Welcome to the digital rapport podcast where you discover how to connect, influence, and persuade in the digital age.
Hello everybody, and welcome to another digital rapport podcast. I’m your host Jatinder Palaha. Today I’m doing my first podcast on my new equipment and it’s funky. I’m excited. So I’ll get to test this out and do a podcast at the same time. Today I’m going to be talking about automation versus that personalisation with your customers and clients. This is an interesting one because when you first start off in business and you have your clients, you’re very one-to-one, personal birth, personable, personable, is that right? Personable with your clients, you meet them, you talk to them, you connect with them, you have conversations with them, you go kind of above and beyond and provide a service where they do get that kind of allocated time for helping them out with different situations, scenarios. Now, this is something that’s easy to do when you first start off, but over time as you get more and more customers, this can become very difficult because you’ve got lots and lots of people that you need to manage.
So if you’re giving your time away to all the different customers that you have, it starts to become a bit of a drain on your resources, on your actual, time and the way you help your customers or services can decline as well. In most cases it’s not even a decline in most cases is just being able to get back to them on time. And the longer you’ve had your customers, the more loyal they are, the more kind of forgiving they can be because they understand. What I’ve noticed is that if you actually just keep it sweet and you know, share with them what’s going on with you, where you are with things, they tend to be understanding and you know, they know you’re going to look after them long as you’ve built that trust and loyalty with them. Now when you start to look at your business as it grows, you want to become more automated in how you provide your services.
So if you start to put systems in place, ideally to get rid of all the things that are repetitive, so all the repetitive task you want to get rid of and automate them. Now when you start to automate and you start to scale you and you’ve got different types of customers that you’re dealing with, you may not have the capacity to be able to give that one to one service like you used to. And in those kinds of cases, you know, lots of things can happen. You could end up charging more for your time, you can just create different types of packages and just work in a different way. And the tricky situation happens when you’ve already got existing customers who are used to working with you in a particular way. And if you try to introduce something new into the mix, they feel uncomfortable because it’s not what they are used to because they’ve been trained to work with you in a particular way because of your dealings with them.
However, with new customers, this is not the case because they’ve not had that interaction with you. So any kind of new processes you put into place ideally should be put into place with new, something that you can do with new, newer customers without causing any kind of drag or delay on your services. So this is all about managing expectations, right? So the way you interact with people at the trains and teaches them on how to interact back with you. So if you do something like if you, if they text you on the weekend for example, and you reply back, you’re kind of telling them subconsciously lie okay to communicate with you on the weekend and it may not be the case or you reply back, at really odd times. You reply back to an email at a particular time and they get in touch with you or they want a phone call and them kind of impede on your time as they say, whatever you do, how you interact and behaviour, with your customers is a form of training and education on how they can interact with you.
So if you find yourself in a situation where that is working and it’s not serving you to help serve them better, then ideally what you want to do is actually create some parameters in how you work and deal with your customers. Because if you can set those parameters and you stick by those parameters, then it kind of trains them to you know to act and behave in a particular way. And it keeps everything sweet because the expectation gets managed. So for example, they might message you on a Saturday and if you don’t work on a Saturday, then don’t reply back to them. And you know, and just follow up with them on Monday. You have to look at the situation as well. Is it really urgent? You know is it really is it business-critical that they’ve got in touch with? If it’s not, then you know, they should have the respect to not take up your time and in order for you to kind of, you know, make sure you’re looking after them, you make sure you do follow up with them.
So what happens is when you start to then work in a particular way, you want to work with more people, you have to put automation in place, you have to put systems in place that can help deal with that and at the same time becomes a bit of a balancing task because now whereas in the past you had time to speak to your customers clients on a one to one basis. You may not be able to provide that time to them. Some customers like that, some customers would rather interact with you. How that conversation feel? , Nurtured and looked after because that’s their expectation on customer service and for some people providing kind of automated fixed responses works as well because they could just follow instructions and I suppose what actually ends up happening is that you’re going to have different personality types that erm customers that you work with and deal with on a daily basis.
