Not so very long ago a customer’s loyalty was formed face-to-face in a shop, and sealed with a handshake. But what do we do when there is no physical shop and no customer standing in front of us? The advent of e-commerce and a digital marketplace has changed the way in which most businesses connect with their customers on a personal level. Most every company needs to ask itself: how can we engage with people? How can our customer service evolve?
The Rise of Social Media
Social media has become an integral part of modern-day marketing. It is the first place a majority of your potential customers will come in contact with your business and an ideal medium upon which to build relationships. Coupled with an interesting, interactive, and easy to navigate website, a presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, is an essential component in developing loyal customers. Social media provides a setting where your customers can get to know your business and you can interact directly with them. Developing your footprint on social media can help your business in many different ways.
- Increased Digital Exposure
Due to its worldwide access, sharing capabilities and tremendous amount of daily users, a successful social media campaign can lead to massive digital exposure. It delivers instant information to the marketplace and gives businesses an immense advertising platform.
- Showcasing Trustworthiness and Enhancing Your Brand
Closely communicating with your current and prospective customers allows you to become a trusted source of information and can be very effective in creating company awareness and brand credibility.
- Expand Your Sales and Cut Marketing Costs
Social media can help you assess your customers’ preferences, special needs and expectations quickly, leading to a higher rate of satisfied customers and more repeat business. Far less expensive than traditional print marketing and advertising, social media can be a very affordable way to brand your business.
Programs that Reward
Rewards programs can also be a great way to generate customer loyalty. Devising a program that is easy to use, provides your repeat customers with real value or purchasing power, and lets them feel recognized and cherished should be your goal. Be creative and focus on creating a human connection to your brand. Be sure to integrate social media or mobile accessibility as a feature.
Transparency can be a revolutionary business concept and a powerful tool in building trust with both your customers and within your company. Making public your company’s new developments, its flow of information, and even sharing its setbacks can be an empowering act. Customers can feel more connected to your business when they have a better understanding of how it works. As well as raising consumer engagement, transparency can also promote the sharing of new ideas, showcase growth and change and provide a vision for the direction of your company heading into the future.
First and foremost, donating to charities, if you are able, is a truly worthy endeavor. Whether you are helping further an important cause or donating to those less fortunate, it always feels good and your kindness will be remembered.
There are also benefits for your company when you choose to make charitable donations. Helping the community will help your business foster a positive public image. Building a reputation as a company that cares and gives back will make your customers proud to do business with you. Many charity events provide excellent marketing and advertising opportunities and you may benefit from being associated with a specific charity’s brand.
It is important that you research the organizations that you donate to. Be sure it is a group that you are comfortable being affiliated with and always keep track of your contribution records.
Reaching new customers and keeping your current ones happy and returning is the goal of every business. New technology has made building these relationships infinitely easier and, at the same time, vastly more complex. But no matter the manner in which you interact, customer service will always be about treating your patrons with respect and helping them find what they desire.
From Pinterest to Tumblr, StumbleUpon to Reddit, how many of these social media sites does your business have a profile on?