Despite the many powerful digital tools available to communicate, a healthy balance between technology and a human touch is needed. In the current times, it’s vital to keep the human element intact and empower people to stay connected.
At Visma we are passionate about creating great customer experiences using technology. As more people are being asked to work from home these days, we want to share some of our top tips on how to keep a human touch in the digital space.
1. Human first – show that you care and celebrate the small things
Reach out to your customers and ask how they are doing with the global situation as a person, not as a customer. Ask if you can help. Then (crucially) follow through. You don’t always need to have an agenda or even talk about your product or service. Reach out, smile and leave messages.
In challenging times, remember to celebrate the small things. Which one of your customers has been with you for 1 year? Or have your key customers reached their goals for the last? Celebrate the small things by sending a personal video from you and your team showing that you remember them!
2. Host online breakfast meetings and serve freshly baked goods
If you know who has signed up for your meeting, consider surprising the participants with home delivery of freshly baked goods from the local bakery directly to their doorstep.
If home delivery is too complicated, you can easily provide a simple smoothie or banana pancake recipe in the meeting invitation that you encourage everyone to prepare for the meeting. This gives a personal touch and icebreaker to start the meeting by everyone evaluating the recipe and the result!
3. Make online meetings more engaging with interactive tools
Include elements of fun in your online meetings. Use tools such as Zoom in video conferences to set your own background, or make the meeting more engaging by using polls, brain games or surveys with tools like Kahoot or Mentimeter. This creates a sense of community and shows caring for their education and well-being.
Have you planned an on-site workshop that you now need to cancel? Before you do that, check out interactive tools like Mural as an alternative to run ideation workshops online!
4. Show that you know their challenges, business and what it takes to run it
Fewer business travels can give back hours every day and week. Use the time to engage with other stakeholders at your key customers to get more insight into their business in order to adjust your deliveries accordingly. This gives a good opportunity to make sure they are aware of all the useful features in your product that can help with their daily work.
Providing relevant industry statistics or relevant articles to customers can enable them to make adjustments in their current business. To better target the message, consider sharing ideas through engaging infographics rather than standard presentations or article format.
5. Ensure you have proper feedback loops and make yourself available
New circumstances are changing priorities and needs. Reach out to your key customers by having shorter and more frequent meetings to ensure that you are able to adapt to the customers’ changing needs in uncertain times.
Be conscious of your customers’ preferences for communication to customise your interactions. Some customers might prefer a daily digital “opening hour” via video-conference tools, while others prefer a digital booking calendar tool that makes it easy for them to book meetings when it suits them best.
6. Provide more self-service, e-learning courses and online communities
Increase flexibility by providing more self-service, e-learning courses and host planned on-site seminars online by using a video meeting-platform. Instead of closing down right after the session, keep the meeting going after the course for a while, so the participants can discuss the content and just chat. It might even be worth it to turn your on-site seminars into remote sessions!
If you want to advance self-service even more, use an online community to bring your customers together with timely content and engaging discussions. This will enable them to help each other as well as you to interact with them live with across devices.
Balancing the right mix of personalised human and digital touchpoints is a work of art, but when done right the experience you create for your customers can be taken to new heights.
PS: Don’t forget the essentials when interacting with customers online. Always remember to raise the bar on meeting volume, have the camera on and ensure a good wifi connection.
Happy digital interaction!