1. Think Long Term
When you want to generate customer intimacy, it is vital to think long term. Intimacy requires a relationship that lasts more than a day. A sale today means nothing if that customer never comes back. There will be times when your company will need to make sacrifices to keep customers happy, and those sacrifices will likely cost the company money.
For instance, if a customer is not happy with a product but has passed the return window, it may be worth giving the return anyway. When you truly commit to the customer, the customer will commit to you. Being loyal to customers is what builds customer loyalty.
2. Get to Know Your Customer
When people are interested in one another, they spend time getting to know one another. They learn one another’s favorite movies, favorite colors, where they like to eat, their family dynamics, and more. Getting to know one another on a deeper level is an important investment in the relationship. This step is where the foundation is built.
Companies should put at least the amount of effort into getting to know their customers as a person would spend getting to know their new love interest. This process will take time, but it is an investment in the business/customer relationship.
3. Go Beyond Your Four Walls
Though it is important to make your customers the center of your entire business and your office, your customers are not physically present there. They are real living, breathing people who are active in the world. If you want true, effective customer engagement, meet them on their turf. Have meet-and-greet lunches, contests, dinners, seminars, and anything else you can do to get face-to-face with your customers.
For instance, if one segment stays at home moms, meet them at the grocery store and talk to them. If another segment is retired older gentlemen, go hang out with them at the barbershop. Perhaps you could host a cookout in the park in a region where there are many young couples with kids. Get out of the office and get creative.
4. Personalized Service
The information you gather about your customers can be used to really personalize service and marketing for them. The data you gain can break your customer base down into groups, then subgroups, and even smaller groups. The smaller the group, the more individualized your service can get.
Kraft USA realized that their sales and marketing were not as effective as they could be because one size does not fit all. They sent employees out into the world to see what each group and subgroup really needed. Their salespeople now work in regions and with individual store managers to tailor a strategy for each. The knowledge that every store has a different type of customer base drives them to create highly targeted strategies for each individual store.
5. Be Generous
Give away tons of value to your customers without asking for a sale. There are two main reasons for this. First, customers begin to trust you as they see that you are not just after their money, and when they realize that you truly are an expert in your field. Second, when someone receives a gift, they often feel obligated to the giver. This works in your favor because, though they may not purchase at that moment, they will remember you when they need what you offer. They will also tell others about you. Some freebies you might consider are tutorials, webinars, or eBooks on topics that relate to your company.
6. Give Them a Voice
Empower your customers by providing a chat forum or social media page where they can voice their concerns, give product or service reviews, and share ideas on new products or how they think you might improve. Then, listen to them and respond. It is not necessary to put every single suggestion into play, but it is necessary to let them know you are paying attention. Take engagement marketing to the next level by being active on the forum or social media page. This is also a great way to gauge customer satisfaction.
7. Reward Customers
Always reward loyal customers. Let them know that you recognize their loyalty and appreciate it. You might give them one product that they regularly buy for free or at a deep discount. Gift cards to restaurants would be appreciated. If you know your customers well, you can think of the rewards they would enjoy.
Creating customer intimacy and customer loyalty requires that you be loyal and engaged from your side first. Customers need to know that they are a priority to your company and that you are truly interested in improving their lives with your products and services. Commit to your customer and restructure your strategies with them at the center. The rewards will be worth the effort.
Want to scale your company’s level of customer engagement? Bython can help. Contact us today.