By: Shad Bookout
If knowledge is power, then we live in a time of great distribution of that power. More information is available to more people than ever before. This is not just a factor of the data that people are paying for. You can learn more about your customers and those those whom you target, simply as a consequence of taking part in the world around you. From social media to mobile tech to just observational behavior, the things you can learn about the people you engage with is unparalleled in today’s technologically-driven society. But the real questions are not centered around how your obtain your knowledge. The question is: how do your spend your information currency?
Whether through searching about them on Google, seeking them out on social media, or just interacting with them, you are able to learn a lot about your customer. And that is vital, since today’s customers are seeking a more personalized, engaging experience. If you are taking the time to give your customer a tour of your brand and then not following up with them appropriately, you are essentially devaluing the relationship that you have created. If you are taking just the cursory information you learned and not digging deeper to discover their motivational factors, then you are devaluing yourself as a trusted resource to them. In either case, your lack of direction after customer acquisition can spell disaster for your long term relationship with your customer.
Thanks to the era of instant digital gratification, the only relevant time frame to execute customer requests is “now”. This includes follow-up. How many times have you asked for additional information only to never receive an adequate reply? Don’t let the same thing happen to your customers. Create value by being the first to reply. Also, be sure you are replying to your customer by their preferred means (not the method that is most convenient for your brand). Not only will this increase your brand’s credence, it will make it more likely that you earn their business.
Furthermore, it is important to personalize your engagement. Sending the same templated reply to each “valued customer” seems disingenuous. If you want to be a valued brand —and truly remembered — taking the time to connect to your customer on this personal level is key. Remember, there are many other options your customer has available. When you take the time to treat them as an individual, to make them feel special, the relationship you create is far more than the typical brand-customer relationship. It becomes something far more meaningful.