Making a personal connection with your clientele is much more difficult when you have an online business compared to a brick-and-mortar store. A cheery ‘Good morning’ and a welcoming smile is all you need to do to make a good first impression on customers entering your store. But what can you do if you run an online business?
1. Using social media
Social media is an excellent way to reach out to your customers. Your choice of social media platform will depend primarily on the profile of your clientele base. Google Analytics can supply a great deal of information about the profile of the typical visitor to your site so that you can choose the right platform(s).
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When using social media, it’s important that you do more than simply market your business. In the same way that nobody likes a pushy salesperson, no one will want to engage with you if all your posts are advertising your products and/or services.
Instead, you really need to engage with your customers on a more personal level. In order to do so, think about your business and the sector you work in. Are there any particular issues that worry or confuse people? If so, contributing a post about how to tackle this specific problem or answers to frequently-asked questions can do a great deal to show that you are interested in your customers’ lives.
2. Online content contributions and content
Apart from social media, are there any blogs or forums devoted to your business? Make an effort to make a contribution to forums and engaging with potential clients. If there isn’t anything in your field, then you should include a blog on your website. Well-written and -researched SEO content will bring more traffic to your site and increase brand awareness so your business will be the first one they think of when they need your services.
When adding content to your business website, don’t only think in terms of written content. Instead of describing your products/services, show them in action. Not only is high-quality video content more enjoyable but it is also both more memorable and informative.
3. Reacting to customer feedback
When customers have an inquiry, question and/or complaint, it’s absolutely crucial that your business responds to them. These issues could be raised through personal communications with your business and/or the ratings and comments on review sites. Help with a complaint could involve investigating the matter. If you discover that the customer had a valid reason for dissatisfaction, you could try to rectify the matter by offering a discount or gift voucher as recompense.
Another benefit of responding to customer feedback is that it can give you ideas about how to expand your business. Perhaps clients can make suggestions about associated product lines which are missing from your business. This personalisation will illustrate that you care enough tolisten to what your customers are saying about you and responding.
4. Keeping in touch with your customer base
Once you have made the sale, it’s important to maintain this connection with your customers. If you’re based locally but with an online presence, this could be achieved by a casual drop in. If customers are located remotely, a follow-up call or email asking about their experiences of the product will show that you really care and increase brand loyalty.
When you launch a new product line, it’s vital that you notify your old client base. Emails, newsletters or push notifications on their mobile devices are the easiest ways of doing this.
If you find electronic communication too impersonal, think about other ways you could contact them, such as a video call.
Many industries hold regular trade shows and other industry events. Although it might seem like unnecessary expenditure, it’s a good idea to attend these events. It will give you the opportunity to meet existing customers face-to-face and/or drum up new business. If money is tight, you could apply online for unsecured loans online to help cover your expenses. It will almost definitely pay off in terms of increased sales.
5. Show your appreciation
Sometimes in the world of business, it’s easy to take the customers who helped make you a success for granted. As well as offering promos and special deals for new clients, don’t forget to show your appreciation to older customers. A special offer just for them and e-cards on public holidays will help retain their business.