‘Good morning Mr Jones, how’s the wife and kids?’
Ah, a bygone age where everybody knew their neighbours, shopkeepers and customers by name. Of course, this still happens on high streets all over the country and Mr Jones and his family are still asked about by discerning butchers, bakers and mobile phone makers up and down the land.
However, what about the companies that don’t have high street stores or the half a billion businesses that are online, how are they ever going to get a chance to say hi to Mr Jones let alone get to know about his wife and children?
In a nutshell, if you have customers then you need to interact with them so they feel valued, comfortable and loyal to you and your brand/product/service. This makes sense on the most basic of business principles and yet customers are still being ignored and not made to feel special every second of the day.
So, how can we make this right? How can we ensure Mr Jones and his family still feel that they’re enjoying the same customer satisfaction levels that they’ve become accustomed to?
Newsletters, social media, RSS feeds and feedback forms are all designed to garner those all-important customer contact details and once you’ve got them then you can start to build and develop a relationship that will, hopefully, instil the same sense of confidence that can be found on the high street.
Targeted communication is all about making contact with people who actually want you to as opposed to cold calling or blanket emailing dear sir/madam etc.
People are busy and don’t want to be messaged if it’s irrelevant, time consuming or there’s nothing in it for them. So turn this on its head and only send a message that’s relevant to the recipient, is well-written and to the point and that either offers something or at least has a call to action.
This all makes perfect sense if you have a small database of customer contacts that you know inside out but how about the global companies like Amazon who have databases as large as the solar system?
By learning from our transactions and previous decisions, online businesses are starting to piece together what they hope will be the beginnings of a beautiful friendship. The analysis of Big Data enables a more relevant and customer specific approach and helps to achieve positive results through targeted communications.
Like every relationship, the process needs to be two-way and with social media and instant feedback options it’s now possible for a customer to feel like they’re able to make their voice heard and therefore they feel valued and part of the brand.
Customer service is key to all good businesses and if you know your customer then you’re half way to being able to give them exactly what they want and they’ll be more inclined to tell their friends and colleagues about what an excellent experience they’ve had which saves you the job.