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7 Effective Ways to Connect With Customers
Many businesses have earned a poor reputation by not being easy to contact. Browse through their many online reviews, and you often see mention of customers being unable to talk to anyone about issues they’ve been having. Communication and connection can be crucial when establishing yourself as a trusted and reputable business that cares about its customers. You might be able to put yourself on the path to success in this regard by adopting any of these connection and communication methods. It is a crucial aspect of the success of your business to connect with customers.
Use Answering Services to Connect with Customers
You can’t be available around the clock to answer the phone, no matter how important your customers are to you. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t provide around-the-clock service. If you have a global network of customers, consider investing in a call-answering service so your customers can feel like you care about them.
Such services operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. No matter the time of day or night your customers need help, you’ll be able to ensure there’s a friendly voice at the end of the phone offering a solution to their problems.
Provide Multiple Contact Options
Not everyone wants to or can make a phone call to receive help from a company they’ve purchased a product or service from. Offer multiple contact options so customers can choose how they engage with you.
A phone number is always an excellent option for communication during opening hours, but you might also offer email, web form, and social media to meet as many customer communication needs as possible. While you don’t have to respond to inquiries outside of business hours, most customers prefer a response within 24 hours or one business day.
Respond to Complaints and Feedback
When a customer has had a bad experience with your business and writes about it online in the form of a review, it can be tempting to ignore or even delete their feedback. After all, you don’t want their opinion to be read by prospective purchasers, stopping them from doing business with you. However, responding to complaints and feedback can be one of the best things you can do for both satisfied and unsatisfied customers. You might even turn a disgruntled customer into a happy one based on how you engage with their feedback.
Responding to negative reviews shows your human side and proves that you care about the customer experience. You might even find that responding to feedback assists with SEO. Start by thanking the person for leaving the feedback, apologizing and sympathizing with their situation, and asking for the opportunity to make it right.
Follow Up After a Sale
Building a connection with customers can be easy enough to do on social media, especially as you can engage with people by replying to their comments. However, engaging with customers who purchase goods from your website can be much more challenging.
Get into the habit of following up with purchasers within days or weeks of them making a purchase. Send an email to thank them for their purchase, ask how they liked their product, and provide a link to leave a review. You might even like to insert links in the email to other products you think they’d like, along with discount codes to help them secure a deal. This follow-up email can also be an opportunity for customers to talk to you about any issues they’ve had with a product or service before they resort to leaving negative online reviews.
Prioritize Face to Face Meetings
If you run a business that primarily manages in-person clients and customers, it can be easy to get into the habit of still relying on technology for most communications. However, if you want to establish and maintain valuable professional and personal relationships, make a point of meeting with your clients in person frequently. You can still send emails and make phone calls, but you can typically gain a better sense of a person and their values and needs in face-to-face meetings.
Use Social Media to Connect with Customers
Over 91% of marketing companies in the United States with more than 100 employees use social media for marketing purposes. These companies have understood that you have to be where the people are, and social media is where tens of millions of people end up when browsing the internet.
While you might think you only need to create a page for your business to be classed as active on social media, that’s not the case. You need to be posting regularly, replying to customer comments, and engaging with people who might end up as loyal clients in the future.
Social media is also often where people will voice their concerns about products, services, and your brand, in general. Even if you feel uncomfortable replying to negative feedback in a public forum, your response can show other social media users that you care about your business and making sure customers’ concerns are heard.
Send Surveys to Connect with Customers
You can’t rely on all customers to be honest and reach out about their experience with your business. Unless they leave online reviews, many people have a positive or negative experience and never tell the company what is right or wrong. However, if you were to provide an opportunity for them to talk about their experience, you might be surprised by how much information you can gather to improve the shopping process for future customers.
Consider sending out survey forms to people who have purchased goods and services online. In these surveys, which can be anonymous, you can ask questions about the checkout process, the service they received, and how straightforward they found site navigation. Some business owners also find it helpful to offer an incentive to do a survey, such as going into the draw to win a gift card.
There are many online survey platforms to choose from, many of which are customizable for a set fee or even free to use. You can choose to send a link to a survey after customers have made a purchase or include it in a marketing newsletter that you send to all past and present customers.
Staying connected with customers can be challenging, especially when you provide an online shopping platform that lets them check out and leave quickly. However, you might have more luck connecting with your customers and retaining them as loyal customers in the future by taking some of the actions above.