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How to Maintain a Personal Connection in a Digital World

By Lisa Laine Miller and James Gabriel Brown, co-founders

Digital marketing is the hot topic right now in any marketing sector. And it should be. With our increasingly digital world, and people accessing more and more information through smartphones, tablets, computers and other electronic devices (including the growing Internet of Things), it’s critical that marketers effectively reach and communicate with audiences online and through social media networks.

But call us old fashioned…even with all the focus on digital and online marketing, we still believe in the power of human connections. Talking face-to-face. Building real, authentic relationships.

We don’t think it’s any coincidence that the industries we work most in, including healthcare, direct selling and internal marketing, are built around personal connections.

Healthcare is obviously a personal field. A person’s decision about what hospital to choose, what doctor to work with and how to plan a course of treatment is inherently personal. The direct selling business is built around consultants making personal connections with family and friends and growing their networks organically. And when it comes to internal marketing and employee engagement, that can’t be achieved through a series of emails or memos.

So how can marketers continue to make personal connections with customers in our increasingly digital world?

Get to know your customer
This seems obvious, but with how quickly customer preferences and behaviors are changing, understanding your customer and audience should be an ongoing effort. Who are the customers you are trying to reach? What questions or problems do they have that you have a solution for? How can you reach them where they are?

Find ways both offline and online to ask these questions, and let them know you are listening.

Share about yourself
Building a relationship is a two-way street. As you’re developing content and posts about your company, look for ways to share “behind-the-scenes” information. How is your product made? Who are the people answering the phones or helping customers or patients? How are you getting involved with events in the community?

Start with your team
The best way to build a relationship with your customers is through the people on the front lines of customer service. From the person working at the front desk, to answering the phone, to providing patient care or customer service, the interactions your team has with customers is what defines their relationship with your company. When someone receives great customer service, they feel a better connection with the brand.

To start, make sure those who are helping customers are truly engaged with your company. The more satisfied your team is with your organization, the more excited they will be to provide great customer service, and help establish personal connections with customers.

In our increasingly digital world, we can’t forget the importance of personal relationships and partnerships. What are some ways you’re building personal connections with customers? We’d love to hear from you.