Build a Business with a Heart

Build a Business with a Heart

When you are shopping for products and services you need or want, does it feel mechanical at times? When we relocated to open a new market for our business, we acquired new services and products for our home and business office, including essential gas, electricity, and water. There was also fun shopping for new furniture and things to decorate our new home(my husband would disagree that it was fun). I wish I could say my shopping experience was great. The services left a lot to be desired. I started thinking... a company that offers a great customer experience could lead the competition. Which lead me to the article from our ActionCOACH Marketing team that each business owner should read and consider what changes they need to make to “Build A Business With A Heart.” 

In the age of digital communication, automation, and AI, the human touch, is being left for standardized email responses, scripted virtual assistance, and programmed chatbots. Talking to a ‘real person’ has become a novelty, and the personal touch is fliting. Businesses think systemizing every part of the customer experience saves time and ultimately money. What they don’t realize is that it isn’t what the customer wants.

Consider these surprising statistics summarized by SmartHQ in a recent post. (All Sources provided on the link)

80% of customers are more likely to purchase a product or service from a brand that provides personalized experiences.

• On average, 71% of consumers feel frustrated when their shopping experience is impersonal.

• 63% of consumers stop purchasing products and services from companies who provide poorly executed personalization.

• Personalization can reduce acquisition costs by as much as 50%, lift revenues by 5–15%, and increase marketing spend efficiency by 10–30%.

Ensuring your business improves the customer experience through relevant and useful personalization is fundamental to growth. Customers have more options than ever before, and you want to make sure they continue to consider you. You might think making changes to your marketing or business operations are too costly, but ask yourself if the lifetime value of a customer who feels cared for and catered to is worth the initial expense.

“A better customer experience generates loyal customers. Loyal customers recommend your brand to colleagues, friends, and family, which amounts to free advertising. 73% of consumers claim the customer experience is the biggest deciding factor in their purchase decisions and brand loyalties—ahead of product quality and price” (Swan, 2020).

Adding a human touch at every stage of the customer’s journey requires an objective evaluation of the current situation. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Don’t make excuses for the lack of humanity. Use data to make changes necessary and ensure that you invest in a platform or CRM to manage the customer’s data. Ultimately everything you do has to be driven by customer’s data. Data isn’t human or personal, but the clues and insight you get from purchasing behavior can help you transform processes, policies, and actions your organization adapts.

Gathering additional customer data may include surveys, online forms, and polls. Pay attention to the feedback. On social media, don’t lecture, engage. Answer post, ask probing questions, and get a conversation going. You would be surprised how powerful this unfiltered feedback can be. Southwest Airlines used social media to drive many customer experience changes by merely listening to customers’ comments on Twitter.

Other ways to humanize your brand include:

Add photos of real people to your marketing.

• Use your employees as advocates for your business.

• Show your playful side as well as your business side online.

• Utilize user content.

• Write personal notes. Send handwritten correspondence whenever possible.

• Create online communities to discuss issues and share ideas.

• Send welcome or thank you gifts to loyal or new customers.

• Get a professional social media team.

• Don’t be afraid to talk about setbacks or failures.

• Rewrite emails to be more conversational and less lecturing.

• Insert names and customer-specific information in your marketing outreach.

• Stay relevant and authentic.

The culture of humanizing and personalizing your business must extend to all levels of your organization. Engaging staff to transform the journey of your customer can be insightful and illuminating. Share ideas openly and reward risk-taking for fostering a sense of connection and real engagement within your organization.

Getting the heart of any organization pumping starts with a willingness to focus on the actual needs and wants of your customers. Once you have the pulse on your client and customer’s needs, you can adapt to meet those needs more effectively and personally.

Carmen Giger - Chief Marketing Office for ActionCOACH Global 

Don’t just read this article a move on to the next item of the day. What is the one action you can take from this article and implement it into your business to show your customers you give a damn?

About the author, Sheles Wallace

Sheles is an award-winning business coach who gets results for her clients.

For over 15 years, she has helped business owners achieve their goals and

take their businesses to the next level. If you're ready to take the next

step in your business evolution and go from an owner who wears all hats to

creating a commercial, profitable enterprise that runs without you, find out

more here: