Even though we work in a fast-paced digital world, all that we do at Flight Centre is inspired by how we as people, connect with people. We know that only the companies and brands that create human connection are going to succeed.
After all, it’s what we all crave, each and every one of us. Human connection. Not a one-sided random impersonal automated email. Or a chatbot on Facebook or WhatsApp answering the questions we have and then ultimately inundating us with messages that are of no interest to us. We want to speak to real people. We want to know what keeps people up at night and how we can solve their frustrations on a person to person level.
We share the same discontentment, and how many times have we all been there? Not being able to actually speak with anyone that understood what we were trying to tell them. No phone number, just an email address or worse yet, a bot. And then we wait…we wait to be heard and wonder if we are important enough to be answered. What happened to the customer being king? People should not feel like numbers, unimportant, not cared about and unloved. In doing so, we aid frustration, not elevate it.
Where are people to talk to, to connect with, to help us when we need them?
We are all for making things quicker, easier, safer and more efficient. But something is comforting about having a real person to speak with when you are trying to get a result to a query and for some reason it makes me feel safer – emotionally that is.
When we look at a travel campaign that needs to be executed – we always ask, “What is the human connection?” To us it is “what about this campaign, will resonate with us as living, breathing human beings?” For us, it is all about making real-life connections. To travel to far flung places and to experience it first hand and relish in the experience. It’s very powerful to have the personal touch. We want to see our customers, to hear them, to get to know them and return we want them to trust us. As humans we need to know, like and trust people and brands before handing over our money. And in travel we know that it is often a life time of savings that goes into one amazing travel experience. This is why these human connections are so important to us.
We’ve made a promise to our Flight Centre customers. We want them to know that our promise is to always be available. To not leave your side and to be online and in person to assist you in anyway we can. We understand the frustration that goes with trying to reach a real individual to answer questions and assist with queries.
We have moved to a more digital era and we love to use technology, but that is all part of the bigger picture. We always start with our in-person connection first as we want our clients to know that we are there and we are listening and engaging with them. In today’s society, we often lack that connection even with those we love. This is actually the human connection theory that we want and need. It works in both personal and business relationships.
People skills and human interaction will always be the most relevant way to build real bonds. There’s still so much value in looking someone in the eye, sharing a meal and a having a good laugh together. In this world of instant messaging and chatbots, we often overlook the significance of face-to-face time.
Even internally, company culture is so critical. There has to be some emotional connection that is on a different level than just a professional relationship. You need to build trust, friendship and most importantly work with people you like.
In today’s digital world, the importance of human connection has fallen by the wayside. Particularly for young entrepreneurs, real-life relationships are even more valuable than some may think. Technology and social media have given entrepreneurs platforms to connect with like-minded people all over the world. Sites like LinkedIn, allow entrepreneurs and industry influencers to build communities underpinned by technology.
We should absolutely be using tech and social media as a way to gain access, but constantly remind ourselves that meaningful relationships are built beyond the screen. As brands, people and businesses, we need to hear our customers, we need to see them, we need to connect with them.
We need to be human.