It helps to know personality types so you can see what type of customer you’re dealing with and what would be the best way to interact with this person. Let’s say you have a customer who is a quite in detail once detail, once your time and intention and you find yourself having to do more work and extra work around these kinds of things, then you know that that person needs that one to one help and support. But what I’m trying to say here is that once you kind of identify the different types of personalities that you’re dealing with, different types of customers and the the different ways that they interact, it’s going to require you to then think about the way you work and come up with solutions where you know you might want to do a care plan for example, or a monthly maintenance plan or some sort, which you know as a basis with cover most of the things that you need done in that particular package.
And then you know, with new customers, sell them that package, sell them that customer care plan and work on it. Help customers, get a few testimonials and when you have done that, then you can take that and approach your older, existing customers and say to them, look, we’ve got a better way of working. It’s a care plan that we have for example, and all of our new customers are on it. They giving us great feedback and it’s allowed us to help them better. And it’s something that I want to do with yourself as well and help you. So it’s a recommendation that you actually come on to our care plan. So when the customer is informed and educated on the new way you work and it’s a proven way and it’s proven, proven to work with your existing customers, then making that transition just helps them not feel as if you’re not looking after them anymore, then it’s always a good thing to think about your customers, your existing customers, your loyal customers, and ask yourself, does it, is it really going to be, you know, is it really going to be that bad for you to actually get back to them and have that conversation?
I speak to them and put their mind at ease. Does that really, is that something that, you know, it’s such a hard thing to do because we live in the digital space a lot of people prefer to just not even have that human interaction, but the more we’re getting into the digital space, the more people actually craving that one-to-one interaction or just the ability to get on the phone to chat to someone and have a conversation with them. And if this is something that you can do or even delegate out to customer care service teams, then that’s something that should be looked at, looked at. Most of the time people, if they looked off that they know you’re going to be there and support them, they’ll stick with you. They go, no reason to go to anybody else. So it’s really, you know, we all make mistakes, we all get busy, but at the same time, if we’re then trying our best to improve our systems and flows and actually connect with our customers in a better way, and even to some degree keeping them in the loop as to what’s going on.
Because if you’re open and honest with your clients, then it’s only going to just strengthen that relationship and that respect. They have that loyalty and trust that’s created. One of the things I say to customers is that it’s really good to kind of map out your current flow process, the way you interact with your customers and that’s working. And once you’ve mapped that out, then to basically look at systems and software that can support you in delivering that service. Like so for example, if you know, a lot of, lot of people still don’t have an invoicing software or invoicing systems or a way to keep their customers in one place or to, the ability to raise invoices or even take payment. And a lot of people are still conditioned to make bank transfers, which is fine. But there are other ways of taking money from your customers and clients such as PayPal, Stripe or the payment gateways and being, having the ability to integrate these into systems which you can use.
So you use the machine basically. The systems to support your human interactions is one of the key things that you could be doing. So map out your process, the way you interact with your customers and clients, and then see what systems are needed to help you automate those processes. I remember when we, when I first came across some software that helped web design agencies manage their customers and clients. It was a godsend. This software allowed me to keep a record a database on my customers, create all my packages. The ability to take credit card payments, support desk, all in one system, which allowed me to manage my customers. If I hadn’t had that system, I probably would have burnt out by now. So it’s all as good at TC, how you flow in your business and then look for systems that can support that.
In some case, you might want to even get some custom software built and designed, which can be useful. But most of the time these days there are already soft days that you can get which can support that. Like for example, we’ve got a project called http://www.salesmasterhub.com which is a software which allows you to schedule appointments. So customers can go online, make a booking, you can take payments with a booking, you can create invoices, you can take payments for other things. You can schedule events or workshops and then raise invoices, have a centralized database for your clients, you to do email marketing of the back of this. This. So you have a CRM or customer relationship management system which allows you to interact with you, with your customers and helps you reduce any admin issues that you may have. So you have to look at how the systems can be used to support your business and as many different systems available.
And I suppose one of the other things that happen is that people get confused with the technology because there are so many systems available. People are not really sure what they should be using and in those situations and scenarios always good to chat to someone who knows what they’re talking about, you know, get in touch with the strategists such as myself and you know, asked us questions. So that they can help you get clarity on how you can actually use your systems online to support your business. Because these days, a lot of businesses are online though they do have our online presence and it’s an easy way to be able to take payments from your customers. A lot of people, you know, manually create an invoice they send out and then they wait around for the payment to come through. We even get it.
