Some companies get it. Others do not. Connecting with customers is one of the most important and valuable things you can do to make your business successful. Consumers, whether they are end-users or business-to-business, want to feel like they are buying from someone they trust. How do you connect with customers in a way that will not only sustain your business, but help your business grow?
Listen to Customers
It can be easy to segment your customers into demographics and particular targets. However, there is more value for you when you listen and are actively communicating with customers. When you listen to customers’ needs, you will find profitable nuggets of wisdom you can use to improve your service or products to give customers a better experience.
But you can’t wait for the customer to say something. Always ask. That doesn’t mean you have to send a lengthy survey every week to your customer mailing list. However, you can do active market research with a short “rate your experience” feedback survey with each customer visit, or solicit a longer survey to your customers once a quarter with a coupon for completing the questionnaire.
Human to Human Contact
Offer yourself or your staff as personal customer service reps as often as you can. The age of recorded messages and brief, curt, face-to-face contact is no longer valuable in terms of customer satisfaction. Instead, structure your customer service with the following tips:
- Face-To-Face – Talking face to face gives you an opportunity to make a customer feel like family, rather than someone you hope will open their wallet. Connect with customers by making eye-contact with customers. Listen. Smile. If you have a line of customers needing your attention, acknowledge their presence and affirm that you will be with them promptly. These little things can go a long way in connecting with customers.
- Online Chat – Your website is also a good place to connect with customers with live chat. Although a website is usually designed to answer most questions, there are still times when a customer needs live contact. A simple online chat can give you that customer connection.
- Pick Up the Phone – It has been stated time and time again – customers dislike recorded greetings and “pressing 1” to continue. Give your customers live interaction as soon as they call. Listen to their issue and determine the proper department to whom they should be transferred.
Tailor Your Marketing
Your marketing efforts also provide a way to connect with customers. Segment your marketing to specific demographics and products. Then customize the marketing experience by adding a name to each sales letter, allowing customer to interact with websites, asking customers to share their story, etc. For instance, if you operate a pay per click campaign, send each click to a landing page that asks for certain information that can help customize the best product or service solution for that customer.
You can gain a competitive advantage when you practice ways of effectively communicating with customers and connecting with customers. Sit down and form a customer service policy that works not for you, but for your customers.