Big companies spend fortunes trying to appear to care for the individual. They’ve worked out that we don’t really care that they are leaders in their field, the biggest in the business, and all the rest of the chest-beating stuff that corporations used to bang on about.
Sure, people want to know that they are good at what they do, but only so that the product or service is the best it can be. People spend time online, looking or the company that will deliver the right product and they want to know that there is someone who is responsible and available at the other end of the connection – IF there is a problem.
Smaller businesses have a much easier task in promoting their corporate personality on the web. Sometimes the personality of the owners shine through so strongly that you feel you know them, trust them, and most importantly, want to do business with them.
Many of my clients find sharing personal details difficult. “People aren’t interested in reading about me” is a common comment. While I don’t need to know your favorite football team or that your last meal would be a whole chicken roast and a large glass of Merlot, I DO want to know that you are passionate about your business, what drives you, and why you are in the job you’re in.
And I also want to know why I should choose you over your competitor. This goes beyond cost and quality. It goes to customer service, follow-up and feedback, and while many of these aspects of business interaction will occur outside of your website, I want to read that they are available and that you value them as much as I do.
Adding a dose of personality to your site is a simple, effective tool that fast tracks a connection with a discerning and critical global audience. If you need any further proof just ask yourself how many times you’ve clicked on “About Us” on a website before you’ve clicked on “Products.” And disappointingly, how often have you found that About Us is merely a repeat of what has appeared on the homepage, or the services section, and doesn’t tell you anything “about them?”
We’ve become so conditioned to seeing an About Us button that it is almost mandatory for all websites. The reality is that many sites don’t divulge anything of meaning to their customers other than price, payment, and product. Adding personality to the mix is a low risk strategy that will distinguish you from any competitor whose site is so perfunctory and clinical that it has a limited lifespan.
If you are going to add an About Us button then give them something MORE – beyond products and services. When revealing personal information is too difficult then try to think of other ideas that can encourage a relationship between you and your customers – such as the joy you get from seeing customers make the most of your products (turn a property developer into a creator of homes), service and commitment to customers (always here for you, staff training that is client centered), environmental and safety consciousness (recycling, reuse, health aware) and community service (volunteer work, fundraising and charitable donations).