Sometimes we get customers who have done a, a manual payment outside of our system and then they have not informed us or we haven’t looked because we haven’t noticed that the payments come in or something and the hosting service may stop. For example, it might be suspended and then they ask us what’s going on. They made the payment. Then those cases we have to get back in touch with them and then manually update the system. Once we know that the payments come into the, into the bank. However, if that gone through the system in the first place and followed the online method, then the whole system would have been automated and the payment would have just gone through and there would be no disruption in service. So you get those kinds of situations and scenarios happening as well. Sometimes it’s just the way people flow and it’s good to educate them to let them know that actually if you want to be efficient, this is the better way to do it and then tell them and show them if she can and get them on board.
So it’s a bit of a thin line is bill a balancing act? Because you know, when you’re doing things manually, you kind of know where things are. You can, you go have a habit of how you work but you may not be efficient. And then when you get systems in place, you become efficient, but then you may scale and take on more customers in which case you can’t provide some of the services that you used to unless they’re on more of a premium package with you. So it’s a bit of a balancing act and it’s every business goes through some sort of growth and communication issues with clients and customers. But it’s all is good to, you know, see what that is and start to improve on your flows and efficiency. You even to the degree of getting in touch with your customer and asking them, say, look, we haven’t spoken in a while.
I wanted to touch base with you. Let me know, you know, what we can help you with. Let me know what seems to be working and whatnot, what’s not working, how can we improve our services? And just have that humility cap on and you know, be ready to listen to the feedback that customers give to you because your loyal customers, your people have been with you the longest are the ones that are probably gonna stay with you the longest, that spend more over time as well. And it’s not about the quick sales or anything like that, there’s longevity in, in how, your customer life cycle, is there to support and the different services that you could provide and build those relationships over time. And that only happens if you keep in touch with your customers and interact with them. Now, we’re fortunate in one of our businesses, fortunate to still have my very first customer with us.
I’m still doing work with us because, you know, we’ve been loyal. We’ve got a trust factor going on. We’ve kept in touch with them, we speak to them, and it just means that they know where they are if they even need support. So it’s very good to keep that connection going even in this digital world. And so easy to text people, WhatsApp, people, email people. But every now and then it’s good to get on the phone and it’s even better to, you know, offline, get in touch, have a tea and a coffee, have the eyeball to eyeball conversation and that full-body communication going on because that’ll give you so much more feedback as to the real depth or what’s going on because your customers can give you a lot of information. Sometimes they don’t say anything. Sometimes they just stay quiet because they’re saying, Oh, they’re really busy now so might be able to chat to them.
But if you make the effort and you connect with them and you share what’s going on, build that relationship. There’s no way that they’re not gonna be able to help and support you in return because they’re business owners, they understand the kind of issues involved. They go through these situations, scenarios themselves. So it’s, we unrealistic for them to think that you don’t have these issues or problems in your business as well. So it’s good to have a kind of holistic approach to this and look at it in two ways. Help them, ask them for help it’s not a problem. The main thing is about connecting. So yeah, so look at your systems, look at what you’re doing, look at your flow processes, see how you can get systems to support your flow process and you know, do what you can to have that human interaction with your customers and clients in many ways as you can out. I hope that has been useful and it’s been interesting doing this podcast on this new equipment. I’m going to listen back to this as well and just to hear what it sounds like. Hope you guys have enjoyed it and yeah if you got any questions, get in touch and I’ll see you on the next one.
I pressed the wrong button and this new equipment allows me to have all these funky sound effects and oppress the loft too. And actually that was a bit of fun. Thank you for listening to the digital report. If you have any questions or would like to find out more about what I’m up the make your way over to www.digital-rapport.com Where you can find out how to turn your skills and knowledge into a profitable authority business online.
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Digital Business Coach | Web Revenue Strategist | Award-Winning IT Consultant | Author
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With over 18 years of industry experience in business and personal development, I’ve successfully been working with coaches, consultants and authors set up the right systems and implement strategic content strategies to start, grow and scale their businesses online with automation, digital products and services. (To work with Jatinder – click here)