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May 3, 2010

Keeping in touch with customers

Today's technology enables us to keep in touch with customers in a number of new ways. The next time you get a new customer, make sure you take down more than just their name, phone number and address. Ask them if they are online--Facebook, Twitter, email, LinkedIn, blogs, etc. Some online business management programs allow you to store this information about customers for reference. With their online contact info, you can quickly and easily reach them. Send an email marketing campaign to them, comment on their Facebook status or pictures, or connect with them on LinkedIn. 


Using online communication, you can easily pass on links containing coupons or helpful articles. If you schedule in some time to communicate online once or twice a week with your customers, you'll stay in their mind. A lot of people fear that always being online will distance us from people and hurt our face-to-face communication. I think it actually makes it more special. If your customers see you digitally all the time, either on Facebook or Twitter, imagine how surprised they'd be if they received a phone call or a hand written note. So just because the online world is growing, doesn't mean the older means of communication are going to die out. Here are some quick tips for communicating with customers:


-First, become a friend of your customers on Facebook and Twitter (if they are on those services. If you aren't, stop reading now and join!)

-Next, comment on their status updates, pictures and links. Occasionally send them something useful about a sale, but DO NOT spam them with merchandise--that's an easy way to get un-followed.

-Get to know them--thanks to online profiles, this is pretty easy!

-Every now and then (maybe once a month) send them a personalized, handwritten note. This will strengthen the relationship and make them feel special.

-Keep that cycle going and you'll build a loyal customer base in no time!

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