person on grass

From Spotify to Netflix, Amazon to Yelp24, the world is becoming automated. It is increasingly rare to have to interact with another human being, as most products and services are available to purchase via technology. Even customer service agents are available for online chats, or through automated programs that will call you back at a convenient time.

This technology boosts efficiency, and provides instant supply in the face of customer demands. It also lets you lead visitors and customers through a personalized experience, leading them to feel more invested in your company. Automation is being used like never before – it is the only way to continue to keep up with expectations.

Although mastering automation is essential for starting and growing your business, to take it to the next level you have to expand your focus. You must commit to keeping your efforts personal, especially on a marketing level. Even though the world is using technology to streamline every aspect of life, at the end of the day people like doing business with other people.

Research supports it: according to a recent guide published by Provide Support, 70 percent of buying experiences are still based on how the customers feel they are being treated. Moreover, 67 percent of customers have hung up the phone, frustrated they could not talk to a real person.

Clearly, as a business owner you have to remember to keep the human side of your operations up to date and equal in importance while you adopt and integrate new processes. No matter how you change and streamline your business, the way you interact, sell to, onboard, and market to your leads and customers matters.

Useful Tools for Keeping It Personal

There are many tools available that both help you automate, and continue to give your customers the personalized experience they want and demand. Not all tools are created equally, so think carefully about your needs when choosing one. The main objective is to make your customers feel acknowledged, appreciated, and heard.

I have picked out the four that do the best job of automating as well as keeping things personal. Here are my picks:

1. Intercom

Intercom makes talking to customers effortless. This tool shows you who is using your product, but moreover makes it a cinch to talk to them through targeted, behavior-driven email and in-app messaging. With the app in place, you can talk to any one of your customers in a matter of seconds – and send a personalized message to get them the help they need. It is a wonderful tool that makes personalization easy while scaling.

2. Streak

Streak is a CRM tool with Gmail. It is a way to connect with people who may be interested in sharing your content. It allows you to automate your emails but still address recipients by name, and change other relevant details. This extension also sends emails one by one, creating a more personal bond with your customers.

3. MailLift

MailLift is a handwritten letter service for sales professionals and marketing teams. With MailLift, you set a template, select recipients, and customize any additional details to make your handwritten letter stand out. Then, an actual person writes your letter and sends it out on your behalf. Especially during times of saying thanks, nothing says it like a handwritten – or hand addressed – letter. Your customers will feel even closer to you!

4. Buffer

Buffer is a social media managing tool. You schedule, publish, and analyze all your posts in one place. It is unlike other social media tools in that it makes it easy to confirm you are actually tagging the right people in the tweets you schedule to publish at a later time – which makes it seem like someone from your team is present and interacting with followers on your social media.

Additional Strategies to Keep It Personal

1. Ditch automated “no reply” emails and replace them with someone from your team. Your customers will love the ability to get in touch with a human.

2. Send personalized, handwritten notes to new customers. Go the extra mile; show them they are valued.

3. Pay attention to and respond to your social analytics. Before you automate your social media management, you should know when your followers are active.

4. Always make solving customer problems your ultimate goal, from the minute they engage. You can convert people if you can help them.

5. Be transparent. When customers know the people and faces behind the company, it sets you apart from the competition and raises their loyalty.

6. Give customers a variety of ways to contact you. Make sure your customers know where they can go to find a real human to help them.