Building strong connections with your customers is the most important stepping stone to keeping them coming back to your business regularly. According to AmericanExpress, customers today don’t just want personal interactions when working with businesses, they expect it. The truth is, if a customer doesn’t feel valued by a business, they don’t have any reason to stick around. They will move on and explore your competitors to see who is more willing to put in the effort to build a relationship with them. Consumers have no shortage of choices when it comes to finding a business to work with, so businesses need to find a way to stand out in the crowd. Personalization is the answer.
How can business owners effectively add more personalization to each and every customer interaction?
Know their Name
Most likely, you know the names of your friends and family members. Your loyal customers should be no exception to this. The first step in making a relationship more friendly is knowing a person’s name. When you speak to your customers, make the conversation more comfortable by using their name and by humanizing yourself. We’ve all had encounters with customer service reps or businesses that feel like we’re talking to a robot. Instead of sounding like you’re in a rush to get off the phone or done with a job, ask your customer questions and get to know them a little. This goes a long way when your customer is making a future decision about which business, in your industry, to work with.
Using your customers’ names when you send out text and email engagements makes it more likely that they will actually read and interact with your messages. Nobody wants to spend time reading an email that starts with “Dear Customer,” but the opposite is true when the email starts with their name. Making your customers feel valued is key, and knowing their name is your first step.
It’s time to go digital with your data, and that includes customer data. Having a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform makes it easier to maintain and manage your customer data in a way that it can be easily utilized. FreshLime’s software makes it simple for businesses to input customer data, and use that data to send automated engagements. The best part is that the personalization and targeting is done for you, so your engagements are effective and generate more revenue by bringing customers back through your door.
Data isn’t just for engagements and following-up. Allowing yourself and all of your employees access to this same information makes it possible to personalize interactions by referencing previous orders or past service issues.
Thank them For Working with You
Everyone wants to feel appreciated. Showing that you remember details about a specific call or service with your customer demonstrates the interest you have in them. Sending an automated text or email through FreshLime after each and every job shows your customers that you care. This is another great opportunity for business owners and employees to use their customer’s name. Don’t forget to always leave your customer with a good taste in their mouth about your business, as well as your contact information so they can reach you with future needs. Thanking your customer for their business is a simple but effective way to show them that you value them.
Keep the Communication Lines Open
Continue to engage with your customers through FreshLime’s automated engagements. Keeping the engagements regular and data-driven ensures that the communication lines stay open with your customers, without feeling like you’re bombarding them. Engaging with your customers should be done in a way that is most convenient for them- which is typically through text messages or emails. There are many reasons to engage with your customers that are both beneficial to you and them:
- Recommendations: Sending reminders to your customers to schedule a follow-up carpet cleaning or oil change shows that you care and you know them.
- Company Updates: If your business is rolling out new products or updates, you should always let your customers know. Using the data you’ve collected about customers’ past purchasing behaviors also makes it easier for you to recommend new products they might like.
- Specials: Running specials or sending out coupons is a great way to bring those inactive customers back. After all, who doesn’t love a good deal?
Ask for Reviews & Referrals
A big win-win is asking your customers to leave you an online review, or to create a loyalty program that pushes referrals. After completing a service for a happy customer, send a reminder via text or email reminding your customer to leave you an online review. Believe it or not, the main reason businesses miss out on gaining new reviews is simply because they don’t ask. 70% of consumers say they will leave a review for a business if they’re asked to. That statistic is pretty motivating, and the fact that FreshLime automates the process makes it impossible to miss out on those increasingly-valuable online reviews. Once someone leaves you a review, they’re that much more committed to your business and likely to use you again.
How is it a win for your customer? Showing your customer that you value their feedback is important. Let your customer know that it will really help you out if they leave a review so they can feel good about doing so. Creating a customer loyalty program brings your customers back and rewards them for doing so, and it’s always wise to add in referrals to that loyalty incentive. If your customer sends someone to your business who follows-through with a purchase, reward your customer with a percentage off their next scheduled service, or points towards a dollar amount off of a future purchase. Win-Win!
At the end of the day, personalized customer interaction makes your customer feel more valued, everyone loves that. The more positive engagements you have with your customers, the more likely they are to remember your business. Build up strong and lasting connections with your customers through positive, personal and frequent interactions.
For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. 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!