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Maintaining High Touch in a High Tech World

With the introduction of a new technology that makes life easier and faster daily, the way we do business day-to-day is constantly changing.  I remember starting my career and living by the “golden rule” – a call is always better than an email.  Ten years ago, email was impersonal and not an effective form of communication for important details.  Now, it’s the norm, the standard.  “Hey could you follow up this call with an email so I have it for my records?” is something you may hear often.  Just the other day I was communicating with a customer about a proposal through FaceBook chat.  The point is, to stay with the times people must be willing to adapt and change; however there will always be one way for a company to stay ahead of the competition.

Be Personal With Your Customers

The ability for a company to maintain a personal touch with its customers while leveraging technology makes for the most successful dynamic business around.  Here are 5 tips to combine technology with touch to make business better:

  1. Automate website contact forms.  Make sure that all incoming contacts to your site get to the right person and that you get back to your potential client quickly.  We recommend in under two hours.  Being first and setting a communication standard will not only impress your clientele, but also allow you to dictate the relationship before your competition.
  2. Forward phones to cell phones.  Have a sales team?  Make it easy for customers to talk to your sales team immediately.  Invest in a phone system that will allow call forwarding to cell phones.
  3. Use Auto responders on email effectively.  Don’t overuse auto responders.  I would not recommend having an auto respond message to a contact form.  Visitors don’t like being responded to by a machine on first contact.  Instead, take the time to write a quick personalized message, asking when a good time to contact them is and at what number?
  4. Use Cell phones for email.  Invest in a cell phone that will allow you to easily receive email automatically.  Find something that works for your company.  If you’re using a Google interface try the iPhone (there are many others available as well). If you are using Microsoft Exchange server, make sure that the phone you are using integrates seamlessly.  This is a great way to address issues quickly while on the road.
  5. Integrate your CRM into your website.  Many CRMs such as, ACT, or Goldmine will have an easy integration path for your website contact form.  By integrating the two, you can automatically pull leads into your CRM and categorize them by lead source without having to do any dual data entry.  Time is money and this is a great way to cut costs in wasted time.

If you want to take advantage of technology, make sure you are using it with the intent to increase the strength of your customer relationships.  Do not use it to replace your customer relationships.

- Brad McCrory
Account Executive

Tags: strategy 

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