I see this all the time when working with companies. Because the company doesn’t understand their own business well enough yet. I’m going to break down seven steps you can use to personally connect with customers on a personal level. People expect a timely response after sending you an email, right? Get the customer service number from any one of your favorite companies and give them a call. Meet your customers offline, in real life Face-to-face requests are 34 times more successful than email ones, according to a study retold in a Harvard Business Review article. Their goal isn’t necessarily to make extra money off those people, so they ‘subsidize’ the cost with sponsors to make sure as many customers as possible can make it. Personalize your business blog Meeting face-to-face is the best. Encourage customers to create content for your business One blogging report shows that content is getting both longer and more time consuming to produce. Get your customers to help create the content with you!
Everybody knows that you should “engage customers.”
You can’t read a social media blog post without seeing it mentioned somewhere.
But we seldom talk about “why” or “how.”
It’s not enough to know just the demographics of your customers.
Age and location data doesn’t tell you what you really need to know.
Instead, you need to know your customers on a personal level so that you know what they want, why they buy, and why they don’t buy.
Otherwise, you have only a superficial understanding of your customers.
I see this all the time when working with companies.
Nobody’s buying, and the business can’t figure out why.
However, it’s obvious when you see that their messaging is off, and people aren’t engaging with their campaigns.
Nobody cares. Why? Because the company doesn’t understand their own business well enough yet.
If you fix that root cause, it can create a domino effect that realigns all of the other issues.
I’m going to break down seven steps you can use to personally connect with customers on a personal level.
It changes everything.
Step #1. Respond to customers ASAP
We’re always on the lookout for some trendy tips or hacks.
But often, the simplest changes that are right in front of our nose can have the biggest impact on results.
I’ll show you a perfect example.
People expect a timely response after sending you an email, right? Twenty-four hours seems to be the politically correct time frame point for most people surveyed.
This seems obvious when you think about it. A response within one day is still in the window of a time that feels right.
And yet, how many times have you waited…and waited…and waited…for someone to give you a simple “Yes” or “No?”
Many times a simple, “Yes, I received this and will review in-depth to respond soon” is enough.
However, most companies can’t even be bothered with that, apparently.
Here’s a study that underscores how something so small (like response time) is critical to your bottom line.
The Harvard Business Review found that your chances of qualifying a new lead fall almost 400% if you wait longer than five minutes to contact them back.
Now here’s the fun part.
Guess when they conducted this review? 2011!
Has the world sped up or slowed down since then?
Exactly. It’s only sped up with new technologies like live chat and messaging.
The best time to follow up with a lead is when they’re white hot after reaching out. So why wouldn’t you do the same for existing customers?
Otherwise, the next big drop off point is that 24-hour mark again.
Step #2. Go the extra mile
I have an experiment for you.
Get the customer service number from any one of your favorite companies and give them a call.
What happens next?
Assuming you get through in the next hour, it’s most likely picked up by somebody reading directly from a script.
Now let’s compare that experience to Zappos.
The company relocated to Las Vegas, a city with a lower average cost of living. That way, they could expand their in-house call center and keep everyone together.
Every page of their website features a phone number that a U.S.-based employee will answer every hour of every day of the week.
Zappos famously allows free returns. So customers can try many different sizes, sending the wrong fit back, before finally deciding on their selection.
And yet, Zappos views it as an “investment” with zero thought of ever outsourcing it.
Zappos also doesn’t use scripts, upsell customers, or “hold reps accountable for call times,” all of which are unheard of in the industry.
On paper, every single one of these decisions erodes their profit margins. It’s like taking money and throwing it out the window.
So does that make Zappos smart or stupid?
It probably makes them stupidly smart when you consider how people discover new products today.
Now consider the flip side. In most cases, negative reviews are the fastest way to derail a new purchase.
A Zendesk study showed that 90% of positive reviews impact purchases and 86% of negative ones do also.
Another study showed that even a single negative review has the power to destroy 70% of purchases.
So what’s Zappos’ secret?
Their secret is that there is no secret.
They’ve organized almost their entire business model to compete on customer service.
So don’t take shortcuts, no matter what that might do to the bottom line in the short term.
They even have upper management man the phones, doing up to six weeks of call center training so that everyone knows company expectations.
It’s no wonder that Zappos is one of the few companies still growing and taking on new customers at a fast clip.
Step #3. Send emails your subscribers want to read
Email is widely cited as the top ROI producing channel.
Those results aren’t even close! The return for what you put in is four to five times better than its closest competing channel.
Do you want to make more money today?
Easy. Send more emails!
There is one catch, however.
You don’t want to kill the proverbial golden goose.
You don’t want to drive up your unsubscribes too much to effectively sabotage your potential future sales.
So let’s dig into why people unsubscribe from newsletters in the first place.
There are obviously a few reasons, but the top three cited in a study by Constant Contact all relate to one problem: Irrelevant content.
I’d argue that even “too many emails” is a problem with relevance.
I think if your content was awesomely relevant enough, frequency shouldn’t be a problem!
The trick, of course, is to set expectations early and often.
You need to continually remind people why they signed up…