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my question is, how personal is it safe to be with customers on your website. Not specific customers, but customers in general. In other words, is it better to keep your distance and be really impersonal (just represent products and needed info, and refer to yourself as "we" as an entity), or be more personal and actually talk about stuff on the site, such as keep a blog, be less formal in your content, talk from the first person, etc?

any thoughts, comrades?
 

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Great question.

I have given much thought to this myself, and have come to the conclusion that either will work for just about any given market.

Some people will like the "down-to-earth" nature and some really won't care at all.

I don't think it will necessarily cost you any sales, but it may make you a few just by making some customers feel that you are "real".

I could be all wrong.

I still have not come to a decision on how to approach it myself, yet.
 

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I think you should stick to "we" rather than "I", but some degree of familiarity would be good, especially if it is a small company. Blogs can be an especially useful tool to help make a connection with your customers. Just don't go overboard, make sure the blog is really about the business and not anything from your personal life.
 

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I disagree. A personal touch can work wonders. Some people would love the fact that they could connect with the person behind the business.

Especially if they already know that it is a small company.

Personally, I don't think there is a right or wrong on this one.
 

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I have a very homey, down to earth approch with people. I think people feel like they are actually doing business with a person. I have people call me from this forum and I think they feel they are going to get some business machine on the other end. By the time the conversation is over they are like old friends. I also get call sfrom people that start off very friendly and then I know that I am dealing with a salesman. Lou
 

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I think it depends on what impression you want to give to customer's as well.

Sometimes a "personality" is part of what makes a company great and a pleasure to deal with.

Other times, if a company is getting "too" personal, it can seem unprofessional.

For some people, it just comes naturally. It's just who they are. They are "people" persons and it comes out in their business life, home life, emails and all communications.

Here's a quote from another related thread as well:

"There's actually some interesting articles out by some marketing "gurus" that say that increased "transparency" can be a good thing. Check out these two articles:
http://www.grokdotcom.com/topics/transparency.htm
http://www.grokdotcom.com/Volumes/volume08-15-06.htm

In some ways, it might help your customers "connect" with you more and see that you are a "real" person on their level. "
 

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I think you can do both ways. I mean that you can keep a business approach on your website with the 'we' when you're presenting your goods and at the 'About" page; and when a client contacts you (email, etc) play the 'I' part and sign your message with your own name giving the impression that you're there to help him.
 

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I don't think that was necessarily the issue. Of course, that can be hard even if you are small, because there's only 1 or 2 people trying to get everything done.

I believe it's more of the "feel" or "appearance" you give customers or just visitors to your site.

As I said before, I don't think you can go wrong with either approach.
Some people like finding out who they're giving their money to. Others could care less.
 

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It depends on how you're trying to paint yourself. Look at ing direct commercials and website then take a look at merril lynch. One is more 'real and down to earth' while the latter is more serious and professional. They offer similar products and services with very different approaches. They're trying to exude a certain aura that is inline with their marketing efforts. Your business should do the same.

I don't think its an issue of one approach being better than another. Just make sure its obvious and pretty consistent.
 
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