It’s funny. It seems like the posts you (my readers) like the best are the ones where I give a more personal insight into the work I’m doing, or the thoughts I’m thinking as it relates to business. Not to take all the warm and fuzzies out of it, but I’ve got stats to prove this. The web analytics, Facebook insights and Twitter re-tweets – they all tell the story. My readers…my customers…they like knowing the real me and hearing that inside my brain, emotional, thoughtful type stuff.
Which got me thinking… maybe your customers would like the same thing.
Customers Are Humans, Too.
In general, humans are emotional beings, created to live in community with other humans and to interact with on a personal level. There’s way more to every business transaction than some logical need – there is an emotional connection that takes place – yes, even in the most shrewd business situations. So, how can you use this fact to connect on a deeper level (which creates immense customer loyalty, by the way) with your customers today?
Here are a few ideas I had… But I’d also love to hear your ideas, so fire away in the comments sections to help all of us do a better job at using our “humanness” as a marketing tactic to grow our businesses.
1. Use a picture of a human (you, the business owner, the manager, a key employee, an employee of the month, even a customer testimonial with photo) on your outgoing messages (that includes email, web site pages, traditional advertisements, posts on Facebook and your Twitter profile pic for your business).
2. Have all owners and employees name tags in your business, so that customers can connect with a name, not just a face.
3. Have all owners and employees introduce themselves personally and shake hands or hug customers when they enter (depending on the level of familiarity, of course). Physical contact in this professional way will deepen relationships and leave a more lasting positive impression.
4. Have your owner and employees become a source of valuable ideas instead of marketing gimmicks. For example, instead of greeting a customer with a sales gimmick when they walk in the store, have them demonstrate what to do with a certain item, how to use it, etc.
5. Place signs around the store with photos of employees or owners that provide personalized advice through signage. For example:
Mary’s Top 10 Graduation Gift Ideas Under $50
Mary’s Favorite Pair of Jeans for Summer – White Bootcut Delta Blues
Mary Recommends… Mixing your grandmother’s antique china with this Gail Pittman ivory pottery plate for a bright spring luncheon
6. Use your blog, email, Facebook and Twitter as a place to circulate more of these types of ideas, to reach out to others who are asking questions or making comments that you can engage in conversation about (i.e. be human and join conversations in a normal human way, but on behalf of your business).
7. Use your blog to explain more about the ideas you’ve shared on the signs in-store. For example, you can create a blog post “written by” the person who made the tip on the store sign, include their photo on the blog post as well, include some additional sample pictures of products (include price and official name of product in the caption), and explain in more detail what you presented on the store sign. For instance, if you were saying more about Mary’s favorite pair of summer jeans, you might show some outfit ideas, tell why they are her favorite from her perspective (does she have a certain body type that they fit well, are they lighter weight for hot Southern summers, is there an event that she looks forward to that she plans to wear the jeans to?), and even share a bit of the story behind the brand (a brand created in the South to fit Southern women, etc.). This extends the customer’s in-store experience, and it gives you a lot of content to post on social media, which will in turn also create new sales. And it’s all done from a human, personal perspective, which will lead to tighter emotional connections, higher per-ticket sales averages, and a more loyal customer base.
Trust me… we all really do like it when people are more human in how they do business. The numbers prove it.
Image by: brewbooks