Want to Connect With Your Customers? Ditch Old Tactics To Forge Stronger Bonds

Want to Connect With Your Customers? Ditch Old Tactics To Forge Stronger Bonds

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Most entrepreneurs will agree that it is essential to connect with customers through effective communication – that’s a given. But not all businesses walk the talk, and some are completely missing the mark by using outdated strategies or, worse, not communicating at all. In a world of infinite choices and hungry competition, a lack of connection and communication is a recipe for disaster.

On the other hand, deploying strategies that create and reinforce connections and ensure communication is a two-way street puts a business on the fast track to success (so long as the rest of the business is as sound as its communication strategy). In fact, data shows that effective customer communication can lead to significant benefits for businesses. For example, a study by Bain & Company found that companies that increase their customer engagement by 5% can see profits increase by up to 95%.

So, how can businesses create, nurture and maintain customer connections and ensure efficient communications in a cluttered world where customers are constantly bombarded with messages?

Related: 8 Effective Ways to Connect With Your Customer

The solution is to meet customers where they are. This means that businesses must understand where their customers (and prospects) spend their time and communicate with them through those channels with clear, relevant messages.

Be active on social media

The majority of consumers use social media, making it a great place to connect with your customers. Find out which platforms your customers use most frequently and be active on those platforms. Create a strategic posting strategy that includes content topics, formats and trends. Stick to a manageable and effective cadence, post content in various formats (based on the channel), and ensure the content is relevant to your audience while still adhering to brand guidelines. For the content and posting strategy, use the 80/20 rule: 80% of the time, post valuable content; the other 20% can be a mix of self-promotion and company-related content.

Use digital wallets

Digital wallets are becoming increasingly popular, offering a unique opportunity to connect with customers. Businesses can create a digital card and invite customers to add it to their digital wallet, then send customers personalized messages, offers and updates for products, services, or events through the digital card. Since digital cards are stored on a mobile device, and consumers check their devices multiple times a day, this enables a direct line of communication and a non-invasive way to share information in real-time.

Use email marketing

Email marketing is still a great way to connect with customers, but it is crucial — now more than ever — to ensure emails are personalized and relevant. Segment your email list and send targeted campaigns to different groups of customers based on their preferences and behaviors. Invite customers to opt in and provide an easy way to change their preferences or opt out. It is also a great idea to send emails with a person’s name instead of just using the company name.

  • Provide excellent customer service

When customers have a question or problem, they want to get help quickly and easily. To do this, make the company’s contact information easy to find (customers get frustrated when they can’t find an email address or phone number, which can create immediate frustration) and offer an FAQ page link in social account profiles and within emails. To ensure an entire exchange provides good customer service, be sure your tech stack supports customer service interactions and your staff is well-trained.

Some specific examples of how businesses can meet customers where they are include:

  • A clothing company can use social media to share photos and videos of new products and offer customers live chat exchanges with stylists in real time.
  • A restaurant can use digital cards to send customers exclusive offers and discounts that appear directly in their digital wallet.
  • A software company can use a digital card at a trade show to update customers on the booth location and various activities throughout the show.

By meeting customers where they are, businesses can build stronger customer relationships, leading to higher customer retention rates and, in turn, increased sales.

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