Are you connecting with your customers effectively? Even with new technology at our fingertips, businesses still rely heavily on email and phone calls as a means of communication. In a 2016 report, The Radicati Group estimated email use worldwide will top 3 billion users by 2020.
But, overuse can lead to too much of a good thing. HubSpot reported that 78 percent of consumers unsubscribe due to a brand pushing too many emails. So, how do you become memorable if not by increased exposure? By changing the quality and the impact of your content.
Business blogger Neil Patel suggests that a personal, professional touch is key.
“It’s not enough to know just the demographics of your customers. Age and location data doesn’t tell you what you really need to know. Instead, you need to know your customers on a personal level so that you know what they want, why they buy, and why they don’t buy….People buy from other people, no matter what business they’re in. They want to be able to trust the individuals on the other side of the screen and know that their best interests are in mind.”
3 Quick tips to a lasting impression
Like many things in life, you want a customer connection to start with a good impression. Use the following tips to connect personally and professionally to show your customers you value them.
1. Seek a personal connection
Whether you prefer to address someone by their last name out of respect or start on a first-name basis to come across as an equal, you should use a customer’s name whenever and wherever possible. This sense of familiarity will help to establish trust, a key component in cementing you in your customer’s thoughts.
Addressing them by name will not only enforce that you know who you’re talking to, but also demonstrate that you care about each individual's needs and that they’re uniquely important to you and your company. Begin conversations by focusing on what benefits they could see, rather than on all the things you can offer. Inquire about their needs and find out what they’re looking for. For more tips on customer feedback, check out this Tip Tuesday. A shift in attitude goes a long way.
2. Treat each client like a game-changer
Every client should feel like they’re the most important client you will ever deal with. While familiarity and addressing their needs set some good groundwork, it’s important to put that level of attention into every communication.
An email filled with poor grammar and typos is a quick way to throw a great interaction out the window. Grammarly.com has a downloadable extension for your browser that will actively work to correct grammar and spelling mistakes, offering suggestions for common errors.
Pay attention, as well, to the information your customer gives to you. If you have to cancel a client meeting because someone is under the weather, wish them a speedy recovery. If there was a recent power outage, ask how they weathered the storm. Make it about the people, not the money.
Most importantly, make it known that you appreciate your customer’s time. On average, an e-mail should be responded to within 24 hours, even if you can’t provide a full response at that time. Make it known that you value them and are actively working to provide them the information they’re looking for.
3. Change your perspective
If you find yourself struggling with customer interactions, ask yourself what you would value if the positions were reversed. Are you quick to state your name and reason for reaching out when you first get in touch? Do you clearly and concisely state your contact information when leaving voicemails, taking the time to both slowly state numbers, emails, and addresses, as well as repeat vital information?
If you find you lack enthusiasm in your voice on calls, force a smile when you talk, even if you’re talking to a brick wall. That smile will translate into a happier and more approachable tone over the phone. Also, remember the limitations of phone calls or e-mail interactions. If you need time to gather materials or information, explain yourself clearly, rather than just going silent or failing to respond.
Although all these changes in behavior are minor, they will make a huge impact on the quality of your customer interactions. People buy from people, not from a company. So make sure you’re one of the people they’ll remember.
Photo: A. and I. Kruk/Shutterstock.com