In today’s fast-paced world of Internet business many people are of the misguided belief that promoting their brand and product is all that is needed to make a sale or to motivate a potential customer to take action. However, the fact that every person that engages in an online search for a product or service is inundated with millions of choices tells us that the smart businessperson will go the extra mile to get their brand name ahead of the pack. More is involved than convincing a customer that you have a good product; chances are that most of your competitors are offering the same thing. You need to create a following of people that see value in what you do on a much deeper level.
These relationships will not appear overnight but will require a strategic plan of action to develop them over time.
Unlike with sales promotions, communication is a contact sport. People will not usually remember you just because you gave them your business card and likewise people will not remember your business just because they have your name. This means that you have to go beyond the initial introduction to nurture and lay down a foundation for a lasting relationship. Once you’ve met a person your next step is to follow-up to reinforce your business image in their minds. More often than not you won’t meet people when they need what you have to offer so you will need to keep yourself ever-present in their minds. Take the time to use the connections you have to educate them on your industry and demonstrate to them that you know how to make their goals successfully and they will remember you when they do need your service.
Take Advantage of Your Social Media Outlets
There is a reason why social media sites are the most popular sites online today. People love to interact with each other. For most people, these sites represent the backyard fences of the past where they can share recipes, catch up on the latest gossip and give advice all at the same time. Using these avenues to keep you in the forefront of people’s minds has been one of the most effective and inexpensive ways of marketing your business. Social Media Today gives some good advice about why this is important,
“It’s time to get realistic about relationship marketing and use the lessons learned to improve the quality of the customer experience…. Your relationship with your customer is unique. Their expectations when dealing with your business is different than those when dealing with your competitors.”
To be successful in building solid customer relationships you need to have a balanced approach where you can communicate on a number of different platforms.
Relationships Aren’t Built Overnight
The key to building a successful customer relationship is consistency. Connecting with your customers on a regular basis, one day at a time, one message at a time, and one transaction at a time requires a long-term commitment. The sum total of all of these efforts will give evidence of the quality of the relationship. When you connect with your customers through the use of social media remember that your main focus is to establish a bond. You want their experience with you to be free and easy and the more personal their time with you the more likely they will remember you. Making them feel that you value them as a person and not just the dollars they’ll spend will go a long way in building up that solidarity. The better you care for them, the more likely they will remember and come back when they truly need what you have to offer.