Studies have shown that forming relationships and connecting with customers helps you to better understand their needs, which leads to more efficient service, higher quality products, and improved customer loyalty. It even helps uncover potential opportunities for growth or expansion.
Back in the day, businesses relied on word-of-mouth marketing and informal feedback from customers to gauge success or failure. In the current era, many resources are available for customer engagement that can help business leaders understand their markets better and uncover potential growth opportunities.
Taking the time to connect with customers by asking questions, listening to feedback, and paying attention to how they use products or services can be one of the best ways to gain invaluable insight into how a business can innovate or expand without relying on guesswork. Truly understanding what drives customers allows companies to make investments that will lead them closer to success.
The importance of customer connection in business
A strong, meaningful connection with customers is the foundation of a successful business that can survive economic swings. Understanding customer needs, preferences, and experiences helps companies differentiate between simply offering products and services and creating personalized experiences tailored to each person.
When emphasizing customer connection, organizations are better positioned to develop long-term relationships rather than just one-time transactions – improving their bottom line through enhanced loyalty, engagement, and sales.
Social media is for more than just helping businesses blow through their marketing budget. It also provides a fantastic platform to engage with customers directly and reinforces to customers that your business is engaged and listening.
Harness the power of this platform by responding to customers’ inquiries, polls, or feedback – letting them know their opinions are valued. You can use this platform to share new (or upcoming) products to get customers excited and generate a buzz. Excited customers will do a lot of legwork for you to get the word out.
Depending on your industry, you can run contests to increase your following and, again, generate buzz organically. You can also run polls and directly ask consumers what they want or need in a product or service. This gives you more of a real-world focus group than you would traditionally get.
Social media is an easy way to reach hundreds (or even thousands) of potential clients with minimal effort and makes your business seem approachable.
Make It Easy For Customers To Contact You
Be different from those cable companies that make it impossible to find the link or phone number to get ahold of them.
While social media is a fantastic way to engage and connect with customers, there should be other ways customers or leads can get a hold of you. Having a phone number for people to call is becoming less and less common. Not having a human to talk to directly can create feelings of isolation among customers. Whether you decide to eliminate phone support or not, you need to have a good plan for making customers feel like you’re approachable.
Squarespace eliminated their phone number for customer service and tech support. They knew that getting customers on board would be an uphill battle, but their tech team was convinced that offering 24/7 support via multiple channels was the better way to go. For them, it worked. They focussed hard on providing fast support and customer service delivered by real humans with a higher satisfaction and resolution rate than people typically get via phone. By eliminating their phone system, they ensured they could reach customers faster and eliminate the potentially hours-long hold queue.
Ensure that your contact information is up-to-date and easy to find on your website or app so that customers can get in touch if they have any questions or concerns about your offerings. This will show them that you’re attentive and available when needed.
Offer Customer Incentives
People love getting something extra for their effort. When you give your customers a chance to earn discounts, free shipping, or even limited edition items, you increase the chance that they’ll come back. One of the classics that retail stores use is offering a coupon for a set transaction amount. I.e., for every $250 a customer spends, they get a $50 voucher for next time. The catch is that to use the $50 coupon, they must spend another $150. This way, the business never loses, but the customer feels like they win.
A similar process works with referrals too. When a customer can tell a friend about your business and knows they’ll get a kickback, a surprising number will. Many people will only think about telling their friends or family about your product once you put a referral incentive in front of them. Stats show that people are four times more likely to make a purchase when referred by a friend or someone they know. That is why your business needs to focus on incentivizing referrals.
By incentivizing customers, businesses are able to maximize the value each customer brings and realize a greater return on investment. Rather than relying solely on pricing to move products or services, businesses should consider taking the extra step of offering reward-based incentives.
Train Your Employees To Provide Excellent Customer Service
Your employees should always strive to offer the best customer service possible when interacting with customers—whether over the phone or via online channels. We’re entering a period of economic uncertainty. Companies that make their customers feel like they’re taken care of will be the ones that thrive.
As we move into a period of economic unease, businesses that prioritize delivering exemplary customer experience will be those that stand tall. They will be the ones that nurture relationships with their customers, offering convenience and making them feel like valued clients who are cared for. Creating an enviable journey for customers when interacting with your business is one of the surest ways to ensure your company remains successful in any economic climate.
Developing these guidelines involves understanding the values and behaviors you want your employees to demonstrate in their interactions with customers and giving them access to the tools and resources they need to resolve issues effectively. Comprehensive standard operating procedures (SOPs) are highly beneficial for streamlining customer service processes and creating a consistent experience for all customers every time.
If you’re not where you want to be with your sales, it may be time to focus on developing deeper connections with your customers. After all, they are the lifeblood of your business, and having them on your side will help your business when times are good or when times are tough. By connecting with them on a tangible level, you can create loyal advocates who will help take your business to new heights. And that sounds like a pretty sweet deal to us.
Centrae offers easy business assessment tools to help you see where your business falls short. With our help, you can create a full 360 strategy that will help take your business to new levels.