Posted: Wed 7th Sep 2022
You might assume that having a great product or service is enough to make your business successful. In some cases this is true, but more often having a product or service that is high quality is only the first step in the process. To have a successful business you also need to think about the intangibles.
One of the most important and overlooked factors in business growth is the personal touch. The personal touch can mean many things, but in this context, it refers to a business' ability to make customers feel like they are cared about. It is going the extra mile and taking a human approach to marketing and making sales.
In this blog, we take a look at the personal touch and why it's so important for business growth.
People buy from people
The phrase "people buy from people" has been around for a long time – but it's still as relevant today as it ever was. It's often assumed that price is the key factor in making a sale. But this is very much overestimated – price isn't nearly as important as knowing, liking and trusting.
The concept here is that in order to buy from you, a customer needs to know about you, like you and trust you. When you treat customers personally and make them feel that you understand their needs and want to help them, it is only natural that they will feel a greater degree of trust.
Even better, by promoting feelings of trust from the personal and beyond, you can grow your reach across a wider community, and foster other positive feelings towards your business.
Stand out from your competition
It's important to remember that you don't operate in a vacuum. Every business has its competitors, and doing everything you can to show customers that they should work with you rather than your competition is crucial. A great way to do this is to be known for providing extremely high levels of customer service.
If you can become known in your sector as the company that goes the extra mile and is worth working with on that basis, this can be a fantastic platform for success.
"Don’t take our word for it"
Of course, it's also worth recognising that customers are savvy. They know that businesses are going out of their way to make themselves seem trustworthy. They understand that they can't simply take every business with a good website at their word.
Thankfully, however, you don't have to rely purely on the things you have to say. User-generated content is a key part of any strong marketing strategy. Some good examples of this include having product reviews with star ratings, case studies and testimonials.
An incredible 84% of customers trust online reviews just as much as they trust a personal recommendation from a friend. Given that getting these kinds of reviews is fairly simple, there's no excuse not to be using them on your site and showing that you're a business people can trust.
Benefit staff as well as customers
When we talk about the 'personal touch', it's easy to attribute it purely to how your business deals with customers. But it's important to consider that it can also apply to staff. There are actually many things that businesses can do to make sure they're taking the right approach with their employees.
One example is understanding that employees prefer to come across as personable to any customers they interact with. So giving them the right context to do this can make a big difference.
Allowing staff to speak openly and naturally rather than following a scripted approach about products, offers or loyalty programmes can champion that personal touch. Likewise, networking events and socials can encourage staff to create their own pitches in formal business settings.
Build staff morale and encourage repeat business
Another good idea is to offer the right kinds of benefits that staff really want. The best way to do this is to take that personal approach and actually speak with members of the team to establish what the general consensus is around benefits.
Taking the time to talk to older staff, for example, and provide them with financial advice could be extremely worthwhile, especially considering that people aged between 55 and 64 are now less confident about their retirement than they were a year ago.
The personal touch is ultimately a huge part of what makes your customers want to return to you for repeat business. But it can also be a crucial part of building strong staff morale and a great team atmosphere.
Naturally, if you want to grow, you need to be giving your customers what they're looking for. But you also need to have the staff in place to make that growth a reality.
Taking the time to understand your customers and your team, and to respond to their needs effectively is the most crucial aspect of the personal touch. When people feel that they are being treated like individuals deserving of respect, they are more likely to respect your business in return.