How many times have you heard the phrase It’s nothing personal, it’s just business? Too many times, in my opinion. It’s a philosophy that has changed how we approach work and how we see businesses grow. However, it’s just a phrase used by businesses to justify their actions. Additionally, while this approach may have worked before, it’s not your best marketing move now. Today, it’s important to remember that you’re always dealing with other people, not just numbers. Further, with so many marketing channels available, personalized interactions can certainly help you stand out from your competition.
When thinking about this phrase, two groups of people come to mind - your employees and your customers. In this post, I’ll focus on the customer side. As we automate more of our work, it’s easy for client interactions to become less personalized. However, more personalized communication will help you retain that client, which is why the It’s nothing personal, it’s just business phrase is bogus. With that said, how do you make sure your communication with clients stays personalized?
Use yourself in your story
Your audience will react best to you if you are authentic and you use yourself in your story. Don’t let your personality shy away from your work. According to Rhonda Khan, you should own your story and bring yourself to your audience. Each person has his or her own uniqueness, and when you speak, write, or connect with clients, you should bring that uniqueness to your communication.
For instance, imagine you’re meeting a client (let’s call him Fred) for the first time. Fred was in a terrible car accident and he’s a little nervous about meeting with you about his case. As it turns out, you’re an attorney who has a casual style and an incredible sense of humor. You’re good at your job and you understand how to be respectful, but you like to laugh through grief. You could sit Fred down, reiterate how bad the car accident was, and tell him that you need to act quickly on his case, in a very serious manner. However, you will likely sound unnatural, since speaking in such a tone isn’t your authentic self, and that will just make Fred nervous.
Or, you could comfort Fred and have him relax when he hears your casual and natural tone. That way, he won’t be as panicked about his case. Additionally, if you act like yourself, you’ll be more confident and Fred will trust you more as a professional. You’ll speak with him casually and break down the case into simple, actionable steps. Once he’s relaxed a bit, you might even crack a joke and get him to laugh in your office. By being your authentic self and speaking to Fred in a way that’s natural to you, it’ll be much easier for you to make a connection with him and best help him with his case.
Instead of having an impersonal conversation with your client, do the opposite - make it very personal. Clients enjoy working with humans. They also want to know about you and your story. Therefore, don’t be scared to be yourself and share your story to your client. This will guarantee a better connection between the two of you.
Create a delightful customer experience
As you think about how you can personalize conversations with clients, remember that there are many ways you can communicate with them. Regardless of where and how you communicate, your goal should be to create a delightful customer experience. What defines a delightful customer experience? According to Fay Matos, eliminating friction and adding a personalized conversation is what makes a better experience for your customers.
One way to do this is to know and target your audience through an appropriate channel. Today, many claimants are finding your firm online. Likely, you drive traffic to your firm’s website. Once a claimant is on your site, a great way to capture his or her attention is through a live chat. A chat helps to eliminate the friction because your claimant doesn’t have to take extra steps to find help - you’re right there at his or her fingertips. Also, a chat is a good medium through which to personalize conversation.
You can either have a person answering the claimant’s chats, or you can automate the chat. Of course, if a person is responding to the claimants in real time, it’ll make it a lot easier to keep the interactions human. Your respondent can make the interactions mirror the interactions we have with our closest friends. According to Fay Matos, that’s one of the best ways to have chat interactions lead to a desired action from the claimant. If you do implement a bot, use tools that can personalize the conversations your bot is having with the claimants. Many companies have done this very well, such as Domino’s Pizza; therefore, it’s certainly doable.
As you communicate with your clients, think about the types of communication you enjoy having with other businesses. You react better if a business can connect with you through a story. Whether you like it or not, you also react if a business is able to persuade you through your logos, pathos, or ethos. It’s much easier to tell a story and persuade your clients if you are authentic and if you keep your clients’ personalities in mind. Therefore, don’t resort to making your business less personal because it’s just business. Instead, try to make it as personal as possible for your clients.