The personal touch matters in business. There are a wide array of reasons for this fact. There are many businesses that choose not to engage in the personal touch, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Why does this happen? Well, of course, it’s difficult to add the personal touch to every transaction or link your business is set up around. It takes careful planning, forethought and the willingness to go the extra mile. Businesses that do this however have a great chance of client/customer retention, and simply operate with more goodwill.
Perhaps the one thing missing from your corporate excellence is the ability to add this personal touch. From startups in college dormitories to the international conglomerate, all can benefit from adding this to their products and services. It’s not always entirely difficult to do so, and the following article will reduce this potential difficulty even further.
It can pay to allow your customers to feel like unique individuals. Let’s say you send out a product for delivery that was purchased online. Could it be that sending out a list of products tailored to their potential purchasing tastes could help them find more services or products you offer naturally? This shows you understand their taste and you are there to cater for them. Much like how Netflix presents media in line with their suggestion algorithms to keep people watching, you can apply this philosophy to your product line or services. You can even offer discounts as a result.
For example, let’s say you sell office stationery. If a client often purchases high-end office stationary, it might be worth offering them customised discounts on a wide array of similar products, such as notebooks, binders and even personalized journals. The best part? You can often set up algorithms to do this provided you offer customer accounts online and automate your letters/emails in a way that can aggregate this information. With the right website developer, this dream could become a reality within a matter of days.
It pays to communicate well. Enhancing your skills in this regard can work wonders for you. It can help you be taken more seriously, or allow for people to truly see your competence. It can help your social reliability, as instead of conforming your personality to the people around you, you feel confident in offering yourself raw and unfiltered to a degree. Communication is also a reciprocal act, so knowing how to navigate unpredictable topics of conversation or closing them down respectfully can help you out of many awkward office encounters.
For the most part though, kind, professional communication will always win out and ingratiate yourself to other people. Like with many considerations, the details matter here. This could mean ensuring that your emails are formulated in a uniform and predictable manner, personalizing when needed. It could also mean using a professional email signature to keep your digital professionalism undeniable.
People enjoy being respected, so practising your communication in a way that allows for pleasant but firm dialogue can help you stand on your own two feet and have your ideas met with a certain clarity and warm welcome. Be sure to remember names. This is important if you’re to work well with another. A great way of remembering a name is to write it on your palm with a finger, pretending to move an invisible pen as you trace the name three times in your mind. With this trick, people will know you consider them important enough to remember, which helps them stay fond of you. Also, don’t be afraid of small talk. Sometimes asking someone how their family members are, or how their commute was to work allows for a nice space in which you meet each other as people and not employees. This can be especially useful in a setting that prizes formality over all else.
If you are the business leader, it’s not hard to see how this can also work. Taking the time to genuinely set a good example and show you care about your employees can go a long way. It’s not only the person you help who appreciates it, as word of your willingness to care will travel around the office or workplace rather quickly. This could also mean personally attending team building activities, making yourself one of the team or working very close to them on a daily basis.
When it comes to offering a product line, sometimes the personal touch can help your product be seen in a more positive light. For example, even a formulaic letter with some of your items can help. This could be a mass-produced handwritten note, or a printed letter detailing how grateful you are for the business of the client, maybe even detailing the history of your firm a little bit.
People want to feel connected to the story of your firm, especially if you offer products that are truly second to none. When a customer reads this note they will often feel that they are directly supporting your cause, and this can allow people to feel one with your story. There’s almost no better method of providing brand affiliation than this. Also, a great method to secure this perspective is to offer some information or instruction of how the product should be used. This might be self-evident in the product itself, but sometimes it might be appropriate.
For example, consider that you’re selling fitness supplements. Instead of simply thanking the customer for their business, detailing a little about how the supplement was made, what it’s good for and what benefits they can expect to see will provide an educational backbone to their purchase. From then on, having enlightened them in this way, they will often mentally connect that product type with your firm from then on – even if you’re detailing with stiff competition in the marketplace.
It’s hard to understate the value of this, as often brand familiarly has been the primary goal of marketers up and down the country, in the present and since the dawn of marketing. This personal touch potentially secures a loyal customer, all for the cost of printed ink and a sheet of paper.
However, it doesn’t end here. Packing is a large feature of any product also. It could be that ensuring your packaging is high-quality, such as wrapping the item inside with twine or another decorative ribbon, could allow for someone to see that you really do go the extra mile. For clients spending plenty of money, you might even personalize some of this packaging to make the client feel truly excited about investing in your firm and purchasing your goods. Who knows where this could lead?
No matter how noble your intentions, there are always going to be difficulties in providing the personal touch yourself from day to day. You can set up systems that allow this, but of course sometimes those are robbed of their human capacity for connection. The only way around this is to ensure the personal touch is as important to your staff as it is to you. Through this, you can develop a more reliable manner of approaching and dealing with clients in the best way possible.
This means allowing staff to go off-script during their support calls – a little humor never hurts! It also means having your employees take more time to ensure each staff member enjoys a better, potentially longer experience with the customer in question. Teaching them in the art of communicative respect can also go a long way, particularly in those instances when a customer is enraged at support staff. Staff are often very good at this personal touch, as they are people too and desire for their job to be a smooth and positive as possible, from all angles.
To do this, you need to allow them to be informal to a degree. Maybe not in uniform or task, but in the freedom they have to creatively express their task. This way great ideas can reflect well on your firm. If you hope to reflect well reliably, it also pays to ensure your staff social policies are well understand, as is the mission statement of your firm. Doing everything to get everyone on the same page can work wonders when your firm is under pressure in workload or public perception.
In order to boost this, you must also allow your staff members to socialize with one another during the day. Of course, your tasks must always be taken care of, but reducing the ‘booth separation’ of your office and allowing for a more collaborative open environment can improve the social chops of all staff members – even the quieter ones. This could work well in providing a humorous and responsive support staff to manage your social media, as the positivity of the office will translate well to the usually harsh support questions of the online world.
With all this advice applied to your firm, it could be that your firm enjoys the use of the personal touch in many respects. Your staff, customers, bottom line and general pride in your firm will all thank you.