You, just like your customers and employees, are human. Despite the significant rise of automation in businesses, every aspect of a business comes into contact with a human at some point. Without humans, there would be no business. These things may seem obvious, but it is surprising how little humanity most companies have in their dealings with customers. How common is it to see companies run out-of-touch ads that a group of executives decided humans would like? These ads are just one example of how many companies assume what humans like as if they aren’t humans themselves. Customers are not looking for an overly focus grouped brand, they want genuine human interaction. It is not difficult to humanize your brand, here are 5 easy ways.
Think Like a Human
Times have changed. The days of email blasts and untargeted, traditional advertising are gone. If you think like a corporate machine, then you will have a hard time connecting to everyday people. Think about the conversations you have in your day to day life, the connections you have with other people. Those personal relationships should be the model for business relationships. Treat your customers like friends and talk to them like you would a new acquaintance.
Show Off Your Staff
Showing the real people that make your company run helps build trust with customers. Physically seeing that there is a team of fellow humans behind the business will help bring out the humanity in your company. Post pictures of actual employees, not just stock photos. You do not need to show off anyone who doesn’t want the spotlight, it will work better if you show off employees who want to be ambassadors. Show off the personalities of your employees, show customers that regular people like them work for your company. By reminding customers that normal humans work for you it brings a human element to the whole company.
Don’t be afraid to show off the personalities of your employees either. If you are going to show off employees, let them show their true colors. Rather than heavily editing what your employees say, let them use their own words. Customers will be able to tell when your employees are being genuine, so let them be.
Marketing often comes off as cold and impersonal. We have all received the template marketing emails from companies, and they leave a negative impression, if they were noticed at all. It does not take much effort to make customers feel more appreciated on an individual level, even if it means adding just a few lines of code and small changes in wording. By adding a customer’s name on a marketing email or using “you” rather than “I”, you are making the customer experience more personal and human. Acknowledging your customer as an individual person makes your company feel more human, sounding more like the two of you are talking as friends instead of as a business asking for money.
Something that unites all humans is failure. Due to this shared human error, companies make mistakes and fail just like average people do in their personal lives. Admitting when you fail is an act of bravery, maturity, and humanity. Maybe something went wrong and it will impact customers, rather than hiding the mistake, take ownership of it. Tell your customers what went wrong, what will happen now, and why it won’t happen again. Don’t air every bit of dirty laundry, but share the lessons learned from failure. A post on Medium shows that people engage when the content is honest, so be truthful with your customers even when things go wrong.
Share User Generated Content
Sharing user generated content helps to humanize your brand in two ways:
It is flattering to the user to have their content featured by a business, and it reinforces the relationship between business and customer. User generated content is free advertising. Showing happy customers with your products to other potential customers is great marketing; it also shows customers you care about their positive experiences with your product.
It is important to humanize your brand. No one wants to deal with a cold impersonal corporate entity. People want to work with other people. If you bring some humanity to your business, customers are more likely to engage. Show off your employees, and let them speak for the company in a genuine way. Do not be afraid to admit failure when it is pertinent to your customers. Proudly post user generated content and talk to your customers like you would any other humans – you are bound to see positive results.