How “Human” Is Your Small Business?

 In Be The Leader, Create Community, Remarkability

Despite living in the modern world, with our smartphones, central air and Whole Foods, our primal brain is still wired for survival. Within minutes of meeting someone new, we unconsciously assess them according to two categories of perception: warmth and competence. It’s true – there’s research to back it up!

Basically, is this person acting warm towards me? What are their intentions towards me? Additionally, is this person capable of carrying out those intentions?

Now, think about that type of assessment as it relates to you and your customers. Do you think your customers perceive you as warm and competent? Or, do they see you as acting in your own self interest?

As we’ve touched on in other blog posts, the recent influence of social media on the business-consumer relationship has been quite profound. Your customers can now connect with you in an immediate and public way, and your company has more of a social accountability to your customers than before. Customers want to connect with you and your brand, and they typically want to feel like they are connecting with a human, not a corporate entity.

AdAge recently posted a great article on “Brands That Are Trying to Behave Like Humans,”and they included an awesome quiz on how to determine if your company behaves more like a human or more like an institution. We’ve listed a few of the questions below. If you answer yes to most of them, you’ve got a little work to do on becoming a more human brand.

1. Do you send emails that have ‘Do Not Reply’ addresses?

2. Do you make money in ways that your customers don’t know about?

3. Do you steer people away from the product that makes the most sense for them and drive them to the product that’s most profitable for you?

So, how do you measure up? Do you have any favorite brands that act like humans? Do they make you feel warm and fuzzy? If so, how? If not, why not? Share your experiences with us here!

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