Where Should Small Businesses be Connecting with Customers Online?
It can easily become overwhelming for business owners to try and navigate through all the different online platforms their customers are looking for them in. The reality is, if your business isn’t where your customers are, you’ll end up jeopardizing the success of your business.
So where exactly should you connect with your customers online? The short answer is, wherever they are!
Your online listings are your new storefront
If you ask your customers today where they’re looking for your business, rest assured they won’t be pointing at a yellow phone book. Given the fact the first Yellow Pages phone book came out in 1886, it’s safe to say we’ve come a long way with how consumers find local businesses.
For a customer to be able to connect with you online, they first have to find you. Your business may only be one search away if you’re listed where you’re supposed to be. As a small business owner, you want to make sure you are listed in as many online directories as possible. Since you don’t know for sure where your customers will look for you online, it’s best to ensure your information is accurate and consistent in any directory that may pertain to your business category. When you make it easy for customers to find you, you’re also making it easy for them to connect with you.
3.5 Billion opportunities to grow your business
With close to 3.5 billion social media users worldwide, your business’s presence on social media is vital. Social media allows you to share relevant content with your customers, and it also becomes another platform where customers can connect with you. Consumers are spending an average of 3 hours a day on social networks and messaging, which in return translates to time they can be interacting with your business online.
Not only are your customers on social media, but your competition is on there as well. If you want to have a chance against your competitors, you need to be on social media platforms. Whether it’s posting on Instagram or tweeting on Twitter, being present where your customers are is a great way to provide more opportunities for customer interactions.
Immediate responses are now required
With 82% of consumers expecting an immediate response when interacting with a business, the reality is businesses need to be ready when their customers are ready.
Whether you’re a small business or Amazon, consumers are expecting the same real-time experience they’re receiving from the bigger competitors. It’s no longer so much about a business’s products or services, but more so about speed and what will be more convenient for the consumer. With changing expectations, business owners must implement processes or tools to create a seamless experience for their customers.
Convenience increases sales
In today’s digital age, customer convenience drives purchase decisions. When a customer is ready to make a buying decision, they expect things to roll on their terms. Providing customers with a 24/7 communication channel is just what your business needs to keep up with today’s consumer demands.
How exactly will your business get there? Automated chatbots.
Through artificial intelligence, chat conversations allows for consumer interaction to be convenient and fast. Automated chatbots support businesses in connecting with their customers at virtually any time of the day. With automated conversations, consumers can get instant answers on the devices they are already using, which results in faster, positive customer experiences.
Connecting with your customers online doesn’t have to be hard, especially when these platforms are already being commonly used. There’s a demand for decreased response times, and how you connect with your customers online matters. When it comes to customer communication online, being proactive really does matter.
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!