Keep Your Customers Satisfied: Pair Technology with a Human Touch
New digital and social technologies may tempt marketers to jump on the latest bandwagon to win new customers. Yet the greatest chance for success still comes down to the ability to build deeper, more meaningful relationships with committed customers. Here are a few steps and tools to help strengthen relationships with existing customers, partners, and stakeholders... while leading to new audience development.
Do your homework
Email databases, web analytics, and CRM performance can reveal more than data about sales. They also offer insights to inform marketing strategies and, more importantly, help you better understand your customers.
A good place to start is with website analytics tools like Google Analytics. These basic tools can help develop an understanding of how audiences are finding your company, what pages get the most attention, and where and when users abandon your site. Google Analytics can also reveal a lot about customer engagement: how frequently they visit, what devices they use, and even demographic information such as age, gender, and location.
Inexpensive heat maps and user recording tools like Hotjar can reveal a deeper perspective on website engagement. This tool shows where users are clicking and how far they're scrolling down pages. This is especially relevant when considering where to place specific calls to action. Newsletter sign-ups should also be prominent. If they are at the bottom of your landing page, many users may not see them at all.
Invest in loyal customers
One universal truth we all know is that it costs significantly more to attract new customers than to retain the ones you have. Reward your best customers and they will not only sing your praises, they will share their experience with friends. That reward doesn't always have to be financial; it could be emotional or intellectual.
Build a relationship with customers by being approachable, helpful, and efficient. This is particularly important when communicating with Millennial and Gen Z consumers, who absorb information instantaneously and lose interest just as quickly. These audiences want a more open, authentic dialogue with brands through all forms of media.
Quick, on-site surveys are a great way to allow your audience to provide feedback. Google Surveys and Hotjar are good options to provide short, unobtrusive polls. Try keeping your poll to one or two questions to maximize responses.
Communicate on their level
There is a wealth of industry data available about target audiences and respective media consumption. For example, more than 90 percent of Millennials, 77 percent of Gen X, and 48 percent of Baby Boomers are active social media users, according to eMarketer.
YouTube and Facebook are the most widely used social platforms. In fact, YouTube reaches more U.S. 18- to 34-year-olds than any TV network. Remember that each generation gravitates to particular platforms.
And never underestimate the power of peers. Younger consumers are more likely to explore content that is "endorsed" by their peers. Based on a study conducted by Collective Bias, 70 percent of Millennial consumers are influenced by the recommendations of their peers in buying decisions. Similarly, 78 percent of Gen Z have read a review when buying a product in the past 30 days.
Chances are that the first point of contact with your brand is a Google search. If the user is on a mobile device (more than half of searches are), Google My Business listings will likely be the first thing they see about your business. Since this is your first chance to make an impression, these reviews must be solid. Take the time to ask customers to write a review on Google.
Make yourself easy to find
Social media and content marketing are ideal for keeping brands top of mind for loyal customers and for boosting the chances new customers will find you organically. If you own a website, verify the site on Google Search Console and see all the keywords people are using to find the site. You'll also see your rank position from those keywords, which you can use to prioritize for SEO. For example, if the site is not in positions 1 to 5 for the most important keywords, you may want to build out a content strategy to target those keywords specifically and improve your ranking over time.
New technologies are making it easier to gain direct access to and understand customers. They don't replace personal interaction. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Today, tomorrow, and into the future, you can use technology to enhance your relationship with your customers.
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