We spend a lot of time thinking about our target audience. What are their problems? How can we offer solutions? But what about connecting with that audience once they become customers? How do you connect with clients so they become repeat customers who spread word about your company through referrals? Below you’ll find nine strategies for making a meaningful connection with your clients.
1. Give Surveys
If you want to know what your clients want and need, why not just ask them? It’s a good strategy to survey your clientele periodically to gather feedback on questions that otherwise go unanswered. Just make sure to keep each survey short, to the point, and ask one open-ended question at a time. When asking questions with a simple outcome, use a Yes/No option so that you can gather data and chart responses on a graph. However, your biggest insights are likely to come from the open-ended questions that stick to one main point and ask respondents to take a little time to think through their answers.
2. Send Newsletters
Meeting customers in their inbox is a great way to stay on their mind. As long as you stick to marketing etiquette and offer much more than you ask for, readers will be pleased to see a subject line from your business. Although newsletters can boost sales, that shouldn’t be their main focus. Stick to a 90% educational and 10% promotional ratio so that readers enjoy receiving your updates. Bonus tip? Choose an engaging and creative subject line that will tempt recipients to open it. Also integrate social media links into your footer in order to increase social shares and allow readers a way to connect with your business through other medias. Salesforce reported that emails that include social sharing buttons have a 158 percent higher click-through rate.
3. Write Blog Posts
Brand yourself as an expert in your field by publishing relevant, timely, and educational articles. Link to other experts, review awesome resources, and share tips and tricks of the trade. Make sure to include one primary call-to-action or CTA that outlines one thing you want your readers to do. Maybe it’s sign up for your newsletter to download a freebie, buy your latest book, sign up for your webinar, share the post on social media, etc. Use a button to draw their attention and include it multiple times throughout the page so they have a chance to click it once the article has convinced them that you offer valuable information that they’d love to see more of.
4. Connect with Clients Personally
People tend to buy from someone they can relate to, someone they like. According to a Journal of Consumer Research study, if a salesperson shares a birthday or a birthplace with you, you’re more likely to buy their product and feel good about it. Share something about yourself (nothing too personal) that your potential customer might have in common with you. You can use a CRM to help maintain and manage relationships with your prospects and clients. This resource helps you offer personalized communications since you can record details from each interaction and refer back to your notes later.
People are often willing to share more than we expect. But you won’t get much out of your customer if you dominate the conversation. Ask open-ended questions, then allow your customer to share their thoughts. Once you know what they want and need, it’s easier to show them how your product or service can solve their problems. Even if the conversation goes off topic, don’t let it throw you off your game. The personal details are important too. If you hear that their mother has been sick, you can ask for an update on her health next time you talk. It will show your customer that they are more than just a dollar sign to you. They are a human being and you appreciate them enough to remember and ask about the details in their lives in order to connect with clients.
6. Use Social Media
If you don’t have an account on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, or Instagram I’m sorry to say that you’re behind the times. It’s no longer a personal preference whether or not to be involved in social media. In the 21st Century, it’s a business expectation. Your customers will look for social proof of your company’s successes. They will search for a professional photo of you and your team. They’ll want to see you sharing a variety of media that establishes you as an expert in your industry. Follow the trends and post timely content consistently and your following will grow over time. Offer valuable content and connect with clients digitally to see more comments, likes, and shares of your resources.
7. Offer Webinars
Another great way to establish yourself as an authority and connect with clients is to host or participate in webinars. Think of a webinar as a digital classroom. It’s a great way for consumers to learn about a product or service in an educational way. It’s also a great way to sell products or services under the smart guise of a visual presentation. With slides moving every 20-40 seconds, you can use annotations, transitions, or section highlights along with engaging audio to keep the viewer’s attention. The neat thing about webinars is that viewers can sign up to attend the live webinar or can receive a recording of the webinar to watch at their convenience.
8. Rock Customer Service
Each interaction you have with a customer either builds on or detracts from their image of your company. Since you want that image to begin and remain positive, it’s crucial to ensure that every phone conversation, email, social media comment response, or in person chat is respectful and productive. Good keys to connect with clients are to respond as soon as possible to any communication and also set aside the time to give a thorough response that addresses any concerns, answers their questions, and lets them know they are a valued client.
9. Monitor Testimonials
Hopefully your website is gracing the first page of Google search. And right beside it, you’re likely to see your Facebook page, with a rating next to it. Other review sites you might see? Yelp, Angie’s List, Google, etc. These resources are a way to find out what customers are saying about their interactions with your business. However, it’s best to be proactive and talk with your customers about submitting a testimonial for your website, which can also be placed on the various social media review sites. This way, you can gauge their satisfaction level before it goes “live” and can troubleshoot any issues they may have with your company. Also commit to responding to the reviews, which shows your awareness of any issues and willingness to fix them. Instead of being defensive, try to understand their perspective and connect with clients by