Every day we deal with automated recordings and responses via phone or email. I may be wrong, but I think we can all agree that this is just beneath “Monday mornings” on the list of things we all hate. I first talked about this topic way back in 2017, and since then, it seems to have only gotten worse. With the increased use of automation and the rise of generative AI, it seems more likely to talk to a computer than another human online these days.
There has been an ongoing trend in marketing to automate as much as possible; we frequently ask ourselves, "How do we, as a business, reach more people without having to dedicate time and energy to the actual acquisition of attention?"
Don't get me wrong, we are huge fans of leveraging AI tools and automation when it makes sense to (I think you have to be to compete in this industry today). However, the automation and content might help bring people to you - but the personalized/human touch is what will seal the deal for you.
People choose to search, shop, and disconnect online because it's convenient. When it comes to representing yourself online, it is vital to appear and actually act as personable as possible. Let people know they’re dealing with actual human beings who, like them, would also rather not be put on automation.
Here Are Some Easy Ways To Connect With Your Audience And Grow YOUR Business Using Your Website
What better way to show people you’re human than by being consistent in your communication, brand, and message? Being consistent gives your customers the notion that you live a routine life just like them. Start reaching out to your customer base on a very regular basis. Try treating them on Facebook every Wednesday afternoon, for example, with a free piece of value in information (after all, you’re the expert in your field, right?), or maybe have regular live events or open meetings where you invite clients to jump in so you can answer any of their questions. Routinely interacting with your audience and consistently operating with integrity will make your business more appealing to the average businessman/woman. They’ll have trouble relating to your business if your behavior is unpredictable.
Share Your “Success” Story
It’s in our human nature to cheer for the underdog. We are naturally attracted to stories that show people overcoming obstacles and achieving success when the odds are against them. Pick a project or client that has helped you grow your business, and blog about your experience with them. Write about some of the most visible and successful projects you have to date and how that has catapulted you to where you are. Our case studies are the bread and butter of our company. All of our potential clients need to know that we are a legitimate source of SEO knowledge and traffic generation. So, we put it at the forefront of our business to let it shine beyond all of our qualifications.
Meet Customers Where They Are
If you physically cannot meet with your client, you must meet them virtually. People today are very visual buyers. If they can’t see you and don’t understand you’re not some corporate front for a business in a foreign country that they don’t trust, you’re not going to win their business. You need to meet with them virtually. Grab your camera and record a video of yourself introducing your company. Even your phone works just fine for this kind of thing. Put it to music, and you’re set! Free software is available to edit (and likely already on your computer). The more you place your personal appearance online and make your company people visible to the public, the more they can feel comfortable with giving you their business.
Respond To Criticism And Customer Reviews
If you’re anything like me, it can be difficult to accept criticism from others. But when you see customer criticism as a way to remedy a situation (likely preventing the blasting of your company in forums or review sites) and possibly even being a source of referral, you’ve created an opportunity. We have to keep in mind that we can’t please everyone. People will have bad things to say about your company. When they do, ensure you’re there to greet them with a warm welcome, respond immediately (no automatic messages!), and address all concerns.
It's important to address the emotional concerns and the facts of the situation. If you aren't careful and address only the specifics, you may simultaneously find yourself in the right and completely wrong. Further, do your best not to be or sound defensive. This is different from defending yourself, your organization, or your employees. Again, there is a difference between explaining or giving reasons and making excuses.
Demonstrate Care For Others
I highly recommend establishing connections and relationships with organizations that serve the people or that have a good reputation in caring for others. People like to know that companies are not just there to make a profit. Acknowledging a local or national humanitarian institution can go a long way for your business, and it’s also helping a great deal. When people see that you’re socially and economically conscious, they will start to view you as less of a “business” person and more of a “people” person. Try running a campaign for a month or so in which you donate 15% of every purchase to a charity or nonprofit of your choice. Try contacting the charity personally and asking if there’s any way you can team up on a project together – then write a press release about your project. This is free advertising with great intent and outcome.
In simple terms, “people” want to do business with “people” and not some robotic organization run by automation. The most personable companies keep their customers at heart and ensure that all of their online procedures and functions reflect them as people.