For a better client experience, 86 percent of customers would pay more. This statistic may or may not come as a surprise to many companies, particularly as we increasingly turn to digital channels to automate and expedite. But we use comparative shopping engines to find the best prices, and sites like eBay and Alibaba to negotiate price points where possible. Although at our heart, what we really want is a good customer experience and a personal touch.
If you are worried that you are not cultivating your consumers sufficiently, or if you think there’s something you can do to make your brand feel positive, we have broken down four extremely easy strategies that you can use to build meaningful relationships and transform them into guaranteed sales generators:
1. Develop A Perfect Persona With Analytics
The more you know about your prospective customers, the more successfully you will be able to build productive relationships with them. Gathering as many customer data as possible will allow you to create a comprehensive profile of your customer’s needs, preferences and key characteristics. This is often referred to as a consumer persona. Traditionally , consumers provide information on demographics, patterns of actions, motivations, challenges and objectives. The amount of buyer persona you create will depend on how you choose to segment your customer base.
The balance of power between business and consumers has changed drastically due to online platforms. Customers are more motivated and self-sufficient, more likely to shift to search engines and social media to carry out their research work. They are less vulnerable to hard-selling and one-way “pressure” marketing messages from marketers who don’t know them are more disruptive than influential.
When more companies begin to understand this, they have become more serious with analytics that can inform a more successful strategy – today, 53% of organizations state that data-driven marketing is their top strategic priority.
Customer analytics will give you a deep, granular understanding of your current and future customers ‘ buying patterns and lifestyles. This will allow you to predict their future purchasing behavior and cater to them with a more focused, organized sales, and marketing strategy.
Customer research findings would facilitate lower campaign costs, as you will be able to streamline your targeting and deliver marketing campaigns more efficiently to consumers most likely to respond in a positive manner. You will also be able to improve consumer loyalty and positive sentiment by bringing the right message to the right customers at the right time. All of this is expected to culminate in increased revenue and ROI.
If you prefer Accenture or KISSmetrics, customer research is a key first step towards successful relationship building. All you need to do is study and choose the solution that best fits your needs and goals, and start leveraging powerful insights!
2. Send Relevant, and Personalized Email
Email is the single most effective channel you can use to connect with and engage your customers. It is a direct and personal platform that helps you cultivate a sense of consumer loyalty and foster relationships far more quickly and easily than other digital channels. Generally, if the consumer has decided to send you their email address, they have already been introduced to your brand, they are willing to receive correspondence from you, and may even have ordered from you. This is important – in order to preserve the viability of your company, you need to promote repeated purchases. Not only is it about six to seven times easier to sell to a current customer than to acquire a new one, returning customers spend an average of 67% more than new customers.
Through sending customized emails to your clients, you will be able to show your brand ‘s commitment in their particular needs and desires. If they have abandoned their shopping cart, you can give a polite reminder and ask them if they need any help to complete the transaction. If they have spent time on specific product sites, you will follow up with more product details and benefits. Maybe it’s been a year since your newsletter was first signed, and you want to give them a message to mark this anniversary.
With the power of activating emails and marketing automation, you can take a proactive approach to solidify your consumer relationships without having to expend a cumbersome amount of time or effort. You can tailor communications that are suited to every stage of the customer’s journey, and because of your instant visibility in their inboxes, the chances of receiving a response are greatly enhanced. Use your customized marketing emails to provide useful, insightful, genuine content and to prove you care and you will definitely reap the benefits.
Social media is gradually the preferred medium for contact and communication, and now, according to J.D. Power, 67% of customers have used the social media platform of a business for customer service. Instant notifications and reactions encouraged by social media have also put pressure on brands to respond as quickly as possible. In reality, 32% of social customers expect a response to a complaint within 30 minutes, and 42% expect a response within 60 minutes.
Many companies make the mistake of believing that they can use their social media solely to create brand visibility and expand their scope. However, the second they create an online presence from which consumers can connect with them is the duty of companies to use their social media to provide customer support as at when necessary.
Take a constructive and reactive approach to managing your social media and nurturing your online communities. You can do this by reacting as quickly as possible to any questions or brand references, trying to provide the best possible response, and managing a intimate, ‘human’ contact along with your communications.
Nothing is more dissatisfying to a customer than waiting for a prolonged period of time for a response or to be totally ignored. Don’t forget that your social networks are an extension of your brand, just as critical as your website or your hard copy brochure, and any negative social interactions that a customer might have may seriously hurt your brand’s image.
The best thing to do is introduce a model that enables you to prioritize customer interactions based on how urgently a response is required – i.e. a tweet in which a customer complains about your product should be answered before a positive statement or compliment, although you should eventually reply to both.
Be sure to conduct daily searches for brand names and social media posts that may not have specifically tagged you. For instance, only 9% of tweets that reference a company are specifically aimed at the company, but they can require just as much effort. The more you do to cultivate a good social customer experience, the more likely your customers will be to recommend your company to others!
4. Aim to Retain
Many companies have a well-established marketing strategy, but very few have a recorded retention plan. If you are looking to keep, you are going to make more effort to nurture your customer partnership by extension. We have already proven that retention is cheaper than acquisition (and 82% of businesses agree!), but it can also increase the profit margins. Indeed, increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can raises income from 25% to 95%.
In addition to an outstanding product range and a compelling price point, there are a variety of measures that you can take to boost retention rates. Unparalleled social customer support can help, as do targeted emails. But the real secret to customer satisfaction is the execution.
Irrespective of your type of company or target audience, content marketing is a high-performance retention tool and can at the same time improve the consumer relationship due to its personalized nature. Again, you can use analytics and marketing automation to send emails to consumers that provide percentage discounts targeted to particular people based on their interests and past purchasing behaviour. If a customer has not bought or even opened one of your emails for a while, you may persuade them to re-engage with your brand in a special deal (be sure to mention it on the subject line if possible!).
Managed competitions focused on user-generated social media content. If you are a restaurant, you might want to invite followers to tweet a photo of their dinner (be it amazing or abysmal!) to win a free meal for two. This is an easy but powerful way to encourage interaction and help you enter a broader online audience.
Finally , the best way to cultivate good consumer relationships and loyalty is to reward them. Customers who buy regularly, send a gift coupon or customized discount code, deliver exclusive offers or credit their accounts, whether for $10 or $100, they are all small yet thoughtful gestures that will give the customers a tangible incentive to keep coming back.
What approaches do you trust most in maintaining strong customer relationships? Please let us know in the comments section below!