5 Tips on extending the Business to Customer relationship online
short 4 min read
- Build a positive and loyal online community to turn consumers into brand advocates.
- Put emphasis on being responsive to all online communication and interaction.
- Treat all customers as old friends.
Long-term business success depends on customer retention. You need loyal customers that love your brand. New customers cost at least 5x what it does to retain an existing customer. With this in mind let’s dive into five tips to help you solidify your relationships with customers!
1. Support them – When enquires come into your inbox it’s important to be responsive and answer customers questions and acknowledge any negative comments about your product or service. Make sure you’re notified immediately of notifications such as messages or comments so you can constantly monitor what’s happening. Also, adding a little extra personalisation on top of each reply to the enquiry can go a long way. It could be a small voucher/coupon or a simple “thank you for reaching out to us … we really appreciate the feedback”
2. Be human – Today’s customers enjoy real interactions. Businesses should be empathetic when customers have bad experiences and try to remedy these with direct communication. This will also help you gain more insights into how the experience occurred and allow you to take preventative measures to stop it happening it the future. Be personable and friendly when communicating through these channels like Nike was when they responded to a customer on Twitter.
3. Connect – Social media allows you to interact with a large audience, but it’s also important to engage with customers individually via comments, messages and posts. These individual relationships are particularly important when you’re starting out. A great point of focus is converting your small audience of people connected to your brand into advocates that will voluntarily spread the word about your business.
Whenever your brand is involved in a public/customer post, make sure you comment, like or share. Sharing content from your customers creates authenticity around your brand and gives it more of a raw community feel. If all of your content looks staged and polished it may be intimidating for your community to engage with. You want your page to feel approachable.
4. Reward your customers – Praise the people who are pushing your brand out there. The little things are memorable if unexpected. For example, if you’re a small café and you have a customer sharing great photos of your food send them a direct message offering them a free coffee on their next visit. Explain to them how you liked the post they did and appreciate their support. This is going to create a deeper connection and build great rapport which sparks word and mouth referrals.
5. Offer value! - Regardless of what business you’re in, there is something you can offer online to your audience that they’ll gain from. It could be an insight into the day to day operations of your company or some relevant news regarding your industry/target audience. Put out content that will resonate with your audience such as a simple how-to/educational tutorial on how they can learn your craft and pick up a new skill or two.