Everybody in business knows the concept of “high touch” and “low touch” sales models. But have you thought about other areas of your business that might benefit from such a strategy?
High touch is an approach that requires customer interaction with a human being at your company. Often the sale is built upon trust and a relationship. Low touch is where a customer is able to self-serve. They don’t need much (or any) interaction with a person.
This way of looking at things is a useful tactic for ensuring that your company’s customer service levels exceed expectations. But therein lies the key: it’s about human beings. And (whisper) customers are not the only humans who matter to your business.
It’s called ‘human’ resources for a reason
Put yourself in the position of your top employee. You have a certain amount of work to do, which you will attempt to exceed; and the nature of those tasks changes from day to day, even hour to hour. There are tasks you will perform better in the mornings, or in the afternoons.
There are days when you’ll be driven to get creative. And there are days when – perhaps for no clear reason – all you want to do is get on with some repetitive admin task that needs doing but doesn’t require that ‘spark.’
Days when you’re pumped about collaborating or meeting customers, and days when you’ll be more productive working one-on-one with your laptop.
In other words, with the best of intentions, even your top employee will have mornings when they wake up wanting a ‘high touch day,’ and times when they’ll roll out of bed hoping to keep face-to-face interaction to a minimum. Not only will they feel it (and hey, feelings are important too) but they will be more productive if they listen to their instincts.
The human animal is a sensitive instrument. You’re tuned, daily, by changing conditions in the light and the weather. The neurons in that spongey brain fire different neurotransmitters depending on whether it’s gloomy or bright outside. The ‘sliding door’ moment of one hormone (such as dopamine) being released rather than another can impact your whole day.
You don’t physically feel neurotransmitters firing. But they manifest through your mood, your energy levels. They prime you to perform your work one way or another. And they’re not just caused by the changing seasons.
Of course, nobody needs up-to-the-moment reports from their neurotransmitters to conclude that it might be best to work from home when the snow outside is knee-deep, or that it might be best to stay local when there’s a transport strike.
The introvert-extrovert spectrum
A bad night’s sleep, trouble in your personal life, even a wardrobe malfunction can all affect your energy levels, and make it more effective to opt for a ‘low touch day’ if possible.
But there are also more fundamental factors at play. People who tend towards the more introverted end of the spectrum ‘re-charge’ their energy by having alone time. They thrive on working in scenarios that are not socially intense. They may need more low touch days.
More extroverted people get a buzz from working face-to-face in a team and interacting with those around them. But this also means they find it harder to focus on solitary tasks when surrounded by people to talk to.
Which is why, for someone with work flexibility, the ability to wake up in the morning and decide where they want to work is one of the best things. The ability to pick where you want to work can make a huge difference on your day.
After the industrial revolution, employers tended to view their employees like machines. Efficiency, reliability, and replaceability were what mattered most.
Today, social progress and further revolutions in the way that we do business have begun to shift that attitude.
Employers have realized that recognizing and rewarding their employee’s individuality is both the decent thing to do and profitable. And that individuality extends to how each employee responds to their daily schedule.
Professionals have seen their business hours bleed into their personal time. But we also enjoy the new freedoms and opportunities that the connected age offers.
In short, we’ve found a new way to work. A way that acknowledges that a happy, comfortable professional is a productive one. A way that allows us to be at our best in our work and personal lives, by recognizing that the two exist on a continuum.
Whatever your type, whatever the weather, the best place to work each day is going to depend on a number of factors. This is the beauty of work flexibility for you, your top employee, and your whole workforce. This is the future of work. You can decide what kind of day you want to have, and if the options are available, then you can be your very best.