world.
At AscentCore, we provide effective custom software development to transition to digital processes. Using our integrated development model, we solve your business’s problems in retaining and reinforcing customer relations. Contact us today and let’s collaborate on your bespoke software today!