It has been an incredibly challenging time for many companies over the last 18 months, and many of our local customer-facing businesses have found themselves struggling to connect with their customers.
As the world begins to open up again, it’s perfectly acceptable for many businesses to still feel uncertain about the future, and indeed about retaining their client base. But fear not, the pandemic has been the catalyst for a multitude of revolutionary techniques through which customer connection and subsequent brand loyalty can be encouraged.
We’ve picked some of our most useful tips which will ensure that you’ll always stay in touch with your customers.
Tips for connecting with customers
1) Connect more frequently with customers on social media
The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced exactly how crucial social media is if you want to gain business exposure. Social media was used throughout lockdown to keep people informed, entertained, and distracted, and as we emerge from the pandemic, these browsing habits haven’t changed – if anything, they’ve increased.
If you want to build and retain emotional connection with your customers, ensure that you are posting a steady stream of engaging content which reflects your business and the values which are important to you and your client base. You can make the content on your social media platforms as entertaining as possible, by focussing on posts or activities which encourage consumer engagement.
2) Offer online deals
Another way of ensuring customer engagement is to frequently advertise online competitions to win gift vouchers, or to promote special offers. These types of incentives, especially when shared on social media, can really help to maintain sales and increase business to customer connection.
3) Chat to your customers
The modern society we live in has plenty of opportunities for companies to become more easily accessible. Why not utilise instant messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp to interact with your clients, and listen to their comments first-hand?
It’s also important to take advantage of video conferencing options such as Skype and Zoom whilst there may still be some reticence to meet face to face. Willingness to engage with your client-base can really help you to stand out from the crowd and develop consumer loyalty.
4) Live Stream
Live Streaming is an incredibly effective way to connect with your audience and engage in conversation in real time. Although popular among the rich and famous, it doesn’t have to be only celebrities who use the technique. Organising activities such as a live Q+A with your followers can be an excellent opportunity not only to answer some of their queries but also to help them learn a bit more about the organisation.
When hosting your live stream, choose the platform upon which you possess the largest following and the most active community – perhaps Facebook or Instagram. You could even take your live-streaming to Youtube, if your followers prefer to consume content away from social media.
Here are some guidelines for live-streaming on different platforms:
Live-streaming can be seen as an ‘event’ to look forward to, and it helps to promote it as such through social media posts or email.
5) Support other businesses to widen your audience
If you’re a small business, why not take it upon yourself to support other businesses who are experiencing similar challenges? Simply interacting with their content and giving it a like or a share can really help with cross promotion, which may allow you an opportunity to connect with more customers and give your business a head start.
6) Email marketing is the way forward
The design and distribution of regular e-newsletters to your customers’ inboxes is an excellent way for both parties to stay connected. Newsletters can include anything from updates on your business, a showcase of your latest products and services, or even inspiring content and useful advice. If your customers regularly receive updates from you, you are almost guaranteed to be at the forefront of their minds.
7) Ask for feedback
Another really useful way to be more in touch with your audience is to ask them for feedback regularly. This can be achieved via an emailed questionnaire, or perhaps you could ask them to contact you with any comments or ideas they may have. Openness to feedback demonstrates to the customer that you take their experiences and opinions seriously, positively impacting your reputation and meaning that you are more likely to retain your client-base.
8) Customer Participation
As we emerge from the pandemic, one thing we’ve learnt is that we’re able to participate in anything, from anywhere. Looking to the future, no matter where your client base is situated, there are an abundance of different ways to stay in touch with them. If you design competitions, quizzes or challenges which your consumers can take part in from wherever they are, that’s sure to build engagement.
Consumers generally respond well to authenticity, so try to devise your communication strategy to be a genuine reflection of what you consider your company stands for. Always think of the customer, and the ways in which you can establish and maintain an emotional connection with them whilst ensuring that they have the best possible impression of your organisation.
Astley Media has an incredibly wide range of experience in terms of the creation of digital content. For more of our resources and tips about how to maintain contact with your customers, please access the above hyperlink.