No matter what your business specialises in, chances are you need your customers to succeed and happy customers means a successful business.
Read our top 10 tips to help you maintain contact with your customers:
1. Go to your customers and contacts – don’t wait for them to come to you.
Successful businesses aren’t built by people who sit around waiting. Be the one who initiates contact and keeps the relationship going. If you want to make sales and good connections, it’s up to you to make the move. Seasonal links to special offers on your website blog, alongside regular posts on social media are a great way of not bombarding customers but letting them know you are still in business.
2. Be pertinent.
Before getting in touch with anyone, think about why you’re speaking to them. What can you offer? This should influence the channel you use and the format of your message. For example, if you have a new product, a short video for customers to see how it works/what they do are a great way to add value to what you sell. Back them up with a link to the products or more videos of similar products.
3. Be consistent.
Don’t set yourself unrealistic targets for outreach. A blog post written and published weekly or fortnightly is a simple way to reach customers without being overbearing. A couple of follow up tweets and social media links would be a great way to get the post out there to your followers. Build up your communication so you know it is manageable – if you start off doing a blog post a day and then suddenly stop, customers could assume your business no longer exists!
4. Pick your moments.
Think of your business communication as a campaign, or series of campaigns, each with defined goals, target customer demographics and timing. When’s the best time to communicate? What are the seasonal trends in your industry? When do your customers spend their money? When are they likely to be fairly quiet and have time to respond? These should all be factors in the timing of your communications.
5. Sell yourself.
Don’t limit yourself to just selling products and services; your expertise, skills and experiences are also valuable assets, so start telling everybody what you know. Let everybody know if you’re going to be attending events, especially if you’re speaking or presenting. Don’t be shy – put yourself out there and find reasons to make contact.
5. Be responsive.
Deal with complaints immediately and answer questions quickly. Make it easy for people to contact you using the appropriate channels – i.e, your email address and telephone number, Twitter handle and so on. Give them choices so they can use their preferred communication channel.
7. Don’t expect immediate results.
People enjoy window shopping on the web as much as they do in the high street. Experts have shown in studies that it often takes at least five or six encounters with a brand, for a customer to make a purchase. The fact they come back to your site is a great success, so keep on top of your website’s maintenance and ensure you have good quality web-hosting to accommodate all your visitors, so you are ready to convert this lead into a sale if and when they return.
8. Make the time to communicate.
Schedule time in your week for communication tasks. You should think of these as a shop floor. This is your chance to engage with people that have asked a direct question and are waiting for a response; you wouldn’t walk away from a customer in a shop, would you! Try twenty minutes a day for social media or half an hour each evening to respond to queries. It could be a couple of hours each week for a newsletter or half a day each month to catch up with contacts. If you’re organised about it, it needn’t swallow up other jobs that are demanding your attention.
9. Prioritise – don’t try to do it all at once
Some things require an immediate response; others don’t. Some communications produce better results, so focus more attention on these. You can only do so much. What are the most important and effective means of communication? What actually makes you money?
10. Keep track.
If you have more than a handful of customers, it’s important to keep track of your communications with them. Some form of customer relationship management (CRM) system is essential. Simple, cost-effective CRMs include those provided by basecamp, Pipeline Deals and Base. You can also use these to analyse trends revealed by your marketing campaigns and refine your approach to communication by learning more about what your customers and contacts respond to.
If you would like to know more about how our marketing services and email marketing campaign management services can help you stay in touch with your customers, contact us today.