A great product or idea doesn’t, by itself, reap customers. Your potential buyers use social media, value relationships and desire that you cater to their wants and needs. In short, you create and retain customers through building relationships with them. These tips below can help you in that endeavor.
Employ Content Marketing
An office supply store manager blogs about study tips for students. From your auto shop comes a video post six tips car care in various seasons. To raise awareness about hunger, your social media page live streams food collection drives and distributions and includes a post of statistics on food scarcity in the community.
These are examples of content marketing. In this approach, you focus less on your brand, promotion and products and more on information and stories. Content marketing adapts very well to social media and other digital platforms, where your potential customers are less likely to feel they are interrupted from their experience. Given the volume of online or social media users, consider content marketing with video and photographs. Users may share impactful messages and content to their “friends,” thus actually spreading your business’ name.
Engage Potential (and Existing) Customers in Product Ideas
Building a customer relationship may include feedback before the sale.
Traditionally, companies rely on product samples to introduce and gauge interest in a product they have already created. Instead, consider asking customers what kind of products they want before you produce them. For example, if you’re cookie or doughnut shop, ask your customers to submit new flavor ideas or recipes and award the “winner” money, name the new flavor or selection for them, or a combination of rewards.
This and other engagement approaches afford customers a sense of contribution to, stake in and influence over your company. You’re planting the seed of an atmosphere of service and loyalty to the customer.
Get Feedback Promptly
Shortly after the sale or service encounters, ask your customers about it. As for products, how long has the customer used it? What kinds of uses? Does the customer say if it meets or exceeds expectations? Does the customer have difficulty using it? If there are problems, make yourself available to answer them or solve the problems quickly, lest the customer finds your product not worth the trouble and requests the refund.
Surveys or feedback of service encounters should collect responses about whether the service person arrived on time, explained the problem in understandable terms, fixed the problem, was courteous to the customer and any problems during the call or encounter.
Practice Customer Relations Management
Customer relations management (CRM) software offers your business email and marketing automation. These applications offer content such as knowledge bases for customers to troubleshoot and solve problems and reminders for periodic, personalized customer contact.
With CRM software, you can collect and store information about your customers. When the customer’s birthday or anniversary approaches, you can send an email or other message expressing “Happy Birthday” or “Happy Anniversary” wishes along with a discount or free gift with a purchase or visit.
Remember the Basics of Customer Service
Not all of customer retention relies on surveys, software or social media. Your customers demand prompt and courteous service. Return phone calls, emails or texts promptly or otherwise as soon as possible. Kindly explain to the customer any reasons for delays.
Effective customer service also turns on your business’ credibility. At a minimum, do what you tell the customer. In that light, avoid over-promising. For example, don’t tell the customer you’ll have the car repair finished at 3 p.m. unless that is realistic. In fact, under promise by telling the customer the car will be ready at 4 p.m., then strive to finish by 3 p.m.
To grow your customer base requires that you connect with them, both before and after the sale. Your buyers want, in addition to quality products, your understanding of their values, needs and themselves. How you speak to them through your marketing and interaction determines the strength of your bonds with the customers.