Stop Selling and Start Engaging - Bringing a Human Element to Our Digital World

No matter what business you're in, it's important to build a personal relationship with your customers. Today, our customers are inundated with marketing messages--over 250 messages daily. With so much information flying at them, it's not surprising that it is so hard to get their attention.

In a rush to be more efficient, we have automated many aspects of customer communications--from newsletters and updates to order confirmations and thank you notes--we send emails and text messages. Digital has taken over. All of these digital communications look the same and can leave customers feeling more like a number than a customer. As a result, we've seen declining response rates to marketing campaigns and decreasing customer loyalty.

I founded Handwriting.io because I missed the personal touch of handwritten communication and I wanted to bring that back into the business world. I believe that a very important part of connecting with people is taking the time to make them feel special--and there is nothing that can replace handwriting. Over time, it's become about more than just a handwritten letter. It's also about finding ways to help your digital messages rise above the others.

As business owners, we need to find creative ways to beat communication fatigue.

Stand Out with Personalized Communications

You need to find ways to stand out amongst your competitors to win business. And, once you've won a customer, you have to fight to keep them.

According to a recent Infosys study, 86% of consumers say that personalization plays a role in their purchasing decisions. Customers want to be valued and appreciated. Businesses that deploy personalization tactics such as customized product recommendations based on past purchase history build stronger customer relationships, see more repeat business and larger overall purchases.

Finding unique ways that enable you to add a human element to enhance the digital experience your customers receive can help you enjoy these same benefits. No matter what industry you're in, a personalized customer experience will help you build stronger, long lasting and profitable relationships.

The Nexus of Personalization and Digital

The businesses who figure this out are going to win big. Finding ways to use technology and big data to know more about our customers and to create personalized experiences is just one side of the equation. But, how you deploy that knowledge and interact with your customers is the difference between good and great.

Engage in One on One Communications with Your Top Customers

Nothing says 'you're appreciated' like direct contact--whether a phone call from a company representative, a personalized note or email, or a physical card or letter--going the extra mile and reaching out on a one to one basis will help you build and maintain better relationships with your customers.

Let's take a page from Bloomingdale's and Diane von Furstenberg's customer engagement playbook. They have a long tradition of sending handwritten notes to the top 10% of their customers - a labor and cost intensive proposition. Within a few months of implementing Handwriting.io, they quadrupled the volume of handwritten notes, driving higher revenue and increased repeat visits.

How can you insert personalized communication into your customer engagement program?

Host a Highly Customized Event

Our world is flooded with events - promotions, product launches, educational seminars, networking events - and the list goes on. Over the years, we have seen dwindling response rates to events. Oftentimes, this is because the event is generic and created for the masses.

Try creating an intimate and focused event that brings together like-minded individuals who can learn from each other. This approach takes more time to plan and execute, but each invitee will bring a unique and complementary perspective to the table. The resulting interactions will be far more valuable than the standard networking that happens at generic industry events.

What are you waiting for?

In this digital age, we hide behind our technology, but we also crave personal interactions. The companies who will stand out and rise above the competition are the ones who strike the right balance between digital and human touch.