In a world where consumer attention is more fragmented than ever before, personalizing the digital experience is a necessary step in fostering brand loyalty.
By this point, we are all well aware of the powers of the digital world to communicate messages to the masses. What many brands may not understand is that genuine human interaction has become more valuable than ever before. Here are 5 ways personal touches that help the online experience become more human:
Sign Emails With Real Names- Consumers are used to receiving emails from Brand ABC, but not as familiar with receiving emails from Kim at Brand ABC. This is a great way to immediately establish credibility with your core demographics by offering a peek inside of the corporate structure to see the person behind the screen. This also provides a starting point for the customer to brand relationship. Customers will feel more comfortable responding once they know the name of the employee that they are dealing with.
Showcase Staff Bios- Short staff bios are a great way to build brand recognition by highlighting the experiences and personalities of key staffers within your organization. Here at Inbound Marketing Agents, we put our staff bios at the bottom of the homepage. This also helps to build your credibility by putting your qualified employees on the front end of the brand experience. Amy Izzo at Marketri even suggests using video bios as a more creative approach to personalization. This is also a great way to build the personal brands of your employees.
Use Customer Names- Nothing says 'big impersonal company,' like the use of the word 'customer' when a real name is available. If you have access to your customer's names, you should use them. This lets the customer know that their time is valued and that they are not just another drop in your bucket of resources. This is another way to help keep your emails from being dropped into the trash and keeping your customer's mouse as far from the spam button as possible.
Be Relational (especially on social media)- The experts over at Tomorrow People wrote an article about why it's important to nurture your social media relationships and to make sure that you're following up with your most active users. Think about it this way--brand loyalty is built on the foundation of customers feeling appreciated. Therefore, by building relationships with these customers, you are strengthening the bond between you and them. Being relational means following up with customers who voice concerns or praise on your social media channels. You can really enhance brand loyalty by remembering customers who frequently interact with your brand on social media. For more information on how to overhaul your social media presence, check out our free ebook, "The Social Media TuneUp."
Write Like a Human- Do your automated response emails sound like a PR robot from 1987 wrote them? If so, it's probably time to revisit the language used to engage customers. Here's a good rule of thumb: if your company name could be taken off of the email and seamlessly replaced with any other brand's, then you may have a problem. It's refreshing to read web copy with humanistic components. Not to say that you should avoid a formal voice altogether, but make sure that your copy is readable. If it's boring to you, it's probably boring to your customers.
All this to say, the most important aspect of a personal approach to a digital experience is always remembering to communicate past the metrics and understand that you are dealing with real people with real stories.
Humanizing the digital experience is a tool that when properly utilized, has the ability to turn casual consumers into die-hard brand advocates.Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.