Customers are no different to your partners. They like to know they are loved, that you care about their wellbeing and have their best interests at heart. Not just once a year, but always.
Companies invest a lot in customer acquisition strategies and celebrate when they steal from competitors, but all too often it stops there. Yet, if you continue to show the love, you’ll build a lasting connection with these newly acquired customers and be rewarded with their loyalty and advocacy.
So, what does it take to truly connect? Below are three ways you can connect with your customers:
1. Know them
Really get to know your customers. Not just their name, address and preferred method of contact, though that’s a good start. But, rather, understand your customers like we do our partners; what they love to do, what annoys them, their values and beliefs, their personality. You need to know enough to anticipate their needs. A true connection needs to be two-way; ask about them (in-person or via surveys), understand their needs and aspirations. Listen, observe, capture and leverage.
2. Know what you can do for them
It’s not merely being across your product or service features, it’s about translating your offer into real customer benefits. A true connection results when we demonstrate how customer needs are met not just by your offer, but with on-going support, by pre-empting issues, validating their choices, showing an interest and displaying your gratitude.
3. Engage them
The basis of any good relationship is communication and fortunately with technology today, there are so many ways to have conversations with your customers. Be with them when it really matters and occasionally when it’s least expected! We need to make building the relationship a priority with a proactive approach that recognises the mutual benefit in staying together. A true connection will be felt when our communications are relevant, timely and purposeful. Without these ingredients, it’s likely to go unnoticed. Ask for feedback occasionally to see what’s working well and not so well.
Try adding these elements to truly connect and create lasting customer relationships; watch retention rise; and save money, which would otherwise be spent on the expensive process of customer acquisition. You’ve worked hard to get them on board with your brand, make sure you continue to reap the benefits.