Without customers, you don’t have a business. So it’s important that you understand your customers, staying connected with them and showing them that you care. That’s how you inspire loyalty to you and your business. When it comes to sales, connecting with your customers on a personable level is extremely important to growing trust. And trusting customers are purchasing customers.
Humans have an entrenched desire for connection with other members of our species. It’s a fundamental need that grounds us and reaffirms our position in society. So it’s no wonder that when we’re looking to make a purchase, we seek out human interactions rather than faceless interactions with brands. We would rather buy from a person than a brand.
Some of the most successful companies in history have used this to their advantage, using the personalities of their founders or CEO’s to forge an image around their character. Then when people buy from that brand, they feel like they’re buying from that person. Think Elon Musk and Tesla. Steve Jobs and Apple. Bill Gates and Microsoft.
A report from Sprout Social showed how important it is to consumers that those at the top of an organization don’t remain faceless and voiceless. 70% of consumers feel more connected to a brand when the CEO or head executive is frequently active on social media. 62% of these feel like it helps them learn about the people behind the brand, while for 61% it makes them feel like there are real people behind the brand.
72% of respondents to the report also said they feel more connected to a brand whose employees share information on social media. The takeaway is that as consumers we want to be hearing from people. It connects us to a company, makes them feel real and visceral and human.
According to brand experts Lippincott, “Meaningful human connections can’t be formed in one direction — they require the other party to reciprocate, to level with us. When they do, the connections then become a foundation for something that we intuitively understand and value highly: trust.”
In terms of building customer loyalty or even in just closing a sale, few things could be more important than trust. And its easier for consumers to trust a human than it is to trust a company. Humans are accountable, whereas consumers feel companies can hide behind a faceless façade, unable to show characteristics such as remorse and compassion.
Here are some ideas to help consumers connect with a brand or company more. To make it more human and to build that platform of trust:
Create informative, honest and engaging content:
When you inform and educate and give away knowledge for free, people are drawn to what you have to say and you start to build a relationship of trust, especially when they realise you know what you’re talking about. At the Henry Wong Team® we create educational videos about real estate presented by Henry himself. This helps our followers to form a connection with him. This familiarity facilitates the growth of trust.
When someone asks you a question on social media, reply to it in as short a time frame as possible. Reply honestly and don’t push a sales agenda. The more questions you answer, the more connections you’ve made and the more people will trust you.
Acknowledge the good and the bad reviews:
It’s great getting good reviews on social media platforms or on Google. These should definitely be responded to, but don’t ignore the bad reviews too. Admitting your faults, apologizing and promising to do better paints you in a human light that will endear you to people rather than turn them away.
Across all your social media channels and all your face-to-face interactions, maintain a consistent, helpful and engaging character. Erratic or emotive behavior will mean people don’t know what to expect from you, so the levels of trust are corroded. If consumers know exactly the level of service they get from you every time, they’re more likely to return to you for advice, guidance and then sales.
If you have any questions about why consumers gravitate towards making purchases from humans rather than from companies, give us a call. Henry would love to chat with you about marketing, sales and real estate.