The Value of Personal Communications

I write about strategies to turn fans into customers and customers into fans. I also share ways to use real-time strategies to spread ideas, influence minds, and build business.

Marketing  |  Best Practices

In our modern world of Web interfaces, online purchases made easy with a few clicks, pre-populated order forms, and social media share buttons, it’s easy to interface with dozens or even hundreds of companies and never have an encounter with a human.

Maybe that’s why when somebody does reach out to us personally, we notice. A human interaction can be delightful.

I had a speaking engagement in Quebec City yesterday for employees and key clients of The Co-operators Group. Since it is a lovely six-hour drive from our home near Boston, my wife and I decided to go together and enjoy a few days in beautiful Old Quebec.

Prior to our journey, we researched restaurants on TripAdvisor and other services and made several dinner bookings using online booking engines Open Table at one place and bookenda at another.

As I usually do, I added a short message in my booking form at each place, something like: “We are looking forward to dining with you!”

Whenever I make an online restaurant booking through a service like Open Table or a hotel reservation through an site, I add a personal message. I’m imagining the person at the other end who is processing a bunch of reservations and want mine to stand out just a little.

In perhaps 100 restaurant online bookings I’ve made, I’ve never had anybody respond to my notes. Until now!

Humanize in order to delight your customers

Marcela at Restaurant Saint-Amour replied to my reservation via bookenda with this: “So do we! Until then, have a lovely week monsieur Scott! Marcela”

This was so unique and unexpected that I immediately shared it with my wife. And during my presentation yesterday, I shared it with the audience. 

We agreed that Marcela’s personal reply made us even more excited to dine at Restaurant Saint-Amour. Marcela humanized the restaurant in a way that a hundred other restaurants failed to do when given the opportunity.

And it took just a moment.

Last night we walked into the Restaurant Saint-Amour with positive vibes already established. We were hoping that Marcela would be there to greet us because I felt like we already know one another. While she wasn't working last night, the staff were wonderful and we had a fantastic meal.

Oh, and the rock band Metallica was at the table next to us! They have a show tonight in town.

Thank you Marcella and Restaurant Saint-Amour for an excellent dining experience.  

What small function at your organization can humanize in order to delight your customers?


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