Just because FreshLime is a customer engagement platform doesn’t mean we believe in customer engagement on steroids. One of the biggest mistakes that some business owners make is actually engaging too often – along with not often enough. There is a sweet spot that exists and it is a balance between what industry you are in, seasonality of your service offering, and the individual customer personality – it all plays a part. Getting a leg up on your competition involves figuring it all out – and the bonus is that figuring it all out positively affects your bank account.
Any good relationship starts and ends with respect and consideration. You spend a lot of time considering your pricing and your specialty – spend that time also getting to know your customers and their communication preferences. Do they like receiving texts and how often? Is email best? Phone? Just asking at the end of your appointment goes a long way. Keeping that information in a CRM puts you in the driver’s seat without going crazy – you can stay on top of the best way to communicate and your chances of going overboard or not reaching out often enough are mitigated.
Everybody loves Holidays! Or Seasons!
Next time you have an hour to kill, take a look at your calendar and mark all the holidays, seasons, special occasions, etc. Make sure you take into account the less obvious and fun ones like “National Pizza Day” and “Secretary Day” because they will stand out more than the pile of Christmas cards your customers get from other businesses they have patronized that year. I mean, how many businesses do you know that send out a St. Patrick’s Day “We are so lucky to have you as a customer!” card? Not many – so you will stand out and win customer engagement at least in the month of March.
Once you have a list of holidays figured out decide which ones will fit best with your industry, customer base and fun reason for an excuse to reach out to customers – just make sure you don’t have more than 2 every month. Pick just one a month or every other month so it’s special and go from there.
Everybody loves a good deal
Just as much as Santa Claus and Hanukkah, people love a good deal. But send deals their way too often and they lose the “special” factor. Worse yet, they won’t need your service right when you send out a deal but they see them come from you so often that they figure they will just wait for the next one, and they will delay booking with you – and they won’t even consider ever paying full price. A restaurant on the popular show “Undercover Boss” did a couponing deal every week in a local publication until they realized that the weeks they didn’t run a deal business went way down. So for 6 months they just focused on marketing the value of their meals and the quality of service they gave, and slowly the customer behavior changed.
So that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ever put out a deal or coupon, but that does mean you should be picky about when you do it, and don’t de-value the cost of your service.
Social media status
If you are a social butterfly and want to connect with your customers on social media, consider inviting them to join a Facebook group, or tweet with a fun business hashtag instead of immediately connecting with them personally. You may get there with some of them, but there are other ways to connect with your customers on social media without opening yourself up to possible awkwardness from knowing too much about your personal life or vice versa. As they become lifelong customers that is a possibility, but not right off the bat.
But definitely start a Facebook group. If you are a hair stylist, connect your customers through awesome hair tutorials, fun new styles or interesting trends. Instagram is also a great way to do this. If your profession doesn’t lend to positive visualization, then try other ways to connect. LinkedIn may even be a fit depending on what you do.
For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, subscribe to the FreshLime Newsletter here. Connect with Erin Schurtz, VP of Marketing of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. And last of all, if any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!