You must build rapport with your customers. With over 32.5 million registered businesses in the United States, on top of businesses operating outside the U.S. but are made accessible to consumers via e-commerce, to say that the competition is stiff would be an understatement. And consumers have become more discerning in what they want, too.
The majority of consumers tend to be more loyal to businesses that care about them. At least, that is the findings of a study conducted by Wunderman. The survey revealed that 79 percent of respondents would only consider purchasing a product if the brand itself showed they understand their customers, and they do not just see them as a means for sales and profit.
Yes, that’s a tall order. But not impractical. In fact, to show you care for your target market, all you need to do is engage with them earnestly. Here are five strategies you may follow.
Encourage customer feedback
Soliciting customer feedback means you value what your customer has to say. And that feels great for someone who’s spending hard-earned money to patronize your offers. Even if a customer has something negative to say about your business, the fact that you asked is sometimes enough to assuage their dissatisfaction.
But it should not end with you asking what your customers think. The data you gather should inform your business policies, especially in terms of customer service. Otherwise, there’s no point.
You can work with a net promoter score solution provider for this purpose. They will ensure that you do not only hear from your market but that the gathered data is well-analyzed for improving your services.
Manage an online forum or community
For this initiative, you have social media platforms at your disposal. You can manage a Facebook page for your brand, where your loyal customers can actively engage with you and each other. There’s nothing more exciting for a customer who is so into a particular product or service than being able to discuss their enthusiasm with others who share it.
You can also build a mailing list or an online forum. For the latter, you may consider Reddit.
Regularly sponsor contests
There’s a reason why game shows on TV are popular. People like rooting for other people to win. And people like vicariously living through strangers winning awesome prizes like an all-expense-paid trip to the Bahamas that comes with a jet ski.
Be your own game show. And, no, the prizes you give don’t have to be as extravagant as a fancy trip to an exotic island. It can be as simple as gift vouchers. Keep the mechanics of your sponsored contests simple too. You do not want to intimidate and alienate anyone.
There’s no better way to build rapport with your customers than to see them all gather in one place. That affords you a chance for face-to-face interactions. You can achieve this by hosting events.
However, it’s worth noting that event organizing costs money. It will be more expensive than hosting games, which you can do on Facebook. An event will require you to book a place, stage and light suppliers, a professional host, alongside other necessities.
You can save events hosting for special occasions. Are you introducing a new line of products? That’s a good enough reason to splurge and meet your loyal patrons in person.
Give a face to your brand
Your brand can’t exist like a robot. It needs personality. Better if you can give it a face, turn it into a person. Why you might ask. Because despite our increasing reliance on technology and automation, we still value real human connection.
That’s why Apple gave a name to Siri. That’s why Amazon made Alexa. The goal is to create a semblance of humanity.
And you do not have to be as rich as Apple or Amazon to achieve this. The key is to know your brand and echo what you know. Selling craft beers for hipsters? A fedora-wearing persona will sell your products easily.
Making sure your customers stay happy is the bulk of running a business. Remember that customers are the lifeline of your entrepreneurial endeavor. Without them, you have no business to speak of. So do not cut corners when it comes to customer satisfaction policies.
In the end, you will reap the rewards of your efforts. Those rewards will come in financial gains that will allow you to expand your business and cater to more markets. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.