The key to building and maintaining long-term relationships with customers is by staying in touch, but how should a brand stay connected with its followers in a hyper-connected and noisy world?
Saying too much, too often, can be perceived as intrusive and annoying while saying nothing at all can keep you out of the game. Automated emails maybe every company’s go-to tool to stay in touch, but customers are beginning to see through the facade of automation and ignore such communication. Methods that used to work don’t cut it anymore and brands need new strategies and technologies to adapt to today’s market.
The following are 7 tips on how to stay connected with customers in today’s world.
1. Demonstrate your accessibility using Live Chat
One of the top reasons why people don’t purchase from brands is because the brands haven’t made the benefits of their products clear. Sometimes, even after a purchase has been made, your customer may discontinue your service in the event of not experiencing its full benefits. Instead of watching your repeat customers leave, you could put systems in place to support them and keep them engaged.
Once such support system is the live chat. According to eDigital’s Customer Service Benchmark survey, 73% of 2000 participating customers claimed that they were satisfied by Live Chat support, against only 61% who backed email support and 44% who advocated traditional phone support.
It’s understandable why customers prefer live chat; it’s instant and easy to access as the live chat bubble is always active on your website. Besides, Live Chat warrants you to send perfectly timed icebreakers which can be used to prompt engagement.
For instance, “Hello! Welcome to *company’s name*, and thank you for visiting our website. How can we help you today?” is a non-intrusive, effective conversation starter.
With a reliable Live Chat app like Tagove, you can provide this support on your websites. Using the app, you can add a live chat bubble on your web pages, and demonstrate availability and ease of access to your customers.
If queries that come in through your Live Chat bubble can’t be resolved easily via text chats, you can easily upgrade your interaction to video chat or co-browsing using the same software. Sometimes, the ability to able to instantly see and communicate with people associated with the brand can elevate the experience for customers.
2. Ask for meaningful feedback
Asking for feedback not only gives you a reason to reach out to customers but also provides you with an opportunity to make an impression on them. However, several brands get feedback wrong by forcing it on customers at the wrong time. The idea is to ask for meaningful feedback, not gratuitous feedback.
There are so many ways to ask for feedback - surveys, feedback windows on your website or personal emails, sent to a select few customers. Each of these types of feedback systems can be designed and formatted to impress existing customers. Irrespective of how creative you get with the forms, it’s important to create ones that are easy to fill out and won’t take too much of your customers’ time.
Once you have practical matters like time taken care of, you can focus on showing your brand’s personality on the form. Is humor a central element in all of your brand communication? Use it on your feedback form. But don’t forget to make it clear that the feedback will be taken very seriously.
SurveyMonkey has pre-populated and optimized templates that you could use as your feedback forms, which you would otherwise have to design from scratch and optimize by yourself. You would then need to integrate your HTML into your email template and schedule your survey. Using SurveyMonkey, you could skip most of these steps and save time, while creating the same results for yourself.
3. Celebrate special dates and milestones
To build lasting relationships with customers, you have to get personal. It can’t all be about your product and brand. Acknowledging your client as an individual and more than just a paycheck can go a long way.
One of the simplest but most effective ways to get personal with clients is by celebrating important milestones and special dates. It’s not just about the birthdays and anniversaries; it’s about showing clients that you are vested in their professional and personal success. Many brands create customer success case-studies showcasing the client as the hero, instead of having their products and services in the spotlight. By doing this, your brand not only gains a loyal customer but also stands in a favorable light with promotion-weary prospects.
Simple considerate conversation can also help you win favor with clients. For instance, if your client is a parent, you could inquire from the time about the well-being of his/her children. If your client is an ardent music listener, you could share with him/her a music-related article via email.
Zapier, a Customer Relationship Management software, can send out automated birthday emails to your clients. You can use the time you save on personal calls and emails to maintain client relationships. By using this tool, you can also make note of other significant client details in separate profiles, and return to them before sales calls or on a regular schedule from time to time.
4. Connect with customers on social media
There was a time when customers couldn’t share their opinions about products with others, because of the lack of an outlet to do so. Today, your current and potential customers run within the same circles on social media. Ignoring what both these groups are saying will not only result in a loss of valuable feedback and insights but also cause the brand to miss out on communicating directly with their customer base.
The basics of social media marketing are obvious. Brands need to stay proactive on social, listening to customers, while also sharing both information about their products and other information to support and engage customers.
Listening, in particular, is a hugely beneficial skill for a brand’s social media team to develop, because it can help the brand provide memorable customer service on social media and find opportunities for branding and PR.
You could use a social media monitoring tool like Brand24 to monitor important conversations on social media and alert you in time to participate in them. Using the tool, you can also classify mentions of keywords as “positive” or “negative” in sentiment, so you can prioritize your interactions better. Brand24 also alerts you of blog and web mentions, so you can build relationships with bloggers and influencers who are already engaging with your brand.
5. Adopt a cause both you and your customers care about
One of the smartest ways to stay connected with customers is by adopting a cause that both you and your customers care about. While random partnerships between brands and non-profit organizations do see some success, causes that are related to your brand are always the better choice.
It’s also important to understand that cause-based marketing isn’t only about the money. In fact, 64% customers who participated in a survey said they expected brands to integrate social good into their business to show that they truly care.
Sometimes, it could be about the expertise or logistics that your brand can provide to directly aid a cause.
Toms, the footwear brand, once ran a stellar campaign called #withoutshoes. For every picture without shoes that fans posted during the campaign, Toms pledged to give away one pair to someone in need. The #withoutshoes hashtag earned Toms tens of thousands of impressions.
6. Create an exciting loyalty program
When marketers think about customer loyalty programs, they default to the frequent flyer miles format or purchase point’s format, which airlines and eCommerce companies use to tempt customers into making serial purchases.
While this strategy drives more sales, it isn’t much more than marketing disguised as loyalty. Frequent flier miles, if you think about it, are just a complicated version of giving customers discounts. Most of your customers will succumb to this strategy because it’s human nature to chase the points.
Instead of limiting your customer loyalty program to the points, you could expand to solve real pain points and create truly loyal customers.
Starbucks’ lifestyle app is a great example. The app not only lets customers place and pay for orders but also lets them stream music. Programs like these that enhance customers’ lifestyles help brands stay top of mind and keep customers coming back for more.
7. Maintain detailed notes
Has it ever happened that you call your client on a Monday for an immediate decision regarding a purchase only to find him/her busy at weekly meetings? It pays to pay attention to client details. If you had made a note of when your client’s weekly meetings are typically scheduled, you would be better equipped to communicate with them accordingly.
For instance, instead of making the call on that Monday, you could have sent a text message acknowledging their his/her busy schedule on Mondays, and be asking of you could receive a quick callback for an important 5 minutes conversation.
The more you pay attention when your clients speak, the more you find opportunities to stay connected with them and make an impression on them. Birthdays, personal and professional anniversaries, common and specific product or work-related concerns, preferences, hobbies, and values are all pieces of information about clients that you would do well to remember.
CRMs like W3B allow you to store notes alongside important client details. Along with this feature, you can also use W3B’s email integration; marketing automation and lead management to stay connected with customers and ensure that they are engaged with your brand.
It’s especially important to stay connected with customers in a world where everyone is constantly being targeted by brands because yours can get lost in the noise. It’s not enough to just consistently reach out to customers because that’s what every brand is doing; You need a strategy that will help you make a real impression and step into customers lives without appearing intrusive. That said, there’s a lot that you can do with channels like Live chat, email and social media that have been discussed in the post and can help you get the results that you desire.
By Tagove :