August 29th, 2013
With the Internet, email and now texting, customers now have “light speed” response expectations. Email has almost gotten too slow, and texting is taking over as a faster way to communicate. When a customer texts you, a prompt response is expected.
But what has happened to the personal touch customers used to get? Has the personal touch been replaced by a computer?
Another issue is when you are getting face-to-face time with a customer—I have seen it happen so many times and, frankly, I have been guilty of it myself—you may feel the need to text another customer while engaged.
I have learned through experience that although intentions may be good to try and respond to customers’ texts quickly, if I am engaged with another customer, whether over the phone or in person, it is best to “be in the moment” and be 100 percent active in the conversation.
We all can multi-task, but how well can we focus on a conversation we are having while texting at the same time? I am sure there are some who are better at it than others, but regardless, I think it is important and considerate to engage the people in front of you.
Emails have also taken the place of having a conversation with a customer. Yes, we can get more done and multiply ourselves by emailing. But sometimes it’s just best to pick up the phone and call a customer or get out of the office and visit a customer in person.
I’m reminded of the old United Airlines commercial where executives are in a boardroom and the president books plane tickets for himself and his staff. He says it’s time to go out and meet our customers again. Here is the clip from YouTube – and replace his word “fax” with “email” … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mU2rpcAABbA. The commercial is so applicable today.
Email, texts and electronic gadgets are great. I utilize all of them, but one thing to remember is that none of these items can ever take the place of good old face-to-face communication. We never want to lose the gift of engaging customers and prospects in conversation.