The Internet is one of the most important retail tools that businesses have at their disposal today. In what seems like a counter-intuitive conclusion, many consumers have decided against purchasing digitally for many different reasons, ranging from a lack of interactivity to an overload in choice. Associated Press reports that a recent study by SMARTASSISTANT outlined as much as 42% of customers abandoned a purchase because they were bombarded with too many decisions. This is one of a handful of problems that digital businesses face because of a system that removes the humanity from the interaction. Human beings are social creatures, and to increase revenue, we must also be able to interact with our customers on a human level. How exactly can we go about humanizing our digital interactions then?
Revisiting the Old Business-Consumer Relationship
In the early days of consumer interaction, the front of business was usually its owner or salesperson. In a lot of cases, those were the same person. You have a face to interact with, a human being with their own human problems. That brought a sense of genuine connection to the customer – here was someone who is just like them, listening to what they need and helping them by offering them products. In many cases, the town grocer or shopkeeper was more than just the face of a business, but also the face of a person. Vision Critical mentions that customers prefer authenticity and tend to trust brands that display this trait more. This gives us something to build from and offers a solution to our problem.
Customizing a Digital Strategy for Online Business
A digital marketing strategy needs to do more than sell to a customer; it must help the customer feel as though he or she is listened to. Older brands that have shifted their focus to online marketing are having a hard time coming to terms with this facet of digital business, but newer companies have shown remarkable adeptness in adapting to this environment. Hubspot notes that brands need to be ‘Human Era’ as opposed to ‘Industrial Era’ and focus more on customer satisfaction to drive their business strategy. A digital approach that focuses on the consumer is just the first part of the equation since for the customer to feel appreciated they want to know that this strategy is tailored to them individually.
Personalizing the Experience
Psychology Today contends that in some cases for humans, feeling understood is more important than feeling loved. It’s from this basis that we can understand why people like personalization in their communication. Someone that addresses you directly by name must know you personally, or at least as individually as is required to know what you’re called. Personalization goes even further than that though. In the digital space, it covers email-based advertising, all the way back to social media interaction on the company page. No customer considers generic marketing messages, and being authentic in delivery is something that AI hasn’t learned to do (yet). The connection with customers requires having staff that is trained to interact organically with them.
Know When to Step Off
While you want to encourage your employees to interact with your consumers, you don’t want them to bombard customers with ideas and hunt their every movement on the site. Sending out daily deal emails can also be a big mistake since it seems like the company is desperate for buyers. Social media works as an excellent method of bridging the gap and offering the consumer choices in how he or she communicates with the business. This is especially easy with new WiFi systems that allow you to discover devices on a network and use them to access emails. This method of providing options is essential in establishing a customized user experience. In all interaction with the customer, you ought to try to exceed their expectation. This can help to spread the word of your business’ practices organically.
A Difficult but Rewarding Technique
Humanizing digital experiences for a company will take a lot of time and effort. There’s no way you or anyone else will know exactly what a customer wants. All you can do is assume the things they need based on a general overview of the needs of your customers. However, having people on staff that is trained in dealing with customers can help to humanize the business. Giving consumers live advice on their purchases if they so desire goes one step further and personalizes the experience. The aim is to make the buyer feel that the company cares about them, and that genuine feeling evokes trust. It puts humanity back into the art of digital marketing.