The human element plays a critical role in any business endeavor. This is despite the growing importance of hard data, automation, and machines in nearly every business in nearly every industry. It’s still important for companies to build healthy relationships with their customers. Business relationships can keep a company alive and healthy when a competitor launches a superior product or offers a better deal.
The human element is the reason your customers should buy from your company, even if it were offering something identical to every competitor. But what exactly is it?
What Is the Human Element?
The human element can mean different things in different contexts. Generally speaking, it refers to any aspect of your business which breaks from the cold, distant confines of business to show something of the human element behind the scenes.
It’s the little touches that remind your customers that you’re people too, and that they can trust you. It’s perhaps easier to give examples than to reiterate the definition again:
- The human element can be seen in a sales pitch that tells the customer something personal about the salesman that’s relevant to their situation, versus a pitch devoid of that spark of personality.
- The human element is seen in an About Us page that dives deep into what your company actually cares about. This includes personal touches and information about the individuals involved.
- The human element is seen in a company image bolstered by hard facts and real opinions, perhaps even taking on contentious issues.
Who Uses the Human Element?
The human element is something used throughout any business which places value on its relationships with customers. In other words, every team in every business should at the very least consider the human element’s role in their job. It’s a good way to avoid the sort of offensive, hateful, or tone deaf interactions which can occur with the public when a company pursues profits with too little attention to the little people.
Marketing teams probably think of the human element more than other sections of the company, given how intimately the human element is tied to branding and messaging,. But sales teams and support teams should also think carefully about how to connect on a personal level with customers. Interactions with a customer devoid of any human element hang too much on product and uncontrollable factors. Product returns, trying out competitors, and general apathy towards a brand occur far more often when a company forsakes the human element.
Individual employees should think about how they communicate both within the company, through materials, and with customers directly. The goal should always be to represent the company accurately and be an individual worth knowing. It’s an approach which is better for the employee, it’s better for the company, and it’s better for the customer.
Ways in Which the Human Element Can Help Your Business
For most businesses, the strongest applications of the human element will be in customer interactions.
Support, sales, marketing, these are the areas where making a real human connection matters most.
6 Tips to use the Human Element for Your Business
1. Build a Human Brand
A brand needs to resonate with people, whatever that brand may be. Take the time to find a personal angle to integrate into your brand. This way you’ll find you run into a lot less problems over time.
A brand that’s wholly impersonal simply won’t see the success you’re looking for.
2. Make Sales Personal
The personal touch can mean the difference between failure and success in sales. Make sure your sales people are taught to think of prospects as people.
Also, look for ways to build a real rapport they can use to close the sale. A relationship is better for your company than a quick sale any day.
3. Use the Right Tools
It may seem counter intuitive. But effective use of the human element in business is often best achieved by using CRM and similar technology suites.
Making it easy for your company to look at a prospect and understand their interests, how often they’ve communicated with you, and other data makes it far easier to make the right connection.
4. Stay Authentic
The human element is something of a double-edged sword. It can be difficult to walk the line between using the human element to your advantage and manipulating your customers’ emotions.
Make sure you’re offering real value, communicating honestly, and practicing what your brand preaches.
5. Pay Attention to People
Trying to leverage the human element when you don’t understand the customers you’re connecting with doesn’t help your business. This means doing your market research, using analytics tools and market segmentation principles, and surveying for customer experience feedback.
The human element offers the most when you can match your humanity to the customers with some degree of accuracy.
6. Leverage Social Networks
Social media participation for a company should always be built around the human element. You can sell products and direct traffic through Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn. But keep authentic human interactions in mind.
People love to get a recommendation from a face they’ve learned to trust. They hate corporate accounts spew canned marketing content into their social space. The human element is the difference.
Remember, there’s a huge difference between utilizing the human element in your business, and abusing it. Overwrought, artificial marketing materials and obnoxiously over-friendly sales people don’t connect with customers, they repulse them. Do your research not with the goal of building an artificial, empty image.
Find authentic points to emphasize, some aspects which are interesting and familiar in the people of your company. Then, let those influence the way you operate naturally. The human element should mean the true values, interests, and personalities behind the image you portray. Make sure you have that foundation in place, and make sure you show it off in earnest.
Images from depositphotos.com.