New technology can benefit your business like nothing else. A stack of paperwork that once devoured an afternoon now takes seconds with a single laptop. A once costly interstate client meeting is now free online. Technology is both beneficial and essential. If you want to stay competitive, you have to keep up.

Yet our industry isn’t demographically the youngest, and many of your customers can be put off by new tech. They prefer a call to a text. Your fax machine still buzzes every day.

The truth is that no matter how advanced our online tools are, nothing will ever replace a handshake and a face-to-face conversation. It isn’t just convenient for your tech-challenged customer, it’s also still your best tool for converting a sale. So how should we balance the digital and the human?

  • Offer options: Don’t force a single solution on your customers. Remember, they’re working as hard as you are, and don’t always have time to learn your new invoice software as quickly as you’d like. Even if you need to switch from one system to another, make sure there’s plenty of overlap, giving your customers options for getting things done, traditional or modern.
  • Provide training: During that overlap, don’t be afraid to dedicate resources to training your customers in whatever new system you’d like to standardize. Walk them through it, step by step, and be patient with their questions.
  • Keep it personal: New tech can tempt you with the time-saving opportunity to shift from individual to anonymous communication. But if you were your customer, and your name was Ben, would you rather hear, “Dear valued customer, here are some exciting new products you may be interested in!” or, “Hi Ben, are you still working out in Terrace Lakes? This entryway would really fit that neighborhood.” Even if you can’t be there for a handshake, you can begin to create the same effect with personalized communication.

See more of the September issue of Dealer Digest here!

Articles in Technology | September 01, 2018