Today’s businesses are fortunate to have powerful marketing strategies such as digital marketing and social media accessible to level the playing field. These tools offer new ways to expand your customer base and compete in a global market. However, while companies are putting their energies into acquiring likes and follows, many are losing sight of the fact that ultimately it is robust personal relationships that win new clients.
Anyone can purchase Facebook likes and Instagram followers, and they might look great on your feed but, ultimately, they don’t equal customers and can’t be relied upon to help grow your business Here are five ways that your business can foster closer, more meaningful relationships with existing and new customers in the age of digital marketing:
1. Gift of Gratitude
Repeat business keeps your business afloat, so it pays to let your loyal customers know how important they are to you.
Thoughtful corporate gifts are one way you can acknowledge a customer’s birthday, personal milestone or just say thank you. From branded pens to edible treats or computer accessories – options abound. Including your firm’s logo or imagery will not only keep your brand front of mind but also help build trust and appreciation with your customers.
2. Communicate Clearly and Regularly
You can be an innovative genius when it comes to improving your business, but if your customers are unaware of your organization’s latest developments, you will soon be forgotten. Keep your followers in the know with regular updates on what’s new, exciting and topical in your company and how you can help them solve the business challenges that they face. Whether it’s via social media, in-store promos or email newsletters, let them know why your service is worth their time and money. Be sure to keep your communications clear and simple to avoid confusion or alienation by jargon.
3. Be Consistent in Your Quality of Service
There are few things more frustrating than working long and hard to build a reputation, only to have it tarnished by a period of below-par service. Consistency is like a secret weapon of strong client relationships. Nobody boasts about it, but customers crave it and will always trust a consistent string of positive reviews over a rollercoaster of feedback. With competition fierce in today’s economy, it can only take one negative experience for clients to take their business elsewhere.
4. Do Not Be Too Proud to Say Sorry
No business is immune from making mistakes, and every error is a learning experience for future success. When slip-ups occur, take control of the situation by letting them know you are sorry and rectifying the issue, or providing reasonable compensation. In most cases, handling a customer complaint pro-actively and attentively can actually result in increased client loyalty, rather than the reverse.
5. Know Your Crowd
In all your client interactions it’s crucial to know your clients to make a lasting impression. For example, if you’re a family-friendly operation, you need to ensure that your staff are aware of the school seasons and are happy to be dealing with children. If your demographics are youth, do not include decades-old cultural references they will not understand in your promo materials and social media. Knowing your crowd works for both you and your clients’ advantage because any healthy relationship is one where each individual feels understood.
While it’s wonderful to be social, it’s time to make business personal again. Relating to your clients on a personal level and creating meaningful relationships based on mutual respect and trust will do infinitely more for your business than a sackful of Facebook likes.