The Value of Human Connection in Business
A decent portion of running a business is focused on profits. However, this isn't all that makes a business. Through fostering healthy connections between your company and clients and cultivating communicative, supportive staff relationships, you will strengthen your business in terms of both success and morale. Here are some ways to foster human connection each day at work.
Much of the discourse about human connection in business has to do with connections with clients and customers. And, while these types of connections are important, much business advice often leaves out the importance of valuing and connecting with your employees. People tend to go out of their way to do more for you when they feel appreciated. And employee appreciation doesn't have to be a grand gesture—even a simple, but sincere "thank you"—often goes a long way. After an exceptionally well-done job, even small gestures that show appreciation, like throwing a pizza party or giving a gift card, can help to boost or maintain morale.
Of course, you will certainly find yourself needing to coach or correct employees. Valuing them comes into play here as well. By offering constructive criticism and not appearing noticeably irritated or angry about honest mistakes, you will show your employees that you are someone they can come to when they're having trouble. This fosters healthy communication, which is an essential part of genuine connections.
Connecting With Customers
Once you have a strong business community within your company, you'll also need to work with your whole team on connecting with customers. In a world where many communications are digitized, a personal touch can often go a long way. According to Podium, machines don't always cut it when it comes to communicating with customers—35 percent of people won't call back if they reach an answering machine instead of a person. Thus, adding personalized touches, like having phones answered by people and not machines, makes a difference. Even a quick customer interaction can spark a lasting connection. A genuine smile and helpful attitude will make customers feel welcome and more likely to come back to do business with your company again.
According to Launchstreet, when you need to rely primarily on digital communication, video offers you a chance to bring back vital human connection. For instance, if you need to communicate with a client, setting up a video call allows both you and the client to remember that they are interacting with a person, not just responding to an anonymous email chain. While video calling may not always be possible, it is something to consider incorporating when you can. You also can include video elements on your business webpage to encourage visitors to stay while further humanize your business. For example, a video that explains your business's mission or shows a brief discussion with employees adds a human-interest element to your company's story. This tactic can also help you to stand out from other businesses in the industry.
Incorporate Emotion Into Your Marketing
While logic is certainly something that will help persuade customers to patronize your brand, emotion used in advertisements has been shown to sway customers toward the advertiser, according to Instapage. Whether you work with an in-house marketing team or with an outside agency, collaborate with your team to create eye-catching ads that evoke emotion. While this strategy doesn't necessarily increase face-to-face human communication in your business, it allows potential customers to connect emotionally with your business and mission.
Make Your Company's Public Story Relatable
In some cases, a company's published success story focuses on the founder. Many of these stories are certainly share-worthy ones to be proud of. However, in order to connect with potential customers, it's important to have a business story that is relatable, according to Thrive Global. As you write the story of your company, focus on how your story can help your customers. In today's busy world, people need to know why the content they're reading should matter to them as soon as possible if they're going to stay engaged.
Foster Lasting Connections
This tip may be more applicable to certain types of businesses. For instance, if you have a business that involves long-standing customer accounts, try to assign one or two specific employees to each account. This way, your customer has a designated point of contact who also helps put a face to your business.
Use Automation Strategically
Particularly if your business is very large, you likely have to use automation in some capacity. But, by choosing how you use it, you can maximize connection opportunities. For example, when you first bring in a new customer, face-to-face and personalized interaction are key to keeping them. For more mundane processes after a relationship has been established, it's generally safer to use automation.
Human qualities in business seem to become rarer as the automation age descends upon us. It’s important to be able to balance the use of helpful technology and connecting with other people that you work with. With some deliberate planning and fostering of connections, you can be sure to strengthen and grow your business with ease.
We at The Bearded Bean Company are built on good business practices like this so we can better serve you. Read more about us here!