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Customers are your businesses lifeblood

Your customers are the reason that you are in business. Without good customers your business will not last the distance so it is vitally important that you build loyalty and develop a rapport with those customers. Fortunately there are many ways that you can develop a solid relationship with your customers, here are 10 suggestions.

Not sure how to connect with your customers? Here 10 good suggestions.

 

1) Email

There are good ways to connect via email and there are bad ways. Let's start with the good. Firstly, when your customer completes an order you can sends them a confirmation, you can also forward them details of how their order will be delivered, who is going to deliver it and when they can expect the order to arrive. Once they have received the order you can also send them a thank you for placing the order and potentially ask them to write a review for your business or the product that they have purchased. If the customer opts in to receive marketing notifications from your business then you can send them newsletters, special deals and sales emails.

 

In relation to the bad communications, firstly, unsolicited emails to people who are either customers or not customers is a no no. Also, bombarding your email list with an excessive number of emails will quickly burn any relationship that you potentially had.

 

If you are looking for an email program to use to control all of these email communications then it might be worth looking at products like Infusionsoft or Campaign Monitor.

2) Phone Call

There are lots of ways that you can connect with your customers via phone calls. Firstly, if your customers are calling in to your number you might want to divert them to a survey after the end of the call. You may also want to divert them to one of your customer service staff who can fill them in in terms of details of any new products that are in the pipeline.

 

If your customers don't actually call in all that often then you might want to consider making some outbound calls to your customer base and asking them a few questions lke, what do you like about our service, what would you like to see improved and what suggestions do you have for us improving our service offerings or what else could we do to help make your life easier. All of these questions will help make your customer feel valued and will help build that loyalty. (as long as you take their suggestions on board).

 

3) Host A Contest

Hosting a contest is a great way of getting your customers involved with your business. There are lots of potential contest that you could do including naming products, coming up with marketing lines or simply answering a series of questions to potentially win a prize. For a relatively small outlay you can potentially build some real trust and commitment.

 

4) Create a "How To" Video

If you work for a business that supplies a relatively complicated product or service then it is a good idea to create some "how to" video. The "how to" could be about how to assemble a product, where to best place the product, how to best use the product or how to keep the product in tip top condition. If you provide a service then you may want to show your customers how the service is carried out or how the service will benefit them in the long run. By seeing you or one of your staff (or potentially an actor) showing them how to do something your customers will feel a rapport for your business and potentially for you or your staff.

 

5) Have a Party

Parties (if managed well) are a great way to build a lasting relationship with your customers. Firstly, you will need to come up with a reason for the party like a product launch, the launch of a new market or service or a special date on the calendar like Christmas or Melbourne cup day. Once you have your reason for the party you will need to think of a theme. Try to get something that works in with your business and the types of customers that you have. When you have your party don't be too hard sell with your customers. The fact that you are having the party itself and pampering them will really help to build that rapport and build the level of trust.

 

6) Respond to Reviews

People like to provide reviews of products or services that they try. You should firstly find all of the different platforms that people use when they make reviews. You should then regularly monitor the reviews as they come in and make comments where appropriate. Even if it is just putting in a thank you for taking the time out to place the review on the site.

 

Don't forget to respond to all of the negative reviews as well. This is your opportunity to bring back an unhappy customer into the fold. Whilst it may be a somewhat uncomfortable experience interacting with someone who is really unhappy, if you can get them back on the right track then they will likely be singing your praises for months to come.

 

7) Social Media Interaction

Social media has become a great way to interact with groups of people. Whether it be customers or potential customers you should be able to interact with them on Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest and more. Similar to the approach taken with review sites it is a good idea to respond to as many of the interactions as you can. If someone puts a comment up on your Facebook page and it is a negative comment then you need to respond to that comment as soon as possible. If you don't respond then it is likely that other customers may also view that comment.

 

Don't just interact with the consumer based sites. You should also pay attention to sites like Linkedin which is predominantly business focussed. Linkedin is a great place to share your expertise and your thoughts in relation to your market segment and your niche.

 

8) Commission a Case Study

Commissioning a case study is an absolute win/win for both you and your customer. Pick a customer who had a specific problem that they had to solve and then detail how you worked through that problem and came up with a viable solution. Potential customers will love to read through those case studies and will hopefully be able to draw analogies between their situation and the situaltion of the company that is referenced in the case study.

 

Try to pick a problem that has fairly wide appeal. You don't want to pick a problem that is too niche as it may be difficult for your potential customers to relate to that situation. Also, if possible try to pick a company that is well known in your particular community as this is a great way to say "look at who else has chosen to use us for their business".

 

9) Hand Written Note

This is going back to old technology. Send your customer a hand written note thanking them for their order, their continued business or their ongoing support. If you don't have the best handwriting then you may want to use a handwriting font to create a letter that looks handwritten. Sending a handwritten note tells your customer that they are important to you and you are willing to take the time out to hand write this important message to them.

 

10) Video Email

Your customers are constantly being bombarded with emails. The average business person these days receives 120+ emails per day. They are overwhelmed with text and try to skim through the content of those emails to work out whether they are worth dealing with. Video emails on the other hand are much more appealing. Studies done in the USA have shown that video sales emails have a 200-300% better response rate than a text email. So, if you are looking for a new way to communicate with your customers, why not send them a video email.

 

The video email could be about new products that you are going to launch, new services that you are offering or simply an update email to tell your customers what you have been doing. Either way, your video email should get a better response than a simple text email.