Reinventing email and phone client communication
Email – a great means of keeping in touch with your colleagues, and for routine communication with your customers. Email for keeping in touch with people whom you would like to have as customers – or customers who aren’t happy -- not so good.
If you’re building trust and a relationship, email is of marginal value. (I don’t feel I have a relationship with a Nigerian prince who just needs my help to get money out of his country. Do you?) And if you’re trying to right a perceived wrong, email is less effective than a personal connection.
The problem: email is getting used for ALL KINDS of communication now, including communication with prospects, and in delicate client-care situations. If you’re addicted to email as the answer to every communication need, stop a moment and ask yourself if your addiction is hurting your relationships.
Sometimes I get the sense that people would prefer not to deal with humans – so they put out one-way email messages to make their points and then return to the sanctuary of their computer screens, rather than getting involved in the messy business of dealing with other people.
To quote a polarizing American media figure, “So, how’s that workin’ for ya?”
What we know is that some people refuse to communicate through any means other than email. For those people, your email communication is appropriate.
For everyone else, though, take a moment to think before you click “New” and start typing. Is this a prospect who hasn’t yet decided whether to trust you? If so, can you meet briefly in person, or, at the very least, pick up the phone?
If you leave a caring voicemail, and offer something compelling in that voicemail to encourage the person to return your call, the voicemail itself is closer to a personal touch than the email.
Keep in mind the very high proportion of customers who list themselves as “Satisfied”, but then change suppliers. Give your customers the personal touch, too, whenever you can, but especially when they are less than delighted.
We know that time spent face-to-face and phone-to-phone (F2F and P2P) with prospects is strongly positively correlated with success in selling. I suspect the same is true in caring for clients.
I’ve seen no data about a correlation between E2E communication and selling success. And I, for one, don’t feel particularly cared for when a supplier of services emails me a response to a complaint!
The next time you need to communicate with prospects or customers, move away from the mouse and pick up the phone. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.
Lenann McGookey Gardner, CSP, is a Harvard MBA and a seasoned industry executive. She works with professionals in accounting, consulting, research, consumer products, telecommunications, banking and technology industries. An international speaker, she is the author of Got Sales: The Complete Guide to Today’s Proven Methods for Selling Services, which was nominated for the Axiom Business Book Award as the best sales book of the year. Profiled in Who’s Who in America every year since 2004, she serves as an executive coach to professionals around the world. Visit her websites: http://YouCanSell.com and http://YouCanLeadCoaching.com.
How AWS helps NASCAR delight its fans
AWS needs no introduction to readers of Technology Magazine but we rarely get an opportunity to look closely at how it serves the sports sector. All major sports draw in a huge supporter base that they want to nurture and support. Technology is the key to every major sports organization and enabling this is the driving force for AWS, says Matt Hurst, Head of Global Sports Marketing and Communications for AWS. “In sports, as in every industry, machine learning and artificial intelligence and high performance computing are helping to usher in the next wave of technical sports innovation.”
AWS approaches sports in three principal areas. “The first is unlocking data’s potential: leagues and teams hold vast amounts of data and AWS is enabling them to analyze that data at scale and make better, more informed decisions. The second is engaging and delighting fans: with AWS fans are getting deeper insights through visually compelling on-screen graphics and interactive Second Screen experiences. And the third is rapidly improving sports performance: leagues and teams are using AWS to innovate like never before.”
Among the many global brands that partner with AWS are Germany's Bundesliga, the NFL, F1, the NHL, the PGA Tour and of course NASCAR. NASCAR has worked with AWS on its digital transformation (migrating it's 18 petabyte video archive containing 70 years of historical footage to AWS), to optimize its cloud data center operations and to enable its global brand expansion. AWS Media Services powers the NASCAR Drive mobile app, delivering broadcast-quality content for more than 80 million fans worldwide. The platform, including AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaStore, helps NASCAR provide fans instant access to the driver’s view of the race track during races, augmented by audio and a continually updated leaderboard. “And NASCAR will use our flagship machine learning service Amazon SageMaker to train deep learning models to enhance metadata and video analytics.”
Using AWS artificial intelligence and machine learning, NASCAR aims to deliver even more fan experiences that they'd never have anticipated. “Just imagine a race between Dale Earnhardt Sr and Dale Jr at Talladega! There's a bright future, and we're looking forward to working with NASCAR, helping them tap into AWS technology to continue to digitally transform, innovate and create even more fan experiences.”
Just as AWS is helping NASCAR bridge that historical gap between the legacy architecture and new technology, more customers are using AWS for machine learning than any other provider. As an example, who would have thought five years ago that NFL would be using ML to predict and prevent injury to its players? Since 2017, the league has utilized AWS as its official cloud and ML provider for the NFL Next Gen Stats (NGS) platform, which provides real-time location data, speed, and acceleration for every player during every play on every inch of the field. “One of the most potentially revolutionary components of the NFL-AWS partnership,” says Matt Hurst, “is the development of the 'Digital Athlete,' a computer simulation model that can be used to replicate infinite scenarios within the game environment—including variations by position and environmental factors, emphasizing the league's commitment to player safety.”