If I am going to spend a significant amount of money for an on going service that is essential for my business, I like to get the feeling there are real people behind that service.
This especially true if I am not dealing with an established brand.
I want to know, or at least have the impression, there are people who I can contact if all hell breaks loose, people who will help me if I get stuck, and people who are looking after the technology that makes sure my order is fulfilled.
I also want to feel I am buying with a company I can trust, and one that isn’t going to go walk about with my money never to be seen again.
New York, Paris, Tokyo, Peckham
Starting an online business or service is so cheap today, people can run the website out of their mum’s spare room.
Anyone can claim to be a sizeable business, trading millions of pounds each year with offices throughout the world.
All you need is a HTML editor and some web hosting and ta-da, your business is up and running.
What is harder to do, convincingly at least, is fake team members and the people behind the business.
As consumers, we feel reassured by pictures of people.
That’s why so many sites use the stock images of models throughout their website.
We know that they are models and they are not endorsing the product, or even work there, but seeing a face makes us trust a website more.
Imagine if they were pictures of real people within the business!
A smile is worth a thousand words
An “about us” page with your team’s photos and biographies are worth every penny of a photo shoot.
They show the human face behind the pixels and that there are real people on the other side ready if something happens to your website, reducing our level of perceived risk.
Create a brand ambassador
A great way to show the human side of your business is to use a member of staff as the face of the company in all literature and marketing.
This direct contact with a team member makes customers feel they are part of your business, and not dealing with a black hole of emails. Most companies choose the MD or owner to ensure consistency over the years.
Blog author images
This is so often over looked by businesses, and it is such a simple way to show how big your company is, and develop relationships with your blog’s readers.
Simply upload an author image for each of your blog’s writers, or sign up to the Gravatar service for consistent images across all blogs (especially useful if you comment on other blogs a lot).
Instead of using the company logo for your twitter profile, why not use a picture of someone, ideally your brand ambassador.
Additionally, if you have a Facebook page, upload pictures from around the office to quench your customer’s curiosity.