We have grown so accustomed to technology’s prevalence, it is easy to overlook the fact that many clients are still more comfortable offline. In fact, US internet usage has remained constant at around 75% since 2007. To capture high touch clients in a high tech world it is still necessary to utilize traditional practices. As much as companies want to innovate, we will remain in a transition period for the foreseeable future. The current market trend has separated service offerings into two categories; those that decrease the need for face to face interaction, and those that immerse you in social experiences. With today’s demographics it is important that you can encompass traditional values and innovative tech in a single company. Currently, the decision makers tend to be both risk and technology averse, so building a personal relationship can be essential to success.
Tips to capture high touch consumers without changing your corporate structure:
- Use at least 1 traditional touchpoint – It doesn’t matter what it is, sending out something physical that shows you care and can have a lasting impact. Send a plant with a branded pot, a balloon bouquet or whatever other creative idea you want to represent you. Just because it’s considered a traditional method doesn’t mean you can’t be unique. Make sure you pay attention to the client and their interests; you probably know a lot more than you think. However, don’t feel obligated to do something extravagant, a simple handwritten letter over a generic email can still be memorable.
- Assign a designated point of contact – Having communication experts who consistently deal with the same client can help solidify lifelong relationships. When you work with someone for multiple years you learn their thought process, quirks and personality traits. Acting as an information conduit you can communicate much more effectively than if someone new from various departments reaches out each time.
- Give clients 360˚ transparency – Even if the services you provide are internal or highly automated does not mean clients will not want to understand how they work. Give them the opportunity to ask questions to fully understand the process as well as the expected end result. In the long run, explaining your recommendations and processes from every angle upfront can save you a lot of time and money.
- Interact with purpose – As rare as face to face meetings have become these days, make sure you are providing value in your interactions. What may surprise you is that clients tend to dread meetings as much as you do. Their time is equally valuable so make sure a meeting is necessary and has a goal. A check in with a client can quickly be accomplished with an email, but other topics may need a face to face or at least a phone call. Once you’ve gotten the purpose of the meeting out of the way, don’t be afraid to get personal. Being genuine makes you a longtime friend, not an easily replaceable company.
In the current market there is a large disconnect between high touch clients and high tech companies. Both are unwilling to admit their shortcomings or ask questions which makes everyone unhappy in the end. Be able to take the first step, even if it does seem like a step backwards, to build those relationships.
For more advice with managing high touch clients in a high tech world contact the experts at INT.