How many times have you deleted those e-mails saying "Hi, I represent x and I hope this e-mail finds you well." I started replying those e-mails with one word, "Unsubscribe" because I know that if I reply, their lead generation tool won't send me more automated follow up e-mails.
In today's tech-driven world, our methods of communication have taken a curious turn. It often seems like the very technology that's supposed to bring us closer together has led to some unintentional rudeness. You know the drill – those cold emails that seem to make little sense, cliche-ridden messages brimming with emojis, or the mysterious email attachments that leave you perplexed. But let's not judge technology too harshly just yet. As we explore this paradox, we'll uncover how these seemingly discourteous tech trends can also be a boon for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs).
An email that I will never reply
Email, social media, and instant messaging have made communication lightning fast but often impersonal. Warm, personalized greetings sometimes get lost in the shuffle as we resort to the one-size-fits-all approach in our digital exchanges. Emojis, initially meant to add emotional context, have evolved into a language of their own. While they can be fun and expressive, they've sometimes become a shortcut, replacing thoughtful dialogue with a simple smiley face or a thumbs-up. The era of sending a CV or a business proposal as an email attachment with no introduction or context has dawned upon us. Instead of impressing, this trend leaves recipients scratching their heads, wondering what it's all about.
Despite these rude tech tendencies, there's a silver lining for small and mid-sized businesses. Gone are the days when conducting extensive market research was a luxury only big corporations could afford. Thanks to technology, SMBs can now tap into the wealth of digital tools for customer research without draining their budgets.
Let's take a corner-barber shop as an example. When customers are asked about their experience face to face, they might hold back honest feedback to avoid awkwardness. However, the anonymity provided by Google Business Reviews, Tripadvisor or Trustpilot empowers them to speak their minds freely, helping businesses get a real sense of their strengths and where they can improve.
These digital reviews aren't just comments; they're a goldmine of insights. SMBs can comb through this feedback, spotting recurring themes, identifying common complaints, and pinpointing areas where they truly excel. Armed with this data-driven knowledge, they can make informed choices and prioritize changes that resonate with their customer base.
While technology may sometimes create the illusion of increasing rudeness in our interactions, it's crucial to remember that technology is a tool. Its impact on our behavior depends on how we wield it. For small and mid-sized businesses, technology presents an opportunity to revolutionize customer research, a feat that was once reserved for industry giants. Review sites empower customers to share their candid opinions, enabling businesses to glean invaluable insights and make decisions grounded in data.
In the grand scheme of things, technology might be a double-edged sword, affecting our interpersonal communication. But it's also a gateway to success for SMBs. It reminds us that amidst evolving social norms, technology can be both a source of challenges and a path to business prosperity. It's up to us to strike that balance and harness its potential for the betterment of our businesses and our relationships.
I know that research is a huge need for all size of businesses; as we have announced Free Research Tools recently and it became a very popular service among SMB's. So cheers to all those customers who leave an honest review to help us understand their experience and cheers to technology that is enabling us to have better service.
A thank you note
The idea of this blog piece has appeared in my brain when I was having an online conversation with my new friend, Nigel T Packer, a digital customer experience expert. We used Zoom as a tool and agreed to never send cliche e-mails to anyone.
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