The past twenty years, for me, have been driven by a fascination with the evolution of the Internet. It’s changed every aspect of our lives, including how companies acquire and engage with their customers.
From a business perspective, the efficiencies that have been gained are astounding. Whether it’s a reduced cost to acquire new customers, shortened sales cycles or extended geographical reach, so much more is capable of being accomplished today without so much as a telephone call or an in-person meeting.
That being said, I believe it’s vital not to lose sight of the value that spending “non-digital” time with your customers has. A catch up phone call or in-person meeting provides the opportunity to receive feedback and learn firsthand how the relationship is working and how it can be both improved upon (and broadened). This is true no matter whether you are a restaurateur or an industrial manufacturer.
Ongoing personalized touches are key differentiators that help demonstrate a company’s commitment and forward-thinking approach. It’s really easy today to stick with communication channels that are automated, like an emailed survey. Speaking with and / or visiting with customers fosters a much higher level of engagement and mutual appreciation.