Creating personal connections with your clients or customers helps keep them your client/customer. As I’ve mentioned here before, keeping your clients is an important part of building a successful business. In the ‘old’ days, people came to your office or store and you communicated with them face to face. Today many of us are providing services digitally or selling our handmade items online. This can make making those personal connections more difficult.
Just how do digital businesses make personal connections?
Here are a few ideas to help you connect with others in a more personal way.
Most of us communicate via email, or even text, more than we use the telephone these days. The problem there is that it can be very impersonal and stiff. What can you do that doesn’t include inserting emoticons? It’s possible to be more personal without being unprofessional. Adding a sentence or two that is more conversational goes a long way in making the recipient of your email make a personal connection with you. For example, I opened a recent email to a client with –
“I can’t believe it’s September already. The summer months just seemed to fly by this year.”
It’s just a small bit of conversation, but it adds a touch of humanity to what was a pretty technical business email.
On the phone.
Phone conversations can make it easier to connect with others. Hearing a voice immediately gives you a sense that you are making a more personal connection than the written word. Still, some people have a really hard time communicating by phone. A great tip I received early in my career was to smile while talking to someone on the phone.
Believe it or not, it works!
I hated talking on the phone, but I always seemed to have jobs that required it. I’d get nervous and stumble over my words, which did anything but make a connection or a good impression. When I took the advice to smile every time I took or made a call, it somehow relaxed me enough to let a bit of my personality come through and make a connection. I still make sure I’m smiling when I’m on a call with someone.
Communicate via video call.
Using Skype, Zoom, Facetime or some other video chat service is ideal for making personal connections. In fact, it’s almost as good as sitting across a table or desk from the other person. It allows you to not only connect with your clients and customers, it also gives them a feeling of getting to know you personally.
If the opportunity arises to meet with one of your clients or customers personally it can really take the personal connection to the next level. If you find yourself traveling in the same area, reach out to them and see if they’d like to meet for coffee or lunch. Even just meeting face to face at a conference or event can make a big impact.
Other personal touches.
Sending a simple birthday or anniversary card or a small holiday gift is a great way to connect with clients/customers. You can also install a Chatbot on your website to answer frequently asked questions, which tends to be a more personal approach than a simple FAQ page.
Using a combination of the above suggestions it is possible to create lasting, personal connections. Even when you’re a totally digital business.