Putting P-E-R-S-O-N-A-L Back into Your Online Business

Many business owners believe that owning a well-designed website will give them everything that they need to attract customers. However, cyberspace can be a very impersonal and sterile environment, so it is important to remember that each of your customers is a human being.

This this means that most of them are looking for personal touches that will make your business stand apart from the competition. Therefore, you need to diversify your approach to ensure that you don’t forget the physical aspects of promotion, along with having an inviting and approachable website.

photo credit: John Fischer

Tips for Providing Your Customers with a Personal Approach

1. Physical Promotion

It’s true that customers usually get enough information about your company to make a purchasing decision from your website. But if you really want to make a lasting connection, don’t forget to include promotional items when mailing out their orders; such as brochures, business cards and magnets, or colorful custom die cut stickers they can affix to their car or file cabinets.

2. Staff Photos

Consumers like to see the person who is selling to them. If you have an Internet-based business, you can substitute the lack of face-to-face interaction with personable photos of your staff members. Although this will not replace the in-person experience, it will go a long way toward consumers feeling more comfortable with your company.

staff photo
photo credit: Paolo Margari
3. Blogging

It is a good idea for every company to have a blog on their website, and to post on a regular basis. This will make it easier to attract the attention of new customers, and it is also a good SEO tool. You can also use your blog to let people learn about the personality of your company; consider posting occasional entries introducing your staff and even having them write their own additions to the blog. For example, if you go to a trade show, you could let each member of your staff write a blog post about the experience from their own point of view.

4. Chats

Hosting regular chats that enable your customers to ask questions about your company or products is a good way to increase your level of consumer engagement, and it will also create a more personal shopping experience on your website. Some sites make the chat feature available on a daily basis for individual shoppers. You can utilize this approach or host group chats that let everyone interact with each other.

5. Be Social

The main purpose of social media for a business would be to attract attention, but your consumers will really embrace these interactions. Therefore, you should always respond to questions, and maybe consider encouraging participation by having contests and question and answer sessions via Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.

Taking the time to offer a more personal approach will make your customers feel more comfortable, and it will also provide you with the opportunity to learn from the experience. After all, if you host chats or Q&A sessions, you are likely to receive invaluable input that can help you move your business forward in a more relevant manner.

About the Author: Small business consultant, Annette Madison, utilizes online printing companies for promotional supplies such as custom die cut stickers. Whether she is attending a networking group, or traveling for business, she makes sure to have a branded item to hand out to potential customers.