Posted at: January 31, 2012 11:35 AM
by Lauren Cuervo
In a world that is constantly becoming more immersed in technology, people everywhere are now searching for that seemingly forgotten human touch. Consumers want to buy from a company they feel has their best interest in mind and attempts to make it known.
For the past two years, trendwatching.com has named this “touch” as one of the top 12 trends that corporate brands should consider when conducting business. Both 2010 and 2011 saw strides toward responding to this trend, but in 2012 it will be more important than ever as companies expand their use of social media. The gap that technology has created between buyers and sellers is now being filled by Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare.
I was definitely skeptical of how far businesses would be willing to go with this trend, assuming they would choose to follow more obvious ones, like couponing or “going green.” But many of them are getting serious about giving consumers some form of this human touch, which could make a huge difference for them in 2012.
Interflora, a flower delivery company in the UK, implemented a social media campaign that searches for local Twitter users who might be having a bad day and offers to send them free flowers. In November 2010, Dutch airline company KLM did social media research on every customer who checked in to a KLM location on Foursquare and gave them a travel-related gift.
My roommate even experienced the human touch when she recently tweeted about her unhappiness with our cable and Internet service. Will Osborne, a Comcast representative, (@ComcastWill) immediately responded back asking if he could help, which shocked both of us. Our Internet is now fixed, and I have seen firsthand the power of the human touch.
Companies both big and small are making an effort to hear what consumers have to say. Some are even using this feedback to acknowledge their flaws and make changes, like the recent Domino’s campaign to improve their pizza.
Social media enables companies to show they value their customers, and those companies that aren’t incorporating the human touch into their services will soon be left behind.