Finding out information about your customers is much easier today because of the proliferation of social media platforms—a LinkedIn profile or series of tweets on Twitter, for example, can be very informative. In the best type of relationship marketing, the information you gather on your customers should come from more direct sources.
The following three tips can help you focus on the areas where you can find useful information about your customers.
- When C-level individuals interact, listen carefully – Website traffic often comes from managers or employees. When a corporate executive searches your page or browses your online offerings, it’s an occasion worthy of your full attention. If the individual’s looking for pricing alternatives or additional services, for example, you can use this opportunity to further solidify the customer relationship by responding directly to C-level needs and requests. Follow up after the contact with additional information, white papers, articles or other material the executive might find helpful.
- Have a real conversation – Focus on having a genuine conversation between you and the customer. Don’t just talk about you and what you can do; this will be just as annoying to a customer as a similar one-sided conversation at a conference. Ask questions about what your customers want and how you can provide it. When you discover relevant areas of customers’ interests, send them additional information that can help them with that problem. Don’t shy away from being entertaining. A good laugh can help make a business relationship even more solid.
- Vary your communication channels – Email is a quick and convenient way to connect with customers, but don’t ignore other communication methods. Pick up the phone and call your best customers to converse directly. Mail written surveys that allow customers to provide detailed feedback. Send a handwritten thank-you note or follow-up message. Customers are likely to be favorably impressed by that and will remember the gesture. Look for ways to join the conversation on social media networks. Coordinate all your communications to create a smooth and integrated network of customer interaction.
How can you use relationship marketing techniques such as these to improve communications with your customers?