“Please, please, please buy my crap,” is what way too many business owners scream through their marketing. That’s a great message and all (insert sarcasm here) but it’s not going to get people to buy.
In the good old days of advertising, businesses had no choice but to blast out their messages over and over and hope that over time people would be worn down and eventually buy. Thankfully, those days are over.
With the rise of the Internet and other interactive media, the power of information shifted from the suits who were selling things, to the people who were buying. People could shop around, read reviews, check multiple prices, and not have to deal with high pressure sales people. And as a result, businesses started to embrace relationship marketing and developed strategies to make connections with their customers, instead of just looking at them as demographic clusters.
The bad news–customers and prospects are more particular about who they do business with than ever before. Not only do they want a superior product or service from a business who sees things the way they do, but they also want instant customer service and updates.
The good news–you can be that business as long as you know your customers and how to make them feel special.
To help get you mingling, we’ve created a handy list of the 5 easiest ways to show your customers some love and create raving fans.
1 Give Suggestions
When customers place an item in their shopping carts suggest a product they might like based on past purchases. Did someone buy a vintage-style hoodie? Suggest a similar style t-shirt that would complete the look. Make them feel like they have a friend along with them at checkout to give advice and to help them out.
2 Create Trust
Always follow through with your promises. Whether it’s shipping timeframes, privacy policies, or just an automated email saying a customer service rep will call within 24-hours. If you’re not 100% sure you can deliver don’t tell customers you can. It’s much better to stay on the conservative side of a promise, and then deliver early, than to set up unrealistic expectations.
3 Get Social
Social media is a fantastic way to give back to customers and leads. Make your fans feel special by mixing in Facebook fan exclusive 24-hours sales, special Twitter chats, or other online freebies to your social media content. You could even allow fans to invite their friends to the fun. The more the merrier of course.
4 Stay In Touch
Around a week after purchasing a product, memories of the experience begin to fade. So think of clever ways to reach out and stay on your customers’ minds. For example, you could send out a survey asking about their experience, add them to a helpful email sequence, or even ask for them to rate a product.
Take it one step further by figuring out how you can help your customers in the long run. For example, if they bought a coffee maker from your online store, you could send them a coupon for a free sample of coffee. Or give them the VIP customer experience and send them a link to a new coffee flavor before it’s released to everyone else. By following up, you gather important feedback you can use to improve operations, customer service or products, while letting customers know you care about them.
5 Make It Simple
No matter what, you should always make things as simple as possible for your customers. Whether it’s purchasing from your website, contacting customer support, or even returning a product, you want to make it easy for them. The best way to do this? Just take the time to work through your processes on-by-one.
Try purchasing a product from your website and see where the hiccups are. Have friends read through print pieces and ask them if the information is clear and to the point. Once everything is perfected, look at your processes again every few months to see how you can make them even more efficient and easier for customers.