Building and Maintaining Authentic Relationships with Your Customers
In today’s world, it is not enough to simply have a creative marketing campaign idea. Rather, customers want something relatable and authentic; they want to feel a natural connection with your brand.
In fact, those brands who have mastered this idea of building authentic relationships typically spend far less on advertising. Yet, they continue to see steady growth because they have focused their efforts on establishing credibility, loyalty and a relationship with their customers.
The big question is, how do you do this on a large scale?
As you begin to pivot your digital marketing strategy for growth, download our free guide to discover the 7 most critical areas companies should be focused on.
Building an Initial Connection
When it comes to acquiring new customers or building an initial connection with those customers who may have shown interest, or perhaps purchased 1-2 times, here are 4 areas to focus on:
1. Engage them in your products/services: Through your website, email marketing, social media and free tools, engaging with your customers will increase their personal connection to your brand increasing both brand loyalty and familiarity.
2. Understand how your products and/or service provide value: If you truly understand why they are buying and the way your product or service serves them, you will then be able to direct your messaging to speak directly to their needs or desires. Some of this information can be found through analytics tools, feedback forums, market research and simply putting yourself in the customer’s shoes.
3. Respond to every concern: When you are receiving reviews and feedback, it is important that you implement an online reputation management protocol alongside a customer service program to ensure your customers feel heard and understood.
4. Customize where you can: This is one area where companies, such as Starbucks, truly succeed. It is as simple as including their customers’ name on emails or recognizing birthdays. Also, add value at every touch point.
Establishing Long-Term Relationships
Once you have established trust with your customers, you should then move them into a different “category”. These customers need to be approached a bit differently because they have invested in your brand just as you have invested in them as a loyal customer.
At this point in the relationship, they might be a repeat buyer and even referring their friends and family to your company. Here are a few areas to focus on when building a long-term relationship:
1. Implement a customer loyalty program: Get creative with this and try to look beyond simply earning points. One company that does this well is Stitch Fix. For example, they offer a $25 reward to customers who refer a friend that makes a purchase. Other examples are credit card companies who offer discounts at partner stores.
2. Communicate with your customers: Implementing a reliable two-way communication channel can make all the difference. Even your most loyal customers may have a problem and, on average, it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience.
3. Keep your customers educated: Ensure your strategy focuses on continuously highlighting your company’s differentiation, value and appreciation. All your customers need attention, despite their stage of loyalty. Many companies spend so much time attempting to acquire new customers that they forget about maintaining the relationship.
4. Invest in your employees and keep them informed: If your employees feel supported and cared for, they will spread this same energy toward your customers as they serve them. Additionally, it is important that everyone in your organization is aware of any procedural changes or protocols. Miscommunication can become frustrating to a customer and hinder a relationship.
If you are interested in elevating your marketing strategy to focus on creating authentic demand for your products and/or services while building long-term relationships, contact Promote On Purpose today.