Have you ever noticed that you could go through your entire day without one human interaction? Not kidding! Amazon 1-click, online banking, kiosks at the post office, Uber Eats, Chewy to my door! With the onslaught of automated services, it’s SO easy to not deal with any human face-to-face. IBM says that by 2020, 85% of all customer interactions will be handled without a human agent. Introverts unite! But wait…
GET BLINDED BY SCIENCE
Did you know that medical science has been demonstrating for decades: Social interaction is a critically important contributor to good health and longevity? Researchers found that having limited social contact nearly doubles the risk of depression.
You probably don’t need evidence-based research to appreciate the value of making and maintaining social connections. Relationships are important. They not only stave off loneliness, but they can also make you happier, healthier, and in some cases – make you money. Yes, money. Whether helping you find that next job, a banker taking off that late fee, or someone helping you out because they KNOW you can make an emotional and financial difference. Sure, you can get a ton of info online, and make everything on your To Do list be simply transactional, but I’m talking about real interactions with real people here, people! Forget social media. Get out and get social in real time.
POST OFFICE DELIVERS
Let me introduce you to Micah, my post office buddy. He always has a huge smile and goes the extra mile. Recently, a customer walked in with two important-looking letters and told him that they belonged to the person who owned his house — over 3 years ago. He wanted to ‘return to sender’ but they looked important and he knew the forwarding service had expired.
Micah looked at the letters and recognized my name, “I know her!” He then found me on Facebook and sent a message. “I have two letters for you that look important. Do you want me to put them in your PO Box or keep them up front?” WHAT?!? They ended up being two client checks. Whew! The post office gets a lot of grief, but how about THIS story? Thanks, Micah! It pays to know people. See what I did there?!? Pays?
FACE THE FACTS
Here’s what you can do:
- Three Strike Rule on emails. Stop the back and forth. Pick up the phone or go see the person.
- Counter your feelings. Even though you can interact with a machine or live chat, go to the counter. Maybe even stand in line for a few minutes. You may meet someone and get to practice your conversation skills. Remember to say please and thank you.
- Trust isn’t built by Text. A colleague, client, or service provider who never sees your face is not likely to feel the same connection with you as someone who interacts with you personally. Walk through the door. Make eye contact. Smile. Be kind and cool. (Crazy concepts, right?)
- Build your Team. As a motivational speaker, I mostly work alone, but look at my disparate service providers as my team. Lucky for me, that includes Micah at the Post Office, Michelle at UPS, Scott at Lantana Cleaners, Curtis at Chase Bank, etc. Find people in different industries that you can count on and get to know them. Relationships are key. And, if you see Micah at the Flower Mound Post Office, tell him to keep the checks coming… and thanks for going the extra mile…again.
It’s time we place a premium on human interaction and our well-being, over convenience. Without a doubt, face time pays. Thanks, Micah!