As a business leader, it’s essential to recognize that while digital transformation is crucial for growth and data can influence decisions, we should never sacrifice human and emotional connections.
It’s nearly impossible to replicate the complexity of human communication with all of its nuances, both verbal and nonverbal, online. It’s not that technology has eliminated our capacity to connect on a human level; it’s just that digital connections and online exchanges will never achieve the same depth as face-to-face interactions.
So, how can we minimize the impact of technology to promote more interpersonal connections?
Prioritizing People Over Screens: How to Succeed in the Human Era
With the prevalence of laptop screens and mobile phones, customers frequently switch between messaging apps to establish authentic, personal connections. This suggests that while it’s easy to connect online, meaningful connection requires a more personal touch.
Here are three methods to cultivate more personal connections with less reliance on technology.
1. Delve deeper into customers’ needs
In the business-to-business (B2B) realm, cultivating a relationship with a prospect and guiding them to the stage of purchase readiness is a gradual process. It can only be accomplished using digital technology. It’s a game-changer in marketing and sales when you hire professionals to follow up on leads, ask relevant questions, and engage in meaningful conversations with consumers.
This involves putting ourselves in the position of the customer, paying attention to their needs, and making an effort to be present, attentive, and empathetic when we interact with them.
2. Understanding clients’ preferences
Businesses that foster personal connections with their clients can gain invaluable feedback directly, enabling them to adapt and tailor their products to better meet client needs. Companies can uncover uncontested customer needs through active listening and meaningful conversations. Businesses can obtain these insights through methods other than data and analytics.
3. The impact of digital detox on relationships
Understanding the benefits of detoxification is essential in a society that frequently glorifies digital connectivity. Digital detoxes enable you to reclaim your mental space, prioritize in-person communication, and create a more harmonious relationship between the digital and physical worlds.
Interacting with coworkers and industry peers through social gatherings, mentorship programs, or online communities can also help you develop relationships that will benefit you professionally and personally.
Research reveals that nearly two-thirds of people fear using their phones excessively, and many believe that constantly checking their messages causes stress. Encouraging a digital detox can contribute to a healthier work environment for your business. This means your employees will likely be more productive than usual.
Balancing Technology and Humanity: A Recipe for Success
Although technology has revolutionized marketing and business, it can also enhance interpersonal relationships in the following ways:
- Drives automation: Employees can spend up to 10 hours per week completing mundane, repetitive tasks. Thanks to automation, processes that once required human attention can now be completed quickly and effectively, freeing staff members to focus on more human-centric tasks, collaborate more effectively, and form deeper connections.
- Increases communication: With numerous messaging platforms available, it’s no surprise that customers choose their preferred method of communication when contacting your business. Furthermore, this can help establish a personal connection with their sales executive or customer support representative.
- Focuses on data: Businesses can make well-informed decisions about allocating time and resources to maximize the benefits of technology by regularly monitoring metrics such as customer feedback, staff engagement, and productivity levels.
We can mitigate the impact of technology on our relationships and cultivate meaningful connections by establishing boundaries on tech use and leveraging it to enhance intimacy and closeness. Ultimately, it is our responsibility to fully utilize technology in ways that promote closer, more meaningful connections with customers and employees in this digital era.
Contributed to EO by Mike Szczesny, the owner and vice president of EDCO Awards & Specialties, a dedicated supplier of employee recognition products, branded merchandise, and corporate awards. Szczesny takes pride in EDCO’s ability to help companies go the extra mile in expressing gratitude and appreciation to their employees. He resides in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.