Automotive Marketing Professional Community for Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
The faceless machine. We build it, hoping they will come but then realize that we are competing on price with other faceless machines. We're doing it to ourselves, we move further and further away from high touch, hoping for a quantity of interactions. The sad truth about that is, the consumer your trying to lure in, is looking for quality.
If we, as business owners, spend more time being human, more time interacting as ourselves rather than our business name we begin to show our customers, and the greater community as a whole, that there is more to us than just business.
If there is nothing about you, or your business, that differentiates you from the other faceless machines out there, then all that's left is to compete on price. It's a race to the bottom, with the business that can limbo the best, being labeled as the winner.
Customer Loyalty? Not if Your Faceless
Customer loyalty is almost non-existent. Think about it, why would somebody feel loyal to a business with no face? A machine who's only consideration is to make money, to sell things at a price and turn-over as many customers per day as possible?
It's time to rethink your business processes and start thinking of ways that you can humanize what you do. Use Facebook and Twitter, Blogs, Videos and Google + to connect with as many different people as possible, both sold customers and people in your local community. Then interact! Create as many different conversations as possible, become human, shed your brick & mortar façade and build relationships.
Also, rethink your touch points, that is, take a look at things from your customers point of view. Take a close look at how their greeted on the phone, on your website, and in person. Take a look at your physical location, does it go above what's expected, are you high touch or are you just dropping your customers somewhere?
If you're a faceless machine then customer loyalty will elude you, you will become a hit and run victim that may sell a large number of products but will always spend a huge percentage on advertising because...
Word-Of-Mouth Doesn't Work For Faceless Machines
Word-of-mouth is the sincerest form of flattery, but if your faceless you don't think much about it because it doesn't happen for you. Word-of-mouth, hands down, is the best form of advertising and you should do everything in your power to influence it. First things first though, you need to be human. People don't go out of their way to become true brand ambassadors just because they got a good price.
Engagement is a precursor for brand advocacy and the only way you can do that is by humanizing the way you do business. Faceless machines don't interact, faceless machines don't build "after the sale" relationships and because of that faceless machines don't influence word-of-mouth. Did you know that while only 14% of your ads are influencing people to do business with you, 75% of people trust the recommendations of people they DON'T know, while 90% trust the recommendations of people the do know! If that isn't reason enough to stop being faceless, then I'm not sure what else I can tell you.
Stop The Facelessness
Build a human business, interact on a personal level and smile once in a while. Stop being all business and hold a conversation with people. With the onset of social networks, blogs, wiki's and a host of other web 2.0 properties, it's easy to create a framework of humanity around your business. It's in that framework that you will increase both customer loyalty and word-of-mouth. Stop being a faceless machine, humanize, humanize, HUMANIZE!
ADM Social Media Editor