Why the Offline Customer Experience is More Important in the Digital Age

How did your last client meeting end - with a firm handshake or a quick click of the hang-up button?

It’s a question worth asking yourself because, whether you're connecting with clients offline or online, it has a direct impact on your bottom line.

Even with affordable tech-driven alternatives, only one in 10 business executives have cut down on business travel and 88 per cent believe closing the deal is best done face-to-face.

Time and time again, offline in-person interactions have proven to be the most powerful tool in driving lead conversions and nurturing clients.

Yet, while we’d all like to meet with leads in-person in every step of the sales journey, it’s largely a logistical impossibility.

So what’s the solution?

At TheRedPin, we found that it's personalization. The new IT word in digital marketing, personalization can drive a 19 per cent boost in online sales.

A personalized online experience that closely mirrors offline interactions can cultivate greater customer-brand loyalty while also helping show customers you care in those difficult situations like complaints

In this post, we’re going to show you how to bring a more human touch to your online interactions with clients with our six tips that include showing:

  • A new way to send emails that close higher
  • How to respond to clients in less than five minutes
  • A way to get clients to call you first
  • How to transform your FAQ page into a face-to face-conversation.
 

Six creative solutions for a more personalized online customer experience

1. Incorporate personalized videos recordings into your email

Social media marketers have been vocal about the benefits of incorporating videos into Twitter and Facebook campaigns, pointing to the fact videos drives up the number of shares and views.

Recent studies have shown that email marketing can reap the same benefits and emails that featured personalized video recordings can lead to a huge jump in conversions.

Just how much of a jump?

An app that allowed for personalized video recording to be sent via email boosted open rates by 60 per cent and rates by 20 per cent. Another study found that subject lines that merely mentioned a personalized video saw open rates jump by 272 per cent.

It’s important to note, these video are personalized. It’s less about embedding a generic “About Us” video and more about opting for genuine methods of communication.

With a quick tap of a button on your smartphone (a green screen can add a nice touch too), you can record from the convenience of your office and bring a personal touch to what is arguably the least personal, most automated step in your sales funnel—the sales email.

Whether the video is used as a means to quickly introduce your business to a new potential leads or to send a personalized welcome aboard—the merits are clear.

Ditch text-based emails and use applications (e.g. Rukus or Clearside) that allow for personalized recorded videos to be embedded in emails

2. Get back to your clients in minutes

Sometimes, the personal touch is less about adding a human face and more about getting back to your clients as soon as they reach out to you.

That’s where live chat comes in.

By integrating the option for people browsing your site to reach out and receive instant feedback in real time, you let clients know that you’re always there for them.

Live chat options have grown particularly popular among millennials, as a recent survey found 35 per cent of Gen Y look to live chat options. Baby boomers also showed an affinity towards live chat, as 29 per cent said they would use it, particularly in customer service related issues.

Getting back to your client in record time is arguably among the best strategies in driving up conversion rates.

Research has shows that businesses that get in contact with a lead within the first five minutes are 100 times more likely to successfully convert a lead versus those contacted after 30 minutes.

Some companies, such as Schuh, have even integrated live video chat - where clients can actually see employees. It’s key to avoid turning a tool intended to help into a pop-up that pesters in order just to sell. Have the live chat option appear on the side with a visible button that allows clients to access when needed.

3. Turn your call-to-action into a clickable phone number

Today, people spend more time browsing the internet on their mobile devices than they do on their conventional computers. Nearly 3 hours of peoples’ days are used browsing over a smartphone or tablet versus two and a half hours on a computer.

So far the business exec on the go who arrives on your landing page or website on his or her phone, make it easy for them to contact you. Turn your call to action from a generic form to a clickable phone number that gets them in direct contact with a sales person.

A study found that 52 per cent of mobile visitors voiced that being able to call and talk on the phone was important during their research phase. Another case study found that adding a single click to call CTA led to a 200 per cent increase in call to conversion rate.

Win over mobile visitors by making it easy for them to call you. Include your phone number with the option to directly click to call

4. Random act of kindness

In the digital world, nothing gets more personal than a handwritten note. With that in mind, taking the extra step and sending them out to a client can lead to a lasting impression - even on C-Level execs high up on the corporate ladder.

Going the extra mile takes many forms. Even acknowledging something of personal significance that was brought up in gest during a meeting can cultivate a stronger relationship with potential leads.

When Zappos sent flowers to a customer who wasn’t able to return a pair of shoes due to her mother passing away, the company made crossed a landmark in business-client relations.

It’s important to get personal. Don’t give away free tickets to a baseball game to someone who’s a through-and-through soccer fan.

MailLift is a company that can personally craft hand-written notes to your clients on your behalf.

5. Stepping up your testimonials page

Nothing is more persuasive or builds stronger credibility for your business than a quality testimonial page.

So what separates a good testimonial page from a great one? Videos.

Compared to text, where readers only absorb 10 per cent of the information, videos are far more digestible—viewers retain as much as 95 per cent of a message. It also adds a far more personal angle as people can see the actual face of the person vying for your business. People also trust videos more than text-based testimonials.

Videos are largely preferred by almost everyone, as a recent Forbes study found that 59 per cent of executives would rather watch a video rather than read text.

Video testimonials don’t have to be expensive high-production. Camera with a green screen and basic editing tools are enough.

6. Turn your FAQ Page into a face-to-face conversation

For common questions that are difficult to address over text on a FAQ page, consider recording a video to address those exact questions.

This can prove to be a particularly powerful for technical question that require more explanation.

The next best thing from meeting a client in-person, you can also incorporate these videos into email campaigns. Far from a costly venture, all you need is basic camera and a plain background or a green screen.

There’s little debating that face-to-face meetings are the best way to close a deal with a potential lead. But with clients often based halfway across the world and with hundreds if not thousands of potential leads in your CRM, following up in person is a logical nightmare.

As is often the case, the solution lies somewhere in the middle and involves emulating offline interactions into a digital medium—bringing the online experience as close to a personalized offline interaction as possible.

To learn how to deliver customer service that's more personalized, smarter and faster than ever, download Salesforce’s free eBook: