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FYI Magazine

Simple ways to connect with your customers

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Establishing and maintaining a lasting connection with customers is a goal for businesses big and small. Nowadays, accomplishing that goal is easier than ever before, as businesses can take advantage of the Internet and social media to keep in touch with their customers and keep those customers abreast of sales or special offers.
But as effortless as it can seem to maintain a connection with customers, establishing the initial connection that makes customers want to bring their business to you time and again can be more difficult. While a great product or service is at the core of every successful business, savvy business owners know the value of connecting with their customers on a deeper level. The following are some simple ways businesses big and small can connect with their customers.
  • Share your history. Sharing the history of your business is a simple yet effective way to establish a personal connection with your customers, many of whom may enjoy learning how your business started, especially if you overcame difficult odds before ultimately becoming successful. Sharing the history of a business that has withstood the test of time also inspires customer confidence, as many consumers correctly feel that a company that has been around a long time must be doing something right to keep its doors open. Share your story on the company website, whether it's the first thing customers see on your homepage or under its own tab labeled "Our Story" or "About Us." A story also can be shared via social media outlets.
  • Survey the troops. Surveys are another valuable tool you can use to engage and connect with customers. Surveys allow businesses to learn what's working and what's not working with regard to pleasing their customers, and customers will appreciate that you value their feedback and want to know how you can make their experiences more enjoyable. Surveys can be administered in person when customers visit your store. In such instances, ask customers to return the surveys on their next visit. Surveys also can be administered via email or social media platforms. When designing the surveys, include a section for comments where customers can include any suggestions or concerns they did not have a chance to address when completing the original survey.
  • Promptly respond to emails and other feedback. Customers willing to take the time to email a business to share their experiences or provide feedback, be it positive or negative, appreciate when those businesses respond in a timely fashion. A timely response to such feedback indicates that your business values its customers and their input. When responding to negative feedback, investigate any incidents or problems before responding so you are in a better position to address the customer's concerns.
  • Make it personal. Whenever possible, personally respond to new customers to thank them for their business and encourage them to return. As valuable as online customer surveys can be to your business, responding personally to survey participants, customers or others who provide feedback, be it through a personal card or note sent via the mail or a personal message sent through social media, is a great way to foster a lasting and positive relationship with clients and customers, many of whom will likely spread the word about your thoughtful gesture to friends and family members.