TECHNOLOGY STILL REQUIRES THE PERSONAL TOUCH
Without doubt, technology has had a major impact on the way we do business in the 21st century. The Web, email, SMS and the array of social media tools we now have at our disposal have all transformed the way we interact with colleagues, clients, prospects and suppliers on a day-to-day basis.
Technological development is a force for good – it broadens the boundaries of business communication, enables a more flexible way of working and it challenges us to learn new skills and do things differently. But in all of this, we need to keep in sharp focus the fact that new technology should be aiding interaction and relationship-building with people not hindering it, and this isn’t always the case at the moment.
It is still very easy to misinterpret an individual’s tone and intent when reading an email, a tweet or a text, whereas there is much less chance of confusion or ambiguity when speaking on the phone or face-to-face. It’s also much easier to read body language and get a more in-depth understanding of team dynamics and personalities when you’re in the same room as someone.
The best businesses are those companies that really get to know their customers. Technology can facilitate this process and companies should be exploring every new avenue for communication, from LinkedIn and Twitter to Facebook and Google+. But in an age where it’s all too easy to sit behind your computer screen all day and not actually speak with or visit your clients any more, it’s important to remember that technology is not a substitute for face-to-face contact with clients.