Nurturing Relationships in an Online World
During this time of social distancing we’ve all had to become more adept at using technology to keep in touch with our teams, clients, suppliers and tradespeople. If you’re beginning to dread having to participate in yet another virtual meeting or conversation, you’re not alone. Many of us are experiencing “Zoom” fatigue, and that includes those you most need to stay in contact with. That makes it all the more critical to nurture those relationships in other ways as well.
While it’s nice to see familiar faces during a virtual meeting, there’s still something to said for the one-on-one phone conversation. Especially now when people are feeling a bit more exposed by videoconferencing, a friendly phone call can seem more personal and private. Since many people are still confined to their homes, it’s more convenient for them to take a call, and it’s a nice break away from whatever screen they’re glued to at the moment. Checking in by phone with team members, clients and others regularly will help to maintain a sense of personal connection, caring and trust that is essential to keeping your business running smoothly.
Sharing is another proven way to nurture relationships from a distance. When you recognize a need, come across a useful bit of information, can offer helpful advice, or can provide a referral to a business associate, use whatever communication channel is appropriate to share it with others, be that by phone, text, email or social media. You don’t want to be intrusive or call attention to yourself. It’s not the recognition but the act of giving that matters. Some people like to share personal items as well, such as photos, recommendations, inspirational quotes, and observations. If that includes you, just be sure those items are appropriate to your brand and targeted to the right audience.
Thank-you’s are essential to maintaining relationships. Although we can’t get out much right now, there are still many ways to thank a good client, a high-performing team member, or someone who provided a referral. You can send a personal, handwritten note—or, if that’s not possible at the moment, an e-card. You can arrange to send them something special via a local or online delivery service. Depending on whom it’s for, an e-gift card might be welcome, or you can give them the option to order something special for their home.
No matter whether the gesture is large or small. In the end, the what is not as important as they why. When it comes to nurturing relationships, it truly is the thought that counts.
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