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In the effort to make businesses more efficient and accessible, many lose the personal touch and human element that customers crave. But having an online presence does not mean you have to lose touch with your customers.

In a world of numbers and efficiencies, there is a lot of talk in the small business world about automation. Automation can save precious time for business owners who are stretched thin. But, there is one thing that should not be entirely automated–interactions with your customers. Technology should be implemented to enhance the consumer-business owner relationship, not replace it.

Here are 5 ways, with and without technology, to make your business more personal:

Email Personalization

Automation and personalization seem like oxymorons. But, when it comes to email, you can use automation to your advantage to make your email exchanges with customers more targeted and more personal. By using automated email segmenting, you can make your customers feel special while giving them information that is personalized and relevant.

Pick Up the Phone

Don’t you just hate it when you call a business and no one answers the phone? Me, too. Even more, if it bothers you, it definitely bothers your customers. But, as a small business owner, there is no way you have the time to sit at your desk all day waiting to answer customer calls. Virtual receptionists can help busy business owners make business more personal for their customers.

Virtual receptionists answer calls on behalf of the businesses they serve. They’re trained, professional, real people that are available on-demand to represent you and your business over the phone. They do things like answering and transferring calls live, taking messages, scheduling appointments, handling FAQs, placing outbound calls on your behalf, and more.

Write It Out

In the age of email, there are few things more exciting than receiving a handwritten note via snail mail. There are so many opportunities to send a handwritten note to make your business more personal including (but not limited to because the options are truly endless!):

  • To say “thank you”.
  • To offer your congratulations.
  • For a customer’s major milestone (anniversary, birthday, graduation, wedding…etc.) .
  • To welcome them to your brand after their first purchase.

Open Up on Social Media

One surefire way to make your business more personal is to allow your customers to get to know the person behind the brand—you! Social media is a great platform on which to do this. Use the stories function on Facebook or Instagram to give your followers a glimpse into your business, or if you’re comfortable, your life. Getting a bit personal will build brand loyalty. Your customers aren’t just patronizing your business, they’re supporting you.

Be Available

Customers want quick responses. One of the best ways to be available 24/7, without instant burnout, is with a live chat feature. The key to getting more personal with live chat is ensuring your customers talk to a real person, not a bot.

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