Archive for March, 2012
The internet and its widespread availability makes it easy to keep relationships going, once acquainted. Once someone has used your product or service, you can easily start off and build on from there, given you are granted permission to do so.
Why should you do so? It is known that keeping customers can be up to nine times more cost-efficient than acquiring new ones – one more reason to establish and keep a constant connection to your customers. For small businesses, especially this is very important. Moreover, to make things easier, there is wide array of tools and tactics at your disposal.
So, where and how do you start?
One of the most straightforward answers is social media. Use social networks like Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest to stay close to your customers. If used properly, social media can help you carve out an image and establish a presence for your business. Transparency in communication, a positive, proactive attitude and a stream of relevant information will help you create a positive image that inspires customers trust. Social media is also great for conversations and also for finding out more about your customers, what they like, what they react positively to.
What is great about social media is that you can watch responses in real time and you can interact directly with your customers. Also, maintenance costs are low – all you need to invest is some time in creating and customizing your account and posting.
What can you post? Updates from your business, for example the Christmas decorations or a new type of product that was just brought in, industry news, funny pictures or anything else you think your customers might be interested in. You could also mention upcoming special offers, promotions.
If on Google+, you can create hang-outs with your customers. Hang-outs are video-chats of up to 10 people, where you can hold a Q&A session, give a tutorial on how something is done – for example, floral arrangements if you own a flower-shop. President Obama himself used this Google+ feature earlier this year to make an announcement.
Besides social media, e-mail marketing is also a great way to keep in touch. Periodically, you can send your customers a newsletter informing them of current or upcoming offers. Here one thing is essential: customers need to grant you permission to e-mail them. Otherwise, you risk bombarding them with unwanted information and annoying them. Also, remember to be concise and to the point, keep your messages short and sweet and the design simple.
We have shared our thoughts on the matter so far. Now, we want to hear your thoughts on the subject matter. How do you stay in touch? What do you think works best for your customers?