Building a strong connection with customers is crucial for your business to stay competitive and to offer better customer support.
I write a lot about customer service a lot on this blog, but I’ll stress it again: Strong products and services are important, but a real and meaningful connection with your customers will keep them coming back.
Here are three tips for better customer support that will help make your business more successful and improve your connection with customers.
#1 – Building a strong connection with customers over social media requires more than just posting advertisements or promotions
Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook are a great way to connect with your customers.
Gartner analysts have seen the other side of this coin: “All organizations in the private and public sector connect with customers, most often through the work of the marketing, sales and customer service departments,” said Michael Maoz, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “However, in most cases, these organizations are not actually engaging with the customer, and instead they have been disengaging for a decade in order to lower costs. Furthermore, relatively few have an enterprise-wide approach to engaging with customers.”
Ask your customers questions over social media. These don’t necessarily have to be about your product, although they certainly can be. Even simple questions like “What are your plans for the long weekend?” are a great way to build connections. Questions like these give customers a chance to positively engage with your business and get them thinking about your products.
Social media is also an important forum for responding to customer comments and complaints. A speedy, polite and satisfying response not only solves the customer issue at hand, it demonstrates to all of your customers who use social media that you are dedicated to strong customer service.
Allstate insurance ensures a fantastic customer service experience by singling out their most successful representatives on the local level. It is a prestigious honor and one that is highly sought after.
#2 – No amount of theorizing can ever replace hard data about what customers really want
One of the best ways to connect with customers and provide better customer support is to determine their desires, then model your business to meet these desires.
Focus groups, online and phone surveys, and polls are all great ways of gathering information about customer desires. They build a connection with customers by demonstrating to them that their opinions matter to your business. Surveys are also a great way to get customers thinking about your business.
Go beyond simple data about purchasing history or habits and ask your customers about their motivations and needs. Understanding your customers on a deeper level allows you to better respond to their needs and ultimately forges a stronger connection between customers and your business.
#3 – There really is no replacement for human interaction
. While emails and phone calls may be more efficient, they can never replicate the level of connection that comes from human interaction.
Face-to-face interactions let customers see the human side of your business. It’s a chance to step out from behind your organization’s logo and let customers see what you’re really about. Spend the time to learn something about your customer by asking questions and listening to their concerns. Respond by sharing something from your own life.
The customer’s connection to your organization will be founded on a real and meaningful human relationship with your employee.
Human interaction is also a great way to provide customers with information that may not be available online or to deal with any difficulties the customer may be having with your business. This kind of personalized service shows customers that they are important and helps to create meaningful connections.
Connecting with Customers is Key
It’s not enough to deliver quality goods or services. Businesses rely on connecting with customers to build strong, lasting relationships and provide better customer support.
Gartner analysts add an interesting footnote: Ethical engagement explores the deepest values and meanings by which people live. These aspects of life and human experience go beyond a purely materialistic view of the world. The organization has a published framework that discusses how it views its responsibilities to employees, partners, customers, suppliers, the community and the world.