Discussion: Personalised Automation. An oxymoron?
May 9, 2017 by Mel Telecican
4 min read
When I talk about personalised automation in the professional services space, more often than not, someone will ask (while laughing), ‘Isn’t that an oxymoron?’ and yes, the perception in some circles is certainly that. It’s a valid observation in some cases as I’ll explain. But in terms of how I see it, it can be used positively and I like to share a range of examples that people don’t often recognise as personalised automation.
In my professional services space webinars and workshops, I illustrate examples of business websites where they give the audience exactly what the audience need when they visit their site. Not the basics like location or contact info. More detailed information like solving an element of the actual problem they have in the moment they have it.
Clearly that can’t be done in all circumstances. Everyone’s situation is different and as professionals it would be unwise to claim that all of the answers can be provided right there and then. What I’m referring to is developing rapport with people as though they are with you or a team member. Developing a degree of connection that you would in-person. More than what is currently experienced online. Businesses that can do this allow their prospects to take another step closer to choosing them over their competitors.
Consider this for a moment; when people are seeking information about an area of need, they are not always ready to engage your services. Perhaps they will be in a month, six months or even a year or two in some cases. If you are the source of knowledge for them now, you will be the business of choice to engage when it’s time.
Personalised automation as an oxymoron? Here’s where they could be right – Ever been asked to answer some questions on a website only to be taken down a long path of way too many questions? Personally, more often than not, I give up because it feels like they’re asking too much. I don’t know this business, these people and it feels like it’s a guise to create a file on me. I just want some questions answered, not the other way around.
Personalisation as an oxymoron? Why they should be wrong. Personalised automation in professional services should be about asking one or two questions about a client’s immediate state. Providing them some information based on those responses and then offering them options from there. Timing of this information is important too. Pushy sales copy is transparent and old school. Strategic and gentle is the only way.
I’m not saying slow and sluggish – I’m talking helpful. If they’re ready, great! Get them into an appointment and let’s get the ball rolling. If they’re not, let’s nurture them through the process until they are.
Integral to all of this is the starting point. Those first few questions. How you segment the traffic visiting your website is key. Do you have a starting point on your site or are you only asking prospects to ‘contact us’, fill in a contact form or worse, subscribe to that boring newsletter?