Where’s the Face to Face Contact?
In this digital age, face to face contact is becoming something of the past and digital communication is becoming the norm.
Faces buried into smart phones, hand cramps from tablet typing and being mobile with lighter and more compact laptops and netbooks.
Why Communication is Critical
Being an entrepreneur of three businesses, communication is the most important “thing” for me.
- Talking with people, they get to know you.
- The more they know you, the more they trust you.
- The more they trust you, the more likely you will be the person they go to when they have a problem to solve.
So how do we communicate with our customers when working from home or if our customer is halfway around the world?
Back in the day, you would telephone or send them something by postal mail. Remember those days?
The New Way of Communicating
So we all know about text messages right? but did you know that more and more applications are integrating SMS messaging into their systems?
Of course there is email, which for many is becoming more of a nuisance with spam being the most common complaint.
I’ve recently been involved with Skype… yes, I know I’m a little late to the game.
There’s Slack, which is a fantastic way of communication for people all over the world in one space and we can’t ignore Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Linked In, Periscope and blogging.
For group meetings, you have Google Hangouts, WebinarJam (which uses Google Hangouts) and Goto Webinar. I’m sure there are more.
What Are the Pros to all of this? As a business person, you can do all of this from the comfort of your own or office.
What Are the Cons? You are at the mercy of technology!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been invited to online meetings and there’s been some type of technical issue. It’s not just conferences being held by a single person just starting out or a micro business. I’m talking about conferences and meet-ups hosted by the Big Wigs.
Yes, the Big Wigs out there are just like us… at the mercy of technology!
Oh and I remember the days that the biggest faux pas at a client meeting was if you forgot to bring business cards to hand out.
How Would You Communicate Without the Internet?
With the business you have right now. Pretend that the Internet is going on a Blackout for 72 hours. What would you do?
That’s what the telephone is for!
Wait, Joe and I use VoIP, oh darn. Wait, cell phone service….oh darn it’s on WiFi… ok, we can turn WiFi off so we’re good.
Plug in the phones!!!
How Would You get Something Done if a Cloud Service was Down?
Ok, first I contemplated how to word that question properly, because there are people that don’t know what a cloud service is. So think of it as a massive computer system in the sky that links everything together. A lot of companies run their software on this platform.
I have to laugh…recently I was in a discussion with some people and one guy was having a hissy fit because Canva servers were down and it was about to launch a Facebook Ad that was very time sensitive. First of all, if you are planning anything time sensitive with Facebook, get your graphics done waaayyyyy ahead of time. Plan ahead and then add a couple of more days.
His situation was amusing, because no less than 2 weeks before, I ran into the same problem. The internet wasn’t down, but Canva servers were down. Their Facebook page was flooded with people complaining as if it was the end of the world.
and you know how much you hate it when someone says “I told you so”?
Joe’s been on my back to stop using Canva and use Photoshop. Well, ok, he told me so. So now I only use Canva for very fast draft designs and formal creation in Photoshop. I’m even going to the extreme of writing a non-techie mini-course on how to use Photoshop for everything you would do in Canva.
Most people don’t know.. Photoshop CC is cheaper than Canva!
What’s Your Favourite Way of Communicating with Your Customers?
So ignoring everything I’ve written so far, what’s your favourite way of communicating with your customers?
You had me laughing at recognition. I often think I’ll never catch up and I’m still very much a part of the new technology. You are planting food for thought. I think I should start gathering phone numbers of people I’ve met thru social media. At least an email.
Happy holidays to you & Joe and your family.
I hear you Roslyn. My education was based on computer programming and systems analysis. I was outdated 1 month out of school, thinks change so fast!
My records are kept on my computer which is sync’d to a backup service, so “knock on wood”, I’ll be safe.
have a great holiday to you and your family!!!
Technology can be a beast sometimes, Gisele and it usually happens when one really needs to use it. 😉
I prefer face to face or over the telephone/Skype method of communicating but am open to other forms of communication provided I don’t add to the noise. LinkedIn as a social platform to communicate works well and most of my conversations there usually move to my own email service provider or Skype if it is an international connection.
Luckily I use photoshop and my trusted PowerPoint though I do have a Canva account too. I can imagine how inconvenient the last server downtime would have been for the diehard Canva users.
I did another successful Skype last night.. I don’t know how I lived without it. Talking with someone, over the internet with Video. It’s so much better than Google Hangouts. I did purchased a high end webcam though, the one on my new laptop wasn’t very good.
and because I always gather numbers ahead of time, if Skype is down, I just call them on the phone. If Vonage is down, I use my Cell. If Telus is down, Joe and I throw a big party!!!
I was thinking of PowerPoint this morning.. I remember using it when it first came out. Boy things have changed. Don’t tell Joe… I used Canva this morning to whip up a fast prototype of a logo 😉
We have become slaves to technology and so often I hear to be prepared for a possible “disaster” however that shows up in our world, as the first thing would be that the internet would be shutdown and most people would have no way of communicating. I do have a landline that is on cable I believe and do have a cell phone to call people. Yes, I do have phone numbers of most people I want to communicate with. Face-to-face is always my first choice, however, the connectivity the internet brings is wonderful, as it allows us to “meet” people from all over the world. I would guess too many people are cavalier about the invisible nature of technology and somehow I have this feeling that none of us should put all our faith and trust in it. Thanks for bringing this conversation to us, Gisele! Definitely something we all would be wise to consider and have contingency plans in place. I use PicMonkey by the way and not Canva and once I design something there, I store it on my desktop until I am ready to post it myself through Hootsuite. I am not sure how Canva is different however sounds like people would be wise not to rely on it either!
You can do the same things on Canva as on Picmonkey. Canva has a lot of built in templates. They were free for a very long time and recently launched their business service. They are still free though. Your know, I’ve never given PicMonkey a try. Think I’ll do that after supper…Harrison is here so he and Joe will probably watch something on TV that is just not my thing 🙂
I’m still a Photoshop girl, but Canva is great because I can do a logo or brand mockup in 2 minutes for a client on Skype and send it to them immediately. Photoshop takes a lot longer, but it’s what I use to create ‘formal’ images. Not sure if that makes sense.
oh and just an add on.. from what I can see, PicMonkey isn’t free? they only give you a trial? Canva is totally free. Their business plan good, but a subscription to Photoshop CC is cheaper. For this reason, I’m writing up a tutorial to create Facebook graphics using Photoshop in under 5 minutes. 4th draft is done, it will take longer to come up with a creative name for it 🙂
What a hoot! So many changes via technology – resulting in challenges as well as solutions. Know, like, trust is a whole new phenomenon with online options for meeting. Still, I do love the face-to-face interactions. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, perspectives, tips as we all navigate this ever-changing world of communications.
Wow, we sure do live in a very techie world now don’t we? Not sure what I would do without the internet and computers lol 🙂 I guess I would really have to perfect skills in people to people connection like meetups……I do prefer the internet and its wide variety of ways to stay in touch with our readers, customers and family and friends! I think Skype is fun too (especially with business partners and family)
Thanks so much for sharing this awesome post with us!
Best to you and your family in the new year!