Do Your Customers Love You?

Relationships take time and effort, regardless of what kind they are. But did you know that there are tools that exist that can maximize the effect of your marketing efforts?

In the past, marketing was left to the venues of radio, TV and printed forms of media (newspapers, magazines, and junk mail). Then clever people created VCRs (followed by DVRs and TIVO) that allow us to tape our favorite programs and skip all the advertising. AM/FM broadcasting was abandoned for Syrius satellite, podcasts and BlogTalkRadio. Magazine and newspaper circulations continue to dwindle in favor of online news outlets.

We adapted and developed personal methods and techniques that allowed us to reduce the traditional advertising that bombarded us at every turn and, instead, sought to be engaged with our favorite brands in collaborative relationships. The brands that were open to partnering with their customers saw immediate, positive results. And the brands that resisted it suffered as a result.

Now, the internet enables us to broadcast our existence and highlight what sets us apart from our competition. Social media sites allow us to extend our network beyond what we ever could in the past. Unlimited text, mobile phones and VOIP make it easier to “reach out touch someone” than ever before!

So, I ask you this. How do you ensure that your customers know you care and that you value their business? Engagement is crucial. But it can’t be done on a mass-marketing level. For the engagement to be meaningful, it has to timely and personal. You have to prove to them that they can know, like and trust you one person at a time.

In my opinion, there are four items you should have in your everyday toolset.

  1. Any system that helps you to keep track of your clients, make notes of conversations, has filtering capabilities, and can generate reminders based on key pieces of data.
  2. An active, healthy, engaging social media profile (or multiple profiles).
  3. A great telephone provider.
  4. Easy access to your customer’s mail boxes (not inboxes).

Set up a routine that ensures that you connect by phone and postal service with a specific number of customers each week. The purpose of the contact should never be to sell them anything. Instead, it should be to let them know you appreciate their patronage, wish them a happy birthday or holiday, ask after their family, and to see what’s new in their lives. Use this time to find out their needs and do what you can to help them.

Be real. Get to know your clients. While this may not seem feasible for larger companies, it is for service managers, sales people, and others within the organization. So, don’t let the size of your business keep you from making this a priority.

As you employ this technique, you offer your Self to your customers and give them ample opportunity to get to know you, which ultimately leads to them deciding whether they like you or not. If they don’t like you, they’ll leave. But don’t worry! That person was never going to be a referral source for you anyway, so don’t mourn the loss. If they do like you, this open connection and relationship building will lead them to trust you, and ultimately refer you to others they know. And that person is priceless to you and your business!

So, is it worth your while to go through your customer list and start calling one or two of them each week, or sending four or five of them greeting cards each week? The calls would cost you 10-15 minutes of your time per week. And there are tools that enable you to send out those cards in mere minutes. (If you’re not familiar with it, check out SendOutCards. It’s my absolute favorite tool for making real, significant connections with clients. And the holidays are a great time of year to try it!)

So, ask yourself… Can you spare 20-30 minutes a week to create “forever clients?” More importantly, can you afford not to?

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Tara R. Alemany

Award-winning author and speaker, and owner at Aleweb Social Marketing
Tara Alemany defies a simple definition. She is an award-winning and best-selling author and speaker, as well as a serial entrepreneur. Her publishing company, Emerald Lake Books, benefits experts and thought leaders as they grow their business by taking their words from manuscript to masterpiece. Her consulting company, Aleweb Social Marketing helps authors and speakers to get found online, on-stage and on-the-shelf. In addition to publishing, consulting, writing and speaking, Tara serves on the Boards of Directors for a Christian writers’ critique group, as well as acting as co-president and chaplain of the group. In her spare time, she is a novice winemaker, a martial artist, a juggler, a military Mom to 2 teenagers (one of each), step-Mom to 2 dogs (one of each) and is owned by a black cat.


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