Did you ever hear this one: “When our phones had leashes, we were free. Now our phones are free, and we have leashes.” My, how times have changed!
When I was in high school, we had two phones in the house. One phone was in the kitchen, it had a long cord. The other phone was in my parents’ bedroom. We had only one phone number 464-0289; no area code was needed. Today everybody has a smartphone. That smartphone in your pocket is about 100,000 times more powerful than the Lunar Module, the vehicle that landed on the moon and then blasted Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins back from the lunar surface. Can you imagine!!??
Some say that technology causes human knowledge to double every 12 -18 months! There can be no doubt that we live in the information age. Technology is all around us. In our homes, in our businesses, in our cars, refrigerators, TVs, thermostats, security systems, heck even our toasters are smart, and on and on it goes. I can’t even imagine where we will be 100 years from now!
What I can imagine however, is what we will be 100 years from now. We will be human. A millennia ago, 200 years ago, and today, we long for the human touch. It defines us and unites us in our experience on this earth. To be known by another person. When we love, when we build, when we do business, when we bury, we long to be known. We long to feel what it means to be human.
The Importance of Being High Touch
From a Customer’s Perspective
For my birthday, my wife took me to a high-end Steak and Wine Bar. A week before my birthday the restaurant sent us a text confirming our reservation. On the afternoon of my birthday, they sent us a text expressing their excitement that we were celebrating the occasion with them. When we walked in, the host greeted us by name with a smile, walked us over to our table and introduced us to our server who greeted us with warm birthday wishes. The server informed us that he was excited to be able to bring us this birthday dining experience. What is that? High Tech and High Touch.
My wife and I took her car into the dealership for routine car maintenance. When we drove into the shop bay, the dealer’s technology immediately picked up our cars VIN # (vehicle identification number). As I pulled into the bay, I saw the large flatscreen TV monitor mounted above. It said, “Welcome Andy and Sherrie Kalajian! We at RBM of Alpharetta look forward to servicing your vehicle. Your Service Advisor is William, and he will be delighted to provide you a great customer experience while we service your vehicle.” I brought the vehicle to a stop.
Immediately my wife and I were helped out of the car with a smile by William and his assistant. They confirmed the service that we requested, and they told us how long it would take. Then they escorted us over to their latte & snack bar, told us to relax and enjoy, and then they shared the WiFi password! High Tech and High Touch!
Today’s customers and clients are sophisticated. They want to work with business teams who can provide speed of light service that utilizes high tech. But our customers are human and so are our employees. As leaders, we are required to equip our human teams to deliver and delight our human clients. Being high touch is an important part of good sales consultant skills. Yes, you want to employ technology so you can dazzle your clients, but if you want to delight them, you must be high touch! Do not ever underestimate the power of the human touch!