‘We Do Not Have Wi Fi. Talk To Each Other Pretend it’s 1995’

Back to basics; Communication in the 21st century.

I’ve just read this on LinkedIn and smiled. It’s a chalk board from a restaurant or coffee shop but somehow reflects the frustration that, as one respondent put on Linkedin ‘We’re becoming a bunch of morons..’.

This age of Mobile phones, I Pads and Social Media is also affecting the way we interact with our customers. I’ve just tried calling John Lewis- surely the previous bastion of excellence in customer care. Not anymore it seems. They took days to reply to emails for an order and seem to be struggling to answer the phone 20 minutes in!

Nothing beats face to face communication and second to that -the telephone. Companies that still invest in receptionists with a friendly face and helpful demeanour have something more to offer than the multiple questions fired at you from a recorded voice-with so many options, you’ve forgotten which one to press by the time you’ve got to the end!

Many Millennials tend to hide behind emails rather than pick up the phone-my son is one of them. But when your sales team use this as their main form of communication then it’s a cause for worry. We can never get the same quality of response from email replies.

I will always recommend getting out to see the customer face to face and communicating by telephone on project follow ups and appointments. This is all part of creating a brand personality rather than relying increasingly on a digital presence.

I read some interesting research recently by the DMA that consumers, overwhelmed by inboxes cluttered with unsolicited marketing emails, are more receptive to direct (printed) mail, which arrives on a much less-cluttered channel. I believe this is also true of B2B audiences.

There is also a study conducted by the UK Royal Mail, (The Private Life of Mail,) which concluded that the increase in the use of direct mail and its enduring effectiveness is because, “Giving, receiving and handling tangible objects remain deep and intuitive parts of the human experience.”

Interestingly this may also apply to Millennials. The fact is, a significant percentage of millennials like mail. It has a built-in emotional response factor. Gallup reported that 36% of people under the age of 30 look forward to checking their mailboxes every day. And 95% of 18-to-29-year-olds have a positive response to receiving personal cards and letters.

We can’t ignore the Digital Age. There any many advantages and clever forms of marketing but let’s not forget that people increasingly are yearning for old fashioned relationships and personal engagement. We should empathise with our customers and find out if they prefer the old fashioned way..

For more information on B2B marketing support contact Jo on 07950 976757 or email joanne.harding@hardingconsult.co.uk

(Link to UK Royal Mail pdf https://www.mailmen.co.uk/sites/default/files/Private_Life_of_Mail_RESEARCH_BOOK_A4_ONLINE.pdf