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Technology has brought wonders to the way we do business. Through technology, we can connect with long lost friends and family members, and in times of crisis, for some, technology allows us to remain in business. But technology can also be a barrier – a separation that divides and excludes. 

In the spring, when many businesses were forced to close their doors, social media proved to be an essential marketing platform. It allowed companies to remain connected with their customers and bring light into a very dark time in history. Social media allowed businesses to continue marketing through education and helped companies to attract new potential customers. 

While these advances are truly inspiring, they don’t replace the significance of a handshake and a smile. Consumers are starving for affection in today’s masked world. It is the missing element in the pursuit of customer satisfaction. 

When it comes to healthcare and other businesses that thrive on face-to-face interaction, the business’s heart and soul lies in human contact, genuine concern, and empathy. But how do you do this when you are required to wear a mask or face shield? How do you connect with your customers in today’s restrictive environment?

You listen. 

For businesses, this means setting aside time to get to know a patient or a customer. It means showing genuine interest in the response a customer gives when asked how they are doing. It means asking follow-up questions. We all want to feel like someone cares what we have to say. Why not be the person who makes people feel heard? 

I was on a chat with a cellular company recently and felt genuine warmth through their interest in solving my problem. They went the extra mile and made me feel less like I was talking to someone through a device, and more like I was their only interest at that moment. How often do you get that feeling from a business? 

Simple gestures, such as eye contact, are often overlooked. We are thinking about the next customer. We are stressing about what we have left to do to complete our workday. We aren’t genuinely connecting with the person right in front of us. That is a mistake. 

Medical marketing via social media has led to significant advances in the way providers deliver care. It has helped providers reach beyond the doors of the clinic. For businesses, social media marketing has provided opportunities to connect, entertain, educate, and celebrate. However, for social media to be effective, trust must first be built. The human connection must remain intact. So listen when someone takes the time to call you or walk through your doors. We have a choice in where we do business. Stoke the fire that brings warmth into the hearts of the people you serve.