If you are in sales or services, maintaining a constant stream of new customers is essential to company growth. There are many ways in which you can try to draw in customers, but one vital aspect of gaining business and consumer interest is having an approachable public persona, one that is inviting and assures customers that they are more than just walking, talking, pound signs.

Humanisation of your business, no matter the size or location, is a key driver for successful development and growth. To help you adjust or transform your company to one that is more appears more approachable to consumers, we’ve detailed below six ways you can humanise your business.

Get involved in the local community

A strong way to get ad placements and be noticed as a business that cares about local issues is by sponsoring charitable events, such as fun runs, auctions and other occasions that bring the local community together. If you're running a large business, you could sponsor national events, either way the important aspect of this tip is getting large numbers of people to notice that your business is investing money in non-profit ventures. This immediately paints a picture of more caring and human side to the business and is also something that can be mentioned in the press as a way of reaching new clients.

Utilise social media

Social media is an undeniable powerhouse of advertising, business image and customer relations. It allows you to give your company a voice, be it polite, humble, humorous or satirical. There is no better way of humanising a business and, what's more, it allows for direct customer engagement, enabling you to display ventures or events that give your business more of an approachable feel. Such as photos of team building exercises, sponsored events, happy customers or sold products and completed business projects.

Focus on one element of business

Another vital part of creating approachability is a clear outline of what your business can offer customers. A motor vehicle dealer, for example, that offers way too many choices of car — such as a combination of new cars, used cars, converted cars, expensive cars, cheap cars, classic cars etc. — risks being overlooked for somebody who offers exactly the kind of car that specific consumers are looking for. Pick a business identity and offer those tailored services or products, it helps potential customers understand what you are about and when they should come to you.

Hire personable staff

It may sound obvious, but customers like to be treated with respect and kindness by friendly individuals. A grumpy, sour-faced employee behind the desk does not scream approachable. Attempting to train enthusiastic individuals to put on a fake smile isn’t the best remedy, as customers can spot a fake a mile off. Instead, look to hire genuinely friendly and approachable people, as they will be the people representing your business.

Be honourable and fair, yet stay competitive

If you don’t have a competitive edge that keeps you ahead of the competition, you’re business is unlikely to see success on a big scale. However, being competitive doesn’t mean you have to dismantle other business to get to the top. This is especially true if you operate within a local community, as cut throat sales tactics won’t go unnoticed. Nobody wants to support the business that is destroying others, on purpose anyway. So have some humility, play fair and invest in ways to draw in more customers without gaining a negative reputation

Ask current customers for feedback

The best way to know what drew customers into your business is to simply ask them. Invite them to leave reviews, testimonials or messages on their experience with your company, specifically asking them what made them approach you to begin with. This will allow you to get an overview of what is working and what needs changing. It also lets customers know that their opinion is valuable to you.

By Dave Jones, Mobility Nationwide