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The High Touch Business Model and How it Works

High Touch business Model

 As an entrepreneur, you’ve most likely established your startup having recognized a gap in the market. Or perhaps you’ve identified the opportunity to introduce a unique product or service that your intended audience didn’t even know they needed. Following this, as a business owner, you’ll want to ensure that you maintain its momentum and secure its longevity. This is true whether your company had a slow start or you had rocket sales from the get-go.

Having said this, because you offer an in-demand product, you can expect competition and even if you’ve found a niche, you’ll want to grow your business. In this article, we’ll look at how the high touch business model can help distinguish your business and take it to the next level.

The High Touch Business Model Explained 

What defines this business model is the level of interaction the business has with its customers. Whether you offer a product or service, there is a significant amount of person-to-person engagement. Typically, however, such business offerings will fall within a high price bracket. This level of interaction begins from the time you market your offering and continues post-sales to ensure customer satisfaction and recurring business. 

To illustrate, building customer relationships may start out by identifying buyers who are most likely to seek out your product or service based on historical data. You could arrive at that conclusion through information that is public knowledge or data analytics. At this point, you’re already able to match your offering to their needs. This is because you’re familiar with their lifestyle choices and purchasing power. 

Following the successful marketing of your product or service, that is, once you’ve converted leads by demonstrating the value you provide, strategizing with the client to help them achieve their specific goals. This solutions-oriented approach will enable your business to create bespoke packages that match client’s needs and provide them with long-term value.

While you may have closed a deal, another characteristic of a high touch business model is offering after-sales support. This is done by regularly checking in with the client to uncover gaps between their expectations and what your company has provided. One way to do this is to solicit customer feedback to identify areas of improvement and discover room for growth.

Challenges of High Touch Business Models

To deliver such personalized services is more costly than low touch models. This is because it requires more resources such as adequately trained personnel whom you have empowered to successfully engage with customers on the frontline. Furthermore, because of the one-on-one nature of this business model, your workforce will have to include designated account managers. They need to be available to address customer needs on an ‘as and when’ basis.

Building customer relationships is also time-consuming where the successful implementation of high touch business models relies on creating partnerships. For example, maintaining such high engagement levels will mean having frequent meetings with your client.

What also drives the price up in the setup and running of this type of business model is the necessity of investing in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools. These tools will simultaneously help you streamline your company’s processes. You may even decide to establish a call center to connect with customers in real-time.

Benefits of High Touch Business Models

This type of model has longer sales cycles. This could be because occasionally senior management will have to be involved in the decision-making to purchase your product or service because of its high price. Once you have managed to close out a deal, however, the client will have bought into your business philosophy.

Besides offering intangible value, high touch businesses also don’t rely heavily on technology because of its hands-on nature. Low touch businesses, for example, are characterized by digital engagement tools such as chatbots with automated responses to Frequently Asked Questions. Such self-service resources however may assist with easy to resolve enquiries and offering a 24/7 facility. 

Examples of High Touch Business Models

In exceeding customer expectations, part of the business operations of this model might include giving handwritten thank-you notes with each sale or offering personalized gifts. Depending on your company’s budget, you will also benefit from offering perks. You may want to offer discounts or invites to special events to enhance customer experience. The following businesses allow for this type of value-added service:

  • Finance services such as insurance providers: Clients may have the option of engaging with your company through a personal banker or financial advisor.
  • Luxury goods sales: For example, gold and diamond dealers who create tailor-made products to meet clients’ milestone events.
  • IT providers/ SaaS companies: Only those who offer in-person onboarding. Anytime the customer is taught how to effectively use their product or make the most of your service. Such onsite or remote training typically includes a welcome, introduction, demonstration, and follow-up resources.
  • Professional services: For instance, legal advice, medical care, and consultants. This is because cases are rarely alike and therefore require different approaches.
  • Creative services: Think interior design or building a website.
  • Hospitality services: Those offered in the hotel industry, for example.

When implementing the high touch business model, a level of high engagement is necessary for building customer relations. However, it is equally important to know when to take a step back. For example, flooding customers with emails just for the sake of keeping in touch might have the opposite effect of what you’re trying to achieve. Part of your business acumen will have to be knowing what message to send and when.

Conclusion

The high touch business model is a customer-oriented approach. It offers customized solutions to individuals who are willing and able to pay a premium for this type of service. This business model is also characterized by value-added services. Ongoing support not only creates opportunities for fine-tuning your product and improving services but also ensures brand loyalty. 

 By investing in creating a positive customer experience, you secure returning clients and increase the likelihood of referrals. Although this will require more resources and therefore more set-up costs, it may give you a competitive edge.

So, if your company values quality of service as opposed to quantity of sales. Or, perhaps if your objective is to build relationships instead of having a broad customer base, this business model is for you.

Also read:

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Business-to-Business (B2B) Model

4 Main Business Models for Coffee Shops

Understanding the Low Touch Business Model

Mary Francois Robinson on Linkedin
Mary Francois Robinson
Staff Writer: Mary Francois is a writer with a strong footing in the adult learning space. Her focus is creating valuable content based on her experience in business development. She takes inspiration from Maya Angelou’s wise words, ‘when you learn, teach. When you grow, give.’

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Staff Writer: Mary Francois is a writer with a strong footing in the adult learning space. Her focus is creating valuable content based on her experience in business development. She takes inspiration from Maya Angelou’s wise words, ‘when you learn, teach. When you grow, give.’

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