I think businesses have lost the concept of being more human. How frustrated have you become when you called a customer service phone number and all you get is a recording and after you spend 5-10 minutes clicking on numbers to get the recorded message to hopefully answer your question. How about this recording that says press 1 for ‘self-servicing actions” – what?
I believe we have come to the fork in the road of online marketing including social media and the human need for interaction. I think it is time to ask ourselves how much can you get from a computer conversation? Do you feel as a consumer that the company really cares about you when you receive a canned email message, or you consistently reach a recording or the only time you see people are through images on Facebook?
Grow Your Business Being More Human
Although most of us thrive on human interaction, there are exceptions like teenagers and some millennials. As business people if this is your market you have to meet them where they are with technology. Business has changed no doubt about that and most of us have already made the decision about what we want to buy using technology resources, the question usually is “Who will I buy from?” I recommend a mix of both technology based interaction with human interaction. it is time to get away from solely relying on technology to connect with prospects and customers. Here are some ideas for bringing human connection back into your business:
1.) Pick-up the phone occasionally and speak to your customers. Thank them for their business and ask if there is anything else you can do for them.
2.) Make an effort to speak with customers one or two times per year with the goal of learning why they do business with you. Not only will this please them but you will gain important information about your business.
3.) Call a client and invite them out for a cup of coffee just to make a human connection and not to sell them something.
4.) Network in person versus relying on social media.
5.) Shake someone’s hand – yes that may seem old fashioned but many important deals were made with a hand-shake to seal the deal.
6.) Personalize your marketing, let your customers know you are listening and refer back to things they have said at every opportunity.
7.) Make your goal with social media to eventually take the conversation off line. Building a deeper more meaningful relationship.
“What happened to a handshake? Business people don’t do that anymore. Trust is human, human interaction and real conversations. We need more handshake friends, discussion, business partners or handshake leaders – we won’t find our own sense of fulfillment, happiness and trust .” Simon Sinkek author of Start With Why
Be mindful and focus on the person in front of you
I have a twenty-something daughter who thinks it’s okay to carry on a conversation with a friend via text while talking with me at the same time. Some of you can probably relate! But what that has taught me is to be mindful and present to the person I am with and to listen intently. I ask myself the question, “Don’t they deserve my full attention and not just a part of it?”
I have always been inspired by this quote from Maya Angelou
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said , people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Grow your business by being more human was illustrated in an article I read in Inc.com by HubSpot co-founder Dharmesh Shah. I have paraphrased one of the most important point he makes; “Harnessing the power of consumer advocacy is the answer. A delighted B2B customer is a long-term customer: He will tell friends and colleagues, and if he leaves his job, he’ll take your business with him. Humans don’t buy from companies; humans buy from humans, so solving for humans is every smart company’s primary goal.”
Think about how you can grow your business by being more human and pay attention to big brands that are doing it through inspiration, motivation and leaving you feeling something deep within. One of my favorite commercials this year is from Marshalls/TJ Maxx/Home Goods company whose holiday commercial says “Imagine a world where the holidays were about people again, this Season Bring Back The Holidays – Those 4 Little Letters, It’s All About L.O.V.E Not S.A.L.E “ You can watch is here, let me know how it makes you feel. https://youtu.be/9wKjXpsiK3E