Today’s world operates on a screen. You order food through an app, talk to your grandmother on Skype and buy everything from software to clothing online. Don’t get us wrong – we’re all about screens. The sheer power of online marketing alone still makes us tingle all over; but there’s still something to be said for the human element of a brand.
People like doing business with people, not computers. That’s why it’s important to ensure that the humans who make your business tick don’t get lost behind a screen. These tips will help you maintain that piece of humanized magic every tech company needs to succeed.
Webinars that Feel Like Seminars
One way to connect with your audience on a more “human” level is by offering webinars hosted by your real, live employees. We’re not just talking a voice-over and keynote; you’ll need to go for something a little more personal. We recommend having the employee on screen to give a face (and personality) to their name. Whether it’s a casual webinar filmed through Skype or a more professional production, give your audience some face-to-face time with this key employee. Just make sure they’re the type of host who’s able to inject humor and personality into their delivery, thereby encouraging viewers to establish a more personal connection with the brand.
Do It Live (Chat)
Okay, okay - so this one is still screen based, but offering a well-executed chat feature on your website that connects visitors directly with your reps is a more humanized experience than making them wait on hold or directing them to an “info@” email address. In fact, a study by Zendesk found that 92% of customers feel satisfied when they use a live chat feature, beating out other forms of communication, including voice, email, and social media.
You can make chat feel even more personal by giving each of your employees a photo and bio on their chat profile, rather than allowing visitors to assume they’re speaking to a bot. In a world that runs on automation, it’s rare to offer immediate and direct communication with employees. Mix this differentiator with personable reps and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a humanized chat feature.
Signed, Sealed, Delivered
As digital continues to skyrocket, direct mail is becoming somewhat of a novelty. Think about it – when was that last time you were actually excited to open a piece of unsolicited mail? If you’re anything like me, it’s mostly just credit card companies begging you to sign up and aggressive offers from that Jiffy Lube you went to one time. But what if you flipped the script?
Direct mail is a great way to both humanize your brand and boost retention. If someone upgrades their subscription to include new features or renews their contract, try sending them a handwritten note from the team thanking them. You could even include a small treat, like a $5 coffee shop gift card, letting them know that their next cup is on you. This will remind loyal customers that there are real people behind your screens who care about them and value their business.
Show Them How It’s Done
Although today’s digitally advanced age makes it easier than ever to create gorgeous demo videos, offering a live demo option provides an additional opportunity for human interaction. Your product is brand new to these people, so features and buttons that are second-nature to your team are likely completely foreign to them. Giving users a live walkthrough with the opportunity to ask questions along the way will help them feel more confident using your product, which can lead to higher retention and even more referrals. It’s a great way to help the company forge a deeper connection between brand and consumer right off the bat.
Spotlight Your Rock Stars
Highlight the brilliant minds that drive your company by displaying engaging team bios on your website. Although it may not be necessary to write a bio for every last team member, showcasing the key stakeholders and executives can make a big impact. The crucial tactic here is to be creative. Don’t just run through a dry history of your CEO’s education and accomplishments; mention his three-legged Chihuahua named Ernie who dresses up as a Tiger every Halloween. The point is, you want these bios to be memorable and relatable. Those little details that make your employees unique will help site visitors make stronger connections to your people and your brand.
It’s easy for humans to get lost behind screens, especially for brands that use digital marketing to sell digital products. Making sure your brand experience is well-rounded, with elements of humanity woven throughout can help users make stronger, more durable connections to your company. These connections will seed the growth of your business from initial engagement all the way to customer loyalty and referral business.