Meaningful Relationships vs Automation
There is a time and place for automation - and there are certain circumstances where human interaction is needed.
If you as the owner are having one to one interactions with every customer, that’s great initially. You get a true understanding of what your customers like and dislike, what is useful for them and what they could do without. It lets make adjustments and serve your customers better.
However, once you get to a certain point, you will not be able to do this. Some activities just aren’t scalable.
On the flip side, not everything needs to feel cold and automated. Human interaction can be an important part of your branding efforts.
Automation and systems are needed so your business can grow. They allow it to operate in an organized fashion. Providing a consistent experience for customers and guidance for employees.
When to Automate:
Systems and automation sound like a cold process that lacks a personal touch, but it can be quite the opposite. They are intended to provide the framework on which everything operates.
Building systems keeps the business running smoothly.
Software can be put in place when there are repetitive and unnecessary tasks. Tasks such as sending appointment reminders, payment collections, data entry, follow-ups, thank you’s, etc. These tasks take time for a human to do when it could easily be done by software that is set up and runs automatically.
Let’s take a look at a local barbershop. Susan who runs the shop has a few stylists who work for her. They are busier than possible. The phone is ringing off the hook, and each of the stylists is busy sending reminders, adjusting their schedule, rotating who answers the phones, along with cutting and styling clients’ hair. Susan decides to buy a CRM software that integrates with the website, allowing for online booking and payment. Not only that, it sends appointment reminders, follow-up emails, and it’s been a while reminders. Now with the new software integrated, Susan and her stylists can focus on each customer without being distracted by other tasks. With fewer distractions, they can serve more customers at a higher level. With this, Susan sees a 20% jump in revenue because of the efficiency gained.
In this example, the software not only allowed the company to serve their customers at a higher level because they weren’t distracted, but it also raised them to a new level of professionalism in the eyes of the customers. The software didn’t take away from the human aspect, it added to it. Communication between the company and its customers improved significantly, plus each appointment felt like a more engaging experience.
For those not technologically inclined or don’t have the budget to build out software of their own, Zapier can be a great solution to string together operations and eliminate double entry.
Building Meaningful Relationships:
One of the best ways to keep customers coming back again and again is to build a meaningful relationship with them. This takes time and consideration.
You need to think about every interaction they will have with your business. How can you optimize each interaction to provide them with the best experience and make them feel appreciated?