How to Create a Human Experience in Digital Sales
Whether businesses were early adopters or were forced to pivot because of the pandemic, there’s no going back. We’re now in the growing pains of digitization where many parts of the customer’s digital buying journey have been optimized, but others have been conspicuously left out.
For example, in real estate, advances in technology means that prospective home buyers can easily book virtual showings and view listings online, but then hit roadblocks at the conversion stage because, in most cases, it is still very difficult to apply for a mortgage online.
And where these gaps are, problems tend to arise and fester quickly. Digital channels often leave customers to do all the legwork themselves, forcing them to unnavigable sites to track down what they need, only to find complex or generic information that reads more like a catch-all FAQ and not tailored for their specific needs. It’s no surprise customers end up frustrated and you lose them before they make it to an actual salesperson.
Which begs the question, in this digital age: can the IRL experience of an actual salesperson be replicated with technology? In other words, can you humanize the online sales experience?
To answer this, we’ll first need to look at what exactly it is about salespeople that give consumers confidence in their purchasing decisions and consumer journey.
“How can I help you today?”
All great salespeople do one thing in common: they create a personalized experience for every customer. On the surface, it’s relatively simple.
When faced with a purchasing decision, people want to be heard and air their concerns before spending hard-earned money to solve a problem or meet a need. And the salesperson is perfectly placed to address all these issues. They listen attentively to a person’s needs, provide guidance to alleviate concern and then effectively show how their products and services will specifically help solve a person’s most pressing problems.
A great salesperson makes a customer feel valued, treating them like a fellow human being and not just a dollar sign. It’s one of the most effective things great salespeople do.
In fact, 84% of consumers say being treated like a person, not a number, is crucial to winning their business.
If such a salesperson were available for each customer at every key decision-point, there’s no question sales would increase. The challenge is that there aren’t enough great salespeople for all the customers.
Short of cloning, we will likely never fully replace the human experience of working with an actual salesperson. But that doesn’t mean we can’t take digital efforts to emulate the personalized 1:1 experience.
Personalized video: sales force of the future
In a few short years, we’ve seen huge technological leaps as a variety of digital solutions have made our personal and work lives easier and more productive. Disruption and innovation are the norm, and sales has not been left behind. But how can digital technology even begin to accomplish a true 1:1 human sales experience?
It starts with the most effective, proven communication medium of the digital age – video – leveraging its graphics, sound, and motion to communicate efficiently and at scale. And then it adds the secret sauce: interactive personalization.
Along with the trend to digitization, people have also come to expect a high degree of personalization in their customer experience: 72% of consumers say they only engage with personalized messaging, and 63% of consumers will stop buying from brands that use poor personalization tactics.
So what makes personalized video a powerful “salesperson” is that each video can be uniquely tailored to each customer, meeting them in a channel they prefer, giving them information that they seek, and personalizing it in a way they expect. And, while it is through accessing a database, personalization is still quickly and seamlessly accomplished by knowing that customer’s history, preferences and account specifics, just like a top salesperson.
What makes personalized video such a powerful “salesperson”?
- Each video can be uniquely tailored to each customer.
- You are meeting them in a channel they prefer.
- You are giving them the information they seek.
- You are offering the personalization they expect.
And, while the personalized video is made successful through accessing a database, personalization is still quickly and seamlessly accomplished by knowing that customer’s history, preferences and account specifics, just like a top salesperson.
Of course, viewing a video that has been tailored with personalized information is not quite on par with a conversation with a salesman, largely because it is a one-sided form of communication. But that doesn’t mean other solutions aren’t available.
If you want to bring the personalized digital sales experience to the next level, an interactive personalized video can engage directly with the viewer, asking them questions about their needs, preferences and concerns. This kind of interactivity yields real-time insights, which can then be used to personalize new offers and update information on the spot, also in real-time.