Our company helps our clients spread the message of their brand, usually in a digital format. In simple terms, we help them communicate with their current and potential audience in a manner that is consistent with their voice. But this post is about connecting in a decidedly non-digital manner. Let's make time for offline interaction too. In today’s wonderful world of instant contact, it is easier than ever to communicate quickly and efficiently. But lasting relationships almost always include a personal connection as well, which can easily be forgotten in this day and age. One of my favorite hotel General Managers always used to say “People do business with people they like”, and I still believe that to be very true.
We talk a lot about engagement from a digital perspective. But personally engaging with your audience can be equally important. There is certainly a lot of data and insight one can gather from scouring your website or Facebook analytics, but a personal connection offers a deeper understanding and connection.
Most of the best hotel General Managers I have worked for made it a point to spend time in the lobby. Whether it was to greet guests at the front door or silently observe from a corner chair, they were able gather more intel than from any spreadsheet. I have seen decades-long relationships develop from a GM personally welcoming a guest to the hotel. Similarly, an incredibly powerful bond is created when a Chef steps out of the kitchen and talks to his or her guests.
This is in no way a knock on how the digital world has enhanced customer service. Businesses know far more about their customers than in the past, and communication touch points are more abundant than ever before. But digital should not completely replace the most basic of communications, which is a face to face interaction. In fact, it should be used to enhance it.
So keep up the good work with that amazingly brilliant and strategic digital marketing plan. We are with you every step of the way. But also be like that hotel General Manager and carve out some time each week to ‘sit in your lobby’. You may be surprised by what you learn. And while you are practicing being ‘social’ in the old school sense, try to put it into practice in your personal life as well. The holidays have become much more efficient these days as we send eCards, shop online or give a gift certificate, but perhaps we have lost some of the personal connection in the process. This week take some time out to drop off a gift in person or invite a friend over for a glass of wine. Horribly inefficient yes, but infinitely more memorable.
From all of us here at Thin Pig Media, we wish the happiest of holidays and a prosperous New Year to all of our customers, friends, partners and followers…and anyone else who happens to stumble upon this post. And if we don’t pop by to say hi personally in 2015, please call me (don’t email) to remind me to practice what I preach.