Building a personality for your business takes some work, but if you don’t do it someone will make one up for you and that’s not good. Here are 4 tips for building the business personality you want your prospects to see.
People tend to unconsciously anthropomorphize businesses and brands. In much the same way that they decide that they like and want to spend time with certain people and not others, they will come to conclusions about businesses based on how they interpret and feel about that business’s personality. We looked more at how businesses have personalities and why they are important in our previous post.
Ultimately, businesses and brands want to have a personality that people find attractive. They should aim to have a personification that people enjoy, trust, and want to spend time with.
What makes up your business personality
The first thing to remember is that both potential and current customers need to be able to see (and feel) your personality. If it’s under the radar, it’s not doing you any good.
Secondly, customers need to be able to interact with you. On some level—whether face-to-face, over the phone, email, or a contact form—people will need to be able to interact with you in order to trust you, feel connected with you, and feel served.
Businesses should be sure to provide avenues for customers to ask questions or raise complaints and to feel that they can actually access you, and without herculean effort. The feeling of walking blindly through the dark alone does not foster trust or warm feelings.
Thirdly, it may sound simple, but your customers need to like you. There are many factors at play here: ease of communication channels, quality of customer service, employee attitudes, personability, sociability, and a comfortable atmosphere both online and in brick-and-mortar locations. Small elements can play into this in large ways, such as color scheme; lighting; a recognizable, pleasant font and logo; ease of access to information; comfortable chairs; and attractive, user-friendly systems and processes.
Fourthly, the customer needs to know that you like them. Make them feel valuable rather than like a number. Focus on how you can serve your customers and make the experience pleasant for each of them. Make sure any employees you have are trained to be friendly. From a customer experience perspective, interacting with someone who listens well and is kind can make a big difference—even if the customer is not getting what they wanted to get.
Conversely, if things are going well for the customer, but their interactions are not pleasant, they will not leave with a good “feeling” about your business. Never underestimate the power of human connection in every customer interaction—for better or worse—because the personalities of employees will be factored into the customer’s perspective of the business’s overall personality. Everything we have mentioned here will be a factor in that unconscious analysis.
The first impression that lasts
Once a customer has reached a conclusion about a business’s personality, that can be difficult to change. And unfortunately, it takes fewer bad experiences to sour a customer’s opinion than positive experiences to raise it. Take heart, however. With several positive experiences, even a displeased customer can be won over.
The attraction to your business’s personality can occur either before or after someone works with you. And by that same token, a negative opinion can be formed at any time. It’s always important to remember that people don’t have to work with you. They can go wherever they choose. So make them want to partner with you. And after they have, make sure they’re glad they did.