You’ve probably heard that building a connection with customers is one of the most important things you can do to grow your business. It not only expands your reach but also helps to retain the customers you already have.
But building a genuine connection with your customers isn’t always easy. Some brands struggle to do it effectively, but there are some simple things any business can do to start connecting effectively.
Show Them You’re Worth It
Transparency is important, especially today when so much information is available online. Customers value honesty and transparency, and when you’re open about who you are, from your products to your mistakes, new customers will have fewer reservations.
Most customers want to give their money to brands that have their best interests at heart, but you should never over-promise something you cannot deliver. Having an overblown marketing campaign may draw a lot of attention, but if you can’t provide what you’re promising, customers will not trust your brand.
It’s always best to show customers why your brand is the solution to their problem, whatever that may be. Show new and potential customers that you are there to help them, just as you’ve helped people before them. Let people talk about your brand to create buzz, but give them good things to talk about. Openly share as much as you can about your business to show your customers that you are comfortable with who you are and where you stand.
Many people try to recreate what they see other successful people and brands doing, but this approach is rarely successful. Rather than trying to reproduce something that others have done, spend more time focusing on yourself and your business to understand what makes you unique.
Trying to fake an image or be something you’re not won’t attract customers and won’t encourage a connection. It may work for a short time, but it won’t take long for customers to realize that these connections are shallow and the image you’re putting forth isn’t genuine. For example, if you use the same suppliers as other restaurants in town, don’t claim to source your produce and meats from local farmers. Eventually, customers will learn the truth and your connection (and reputation) will be tarnished forever.
Your business is unique. It has its own strengths and values and qualities that make it special. Spend some time figuring out what makes you special and run with it instead of trying to imitate competitors. Doing so will help you create genuine connections with customers that last.
Respect Their Feelings
You can’t truly connect with customers unless it’s a two-way street. Getting to know your customers and considering their thoughts and feelings goes a long way. What do they need? What are they afraid of? How can you help them? By attempting to understand these things about your customers, you will make deeper and more profound connections.
To start, don’t look at every customer as a sale or a potential conversion. Instead, understand that they are people, and each one has feelings, thoughts, and opinions. Try to understand who they are and why they would be interested in your brand. Seek out opportunities to connect with customers on an individual basis, whether through email, social media comments, or online chat, to get an idea of who they are and how you’re helping them.
For example, if you run a subscription clothing service, are your customers worried about going back to the office after working remotely for a long period? Are they going to shift to working from home permanently? Do they want stylish business attire so they look and feel great heading back to work? Or, are they fine in comfortable casual wear at home while working during the day and want new workout clothes for their evening run or the right shoes and accessories to make a good first impression when they return to happy hour? How can you position your business to help?
Don’t Forget About Content
Today, there are seemingly endless ways to engage customers through content. Many people will find your business this way, giving them the initial impression that your business is somewhat of an industry leader online. One way to attract customers to your brand and to keep them coming back is to use engaging content to not only build an audience but also build a rapport with that audience to keep them coming back.
One of the best places for content is a company blog. Regardless of what type of business you’re running, a company or brand blog is the perfect place to share everything from tips for using your product to upcoming promotions to community outreach projects you’re involved in.
Above All, Be Authentic
To really connect with your customers, you not only have to know who you are but also who they are. It’s not hard for customers to spot a brand that isn’t authentic, but when you know your story and care for your customers, it’s much easier to build connections and grow your business.