It happened again last week. I called to ask a simple question about my account and was given four levels of voice mail options; none of which met my needs. Pressing “0” and hitting # didn’t help. My frustration increased when I was disconnected.
The technological innovations of the past three decades have become part of our daily lives: Facebook, websites, email, voicemail, texting, tweeting, infinite apps etc. All the available options result in a dilemma; what technologies should we adopt and when?One of the pain points with companies today is the abundant ways to connect with customers. Which tool will work best: text, tweet, email or…? And then there’s the old-fashioned options: Remember when you called people or actually went to see them in person?
I read a story about a salesperson in the upper limits of the Baby Boomer generation. She was frustrated because a prospect (Generation Y) would never return her calls or emails about a proposal she had mailed. A sales assistant asked why she didn’t try texting and showed her how. Wonder of wonders the prospect responded within 10 minutes.
The salesperson overlooked the “magic” remedy that would have eased her dilemma. Asking the customer how they prefer to receive information.
High tech or high touch is a phrase coined by John Nesbitt in his 1981 book “Megatrends”, which said the more “high tech” humans have, the more “high touch” humans want. That’s true today more than ever before.
Instead of obsessing over which of the newfangled communication options suit your customers, ask yourself which option fits the circumstance. Is it a proposal delivered by email, “high tech” or would it be more effective to use “high touch”, make the trip and deliver it by hand?
OR Just ask! Life is easier and customers are happier when we give them what they want the way they want it.
How well do you know your customers? Check out this short video from IBM: