Who says you can’t learn anything valuable from comedic films?
While watching “The Internship” over the weekend, the goofy, but loveable salesman Nick Campbell (played by Owen Wilson) had a moment of brilliance when discussing the ways in which businesses communicate with consumers. Needless to say, it stuck with me. His wise words?
“People want to deal with people, not Terminators.”
In other words, consumers don’t want to interact with a robotic company that’s constantly selling products to them. In today’s marketplace, people desire a human connection; instead of B2B or B2C, it’s H2H (human to human). And if you want your business to be successful, you have to let down your façade and get real with people.
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Since consumers are smarter than ever before, the only way you’re going to obtain and retain their attention is by convincing them that they’re the number one priority—not their wallets.
And here’s how you can make it happen: Great Content.
I know, statistics are pretty important in the business world. So here’s some food for thought (props to this awesome infographic from The Daily Muse):
- B2B companies with blogs generate 67 percent more leads per month on average than non-blogging firms.
- 66 percent of consumers view companies more positively after reading custom content on their website
- 70 percent of consumers would rather get to know a company via articles than ads
Rather compelling, isn’t it? Whether your content is interesting, helpful, or just plain entertaining, consumers can’t get enough of it. Think about what it takes to make a new friend or acquaintance during a networking event. You wouldn’t go up to a person and show him a picture that offers a glimpse of who you are. Relationships start with conversations, and content is the best way brands can communicate today. Not sure how to write strategic, brilliant content? Check out this blog post and this one too to help you get started.
And here are some ways you can demonstrate your commitment to being an H2H company:
Great Design: As my colleague Sue Spolan recently wrote, pictures evoke emotions within those who view them. And since people make purchases based on those emotions, it’s important your brand dresses up for the part as well. From vibrant images to a clean and attractive website design, it all matters. According to the infographic, 46 percent of people say a website’s design is the number one criterion used to determine a company’s credibility. Additionally, more than 90 percent of buying decisions are influenced by visual factors. So even if your product/service is incredible and your content is close to perfection, it’s not going to gain any attention if it looks like crap.
Killer Customer Service: You’ve heard this one before, but unless it’s ingrained in your company culture, you need to step up your game. Eighty-nine percent of consumers have stopped doing business with a company after experiencing poor customer service. While you need great content and an impressive website to sustain the long-distance relationship between your company and a consumer, your one-on-one interactions need to be even better.
User Generated Content: Thanks to the Internet, it’s easier than ever for people to review your product or service in a very public setting. However, considering this type of user generated content creates a 74 percent increase in product conversion, it’s worth getting involved in. By giving customers a place to share testimonies about your product or services, you’re ultimately helping consumers in another way. If you’re concerned about negative feedback, don’t be. While many will shy away from complaints, try using them to improve your services instead. Not only will it make your product stronger, but it’s a great way to repair any broken consumer relationships as well.
At the end of the day, consumers appreciate getting to know the people behind a company—even if robots are pretty cool.
And now, for the infographic…