Connecting with the Customer Online
Customer connections keep clients seeking your business products and services
Think Outside the Box With Communication
Don't Use the One-Size-Fits-All Approach
The key to effective communication and connection with potential and current customers is to reach them individually. A one-size-fits-all approach isn’t going to be as effective as actually understanding the customer. If they want to buy specific products or services, their intentions are clear, and this can be used as an advantage.
The cookie cutter/scripted communication, or “commercial language” isn’t always the best policy. Make sure that the customer feels a true, honest connection to your teams and business if you want them to choose your products/services over all the others flooding the marketplace.
Always Respond to Customers
One of the best ways to connect with customers is to respond to their concerns, questions, comments, and reviews. Don’t get into an argument with a dissatisfied customer, but make sure to never ignore a valid concern, question, or statement. Helpful, friendly responses are the best (remember others will likely see it).
Keep in mind that this is entirely part of a larger concept. Make sure to connect with customers, and quick and professional correspondence gives them the interaction they desire. This exchange is something that the customer will remember, building that connection in their mind between them and the company.
Go Above and Beyond for Them
Part of building a connection with the customer is to do everything possible. People are very well aware of how important time and money are, so when resources are devoted to them, they notice. This will automatically set you apart from anyone who didn’t do the same.
A motivated, positive relationship is built upon willingness to work together. Most importantly, a customer wants to see a willingness to meet their needs, and going the extra distance to ensure satisfaction is crucial in customer satisfaction and retention. For them, it is a company that doesn’t just do the bare minimum, but actually makes them feel valued.
Don’t waste customers’ insights, learn and grow from every interaction. This will eventually lead you to surprise the customer, and the better you are at understanding and going the extra mile for them, the more they will cherish their relationship with the business. Give them what they want, before they even realize that they want it.
Just establishing a connection with the customer opens doors, but cultivating that relationship is what really counts. There are several ways to help this process along. The more effort put into building and maintaining relationships with customers, the more successful you will be.
So, how does a business owner go about cultivating relationships with customers once a connection has been made? First of all, never stop learning about them and what they want.
Regular interaction must continue, deepening the ties between company and client. This is also when it is important to treat each customer as an individual. Don’t settle for script responses to problems. When possible, personalize as much as possible.
Increase value for the customer, and make it valuable to be a customer. This alone can have a massive impact on customer loyalty. In the end, that is the most important thing, how the customer views their ongoing relationship. Consider it a “what have you done for me lately” world out there.
Anticipate what the customer needs, based on what is known about them. An agile business partner who can anticipate what the customer wants will always stay a step ahead of others.
Finally, don’t make the mistake of focusing on cutting costs. Instead, focus on building revenue and retention. There is an ugly downside of cutting costs, it often comes with a reduction in service, quality, or interaction.
Connect On Social Media
Love it or not, social media is the best and often the only way to stay in contact with customers. It is a great place to stay on top of current trends and customer needs. You want to have a large footprint on social media. The more prevalent the activity is, the more it will impact customer relationships.
There are a lot of different platforms for social media, but Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube (Platforms) remain the most influential and popular social media outlets. The more you can expand and maintain a presence on these platforms, the better.
An advantage to an active social media presence is to humanize the business. The more the brand is associated with living, breathing people, the better it will attract customers and help with retention. Get out there and communicate.
Show Them Appreciation
Customers want to be appreciated, and know that you appreciate them. This is accomplished in several ways without overstepping privacy.
Offer sales, deals, and special incentives to customers via these platforms. Let them know what you’re doing, how you’re doing it, and what they can expect. Give them a reason to check in on the business, and keep the pages fresh and exciting while giving them benefits they wouldn’t be able to receive otherwise.
An appreciated and connected customer brings up the average lifetime value and improves return on investment. This building of brand loyalty and reciprocity with the customer is hard to measure, but it improves client retention and experience immeasurably.
Send Out Surveys
It is harder for us to know how we are doing when we don’t have clear, understandable feedback. Having customers fill out a survey is often among the best ways to adapt and modify company behavior and approach to better suit current/future customers. Don’t take anyone else’s word for it, listen to how customers rate the business.
Use survey results, and reward customers for completing one. Not only can we learn about successes and failures, but also to continue to build and cultivate that all-important connection with the customers.