Today, relationship marketing is more important than ever before. In the past, for the most part, we lived in a transactional world where the primary focus was on making the sale. We have learned that it is much less expensive and much more profitable to keep an existing customer than to find and develop a relationship with a new customer.
The new relationship-style marketing turns our focus to listening and working more closely to our customers to create a more meaningful, long-term, personal connection. Because of the almost limitless social media tools available today, it is so much easier to shift to a relationship model.
Customers want to know that we have listened to them; they want to know that we care, and that they are important. Customers want us to respond quickly to their concerns and they also want to know that our products and services are improving based on their feedback.
Companies that have embraced this "two-way street" engagement with their customers are growing and thriving and will be around for the long haul.
What are the tell-tale signs of companies who are actively engaged with their customers? I’m glad you asked. Below I share seven best practices that show proper customer engagement, which will in turn positively affect the company’s bottom line.
- Conduct regular customer polls to identify challenges and requirements of the market.
- Stay on the cutting edge by adjusting and incorporating new technology.
- Maintain a “personal touch” even after you have incorporated high-tech systems.
- Make it a practice to actively and regularly reach out, not only to customers but to prospects, vendors and partners.
- Conduct regular social media training sessions for staff.
- Have a policy for social media so that staff knows exactly what they can and cannot say and how to handle negative comments or posts.
- Understand the power of making sure that profiles are active on the “Big 6”: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram.
It is critical that companies stay engaged and receptive to their customers. This can’t be a one-way street! Companies that have embraced this “two-way street” engagement with their customers are growing and thriving and will be around for the long haul.