All businesses have certain characteristics that embody the spirit of the company, and allow a brand to better relate and communicate with its customers. However, there are a few traits in particular that help businesses to truly connect with its customers. This connection is all about being more human.
When your business shows the following five attributes, it helps the connections with your customer base become more meaningful:
Every good relationship begins with a strong foundation of respect. In business, respect is an acknowledgement that customers have the right to choose where they shop and businesses must work to earn that business, and treat customers with dignity. It comes down to one thing: don’t be a jerk.
It’s very easy to identify a company that doesn’t respect its customers -- customer service policies are unfair, or products are not up to standard. Businesses must put respect above all else, and aim to make every interaction with customers a positive one. Put the user-experience first and always create products and policies with the customer in mind.
Someone without empathy is self-absorbed and rarely listens. If your company conducts itself the same way, you’ll drive away customers and lose out on opportunities to gather critical product feedback. Through practicing empathy, we can foster two-way communication with customers and get to the core of what users really value.
Companies willing to learn from their customers are better prepared to serve them -- it can be as simple as surveying customers to understand how they’d prefer to do business. Our connection with our customers is strengthened when we actively invest in their interests. When we place empathy at the root of our customer experience, we let our customers know that we not only want their business, we value their insight into how to improve.
Businesses need to communicate who they are and what they value by developing an honest, genuine personality. Personality gives a business it’s identity, and people choose to interact with companies they can identify with. Our personality comes through in the form of our brand voice, and it’s present in every interaction we have with customers. Companies should understand how their brand attracts and repels certain audiences. Businesses can’t expect to “woo” every customer. Instead, a business should concentrate on staying true to its brand, and fostering relationships with target audiences who respond to the brand’s mission and personality.
There are no second chances when communicating with customers. Customers will react to what businesses say and do based on first impressions, and if they are confused or upset, it can be very hard to win their business. Avoid being cryptic or vague when communicating -- be as direct and complete as possible. Things as simple as cataloguing product information and support articles on your website, or reducing marketing jargon can help to clarify your businesses value. When we are clear in what we say and what we do, then we are clear about who we are.
Confident companies are the true culmination of the traits listed above -- the brand’s personality shines through, the company actively listens and clearly states its mission. This confidence comes from a true sense of self-awareness. Your business exists for a reason, and you should be proud of the things that set you apart from everyone else. If a company seems unsure in who it is, it can raise a big red flag for potential customers. If a company doesn’t have confidence, customers won’t have confidence either.