The growth of the World Wide Web and the proliferation of social media channels have provided unprecedented opportunities for you to create stronger ties with your customers.
With only a small investment of time and effort, you can find out what your customers want from your products and services, what they think of you and your business and what experiences they’ve had with your company. In an equally short amount of time, they will tell you, often with searing honesty. Maintaining customer loyalty and satisfaction through online communication creates a winning situation for you, your business and your clients. Keep in mind, however, that the two main online venues — websites and social media — have distinct purposes that are better kept separate.
Your website serves as your headquarters online. There, your clients can get detailed descriptions of your services and how they can be of benefit. Your clients can see videos, photographs and diagrams of your products, along with detailed descriptions, technical specifications, case studies and other useful information. You can use your website as a vehicle for selling, providing calls to action that help move potential customers from one stage of the buying process to another. Your website can also be a point of contact for potential customers who want to reach you or one of your representatives.
Social media communicates
Social media allows the direct, one-on-one conversations that build trust, loyalty and stronger ties with your customers. When someone arrives at your Facebook page or follows you on Twitter, they already know you and are ready to interact with you. They don’t want to hear another sales pitch; they want to talk about their needs and interests, and you should be willing to listen. Be available to communicate with your customers through social media. When what they need meshes with what you offer, you can gently and sincerely engage them and work to build a business relationship from that point.
Does your website communicate a clear call to action and provide an easy contact point? Are you using social media for building relationships by interacting and communicating with your customers, rather than simply selling?
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