How Can You Connect with More Customers Online?
Only two or three years ago, all a company needed to ensure it was visible to the maximum number of potential consumers was a website, but recently all that has changed. If a website is all you are relying on to generate sales and attract a wider customer base, you are already in danger of being left far behind by your competitors. In today’s world of cutthroat competition, savvy business owners and CEOs are reaping the benefits of plugging in to social media, mobile apps and video clips to ensure they stay ahead of the pack. Along with allowing you to interact with customers, these pieces of technology also enable you and your staff to communicate more efficiently, which in turn should lead to improved efficiency and healthier profits.
Fortunately, in these times of austerity, when every cent of profit has to be fought for, implementing the three suggestions detailed here cost very little to install and maintain. In fact, given the additional turnover they are likely to produce, the return on investment they offer should come as a pleasant surprise.
In simple terms, maintaining a social media presence involves registering on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Hootsuite. The only cost you will incur relates to the time you or a designated employee spends writing articles and blogs and responding to customer queries.
If you are to interact with your audience, you must be prepared to take the time to read their comments on your Facebook page and note what is being said on Hootsuite and Twitter. The next step is to respond with your own questions and observations, but be sure to remain positive, no matter how derogatory some of the comments may be. Ask your customers questions, such as how your products or services might be improved. Take note of negative comments and see if they are valid; if so, communicate the fact that you have listened and taken steps to fix them. Consumers are more likely to stay loyal to a brand they feel has an empathy with them.
Finally, it may seem obvious, but make it as easy as possible for visitors to your site to locate social media icons on every page, and let them know they are dealing with a real, live, person rather than a machine.
A recent survey found that 78% of companies said that over a 12-month period, their mobile audiences had increased, and 31% reported that post-purchase, customer loyalty had grown since the roll out of their apps. It is important to remember that in order to make the most of your app, it should feature content not displayed on your website. Consumers expect to see app-specific deals and discounts, especially those targeted at regional and even specific groups of customers.
When setting up a mobile app to tap into this rapidly expanding market, think about the process used to build your website, remembering that this is your shop window to the world, so don’t be tempted to cut corners. If you have an in-house IT department, you or your senior marketing manager should be capable of doing the job. However, if you do not have this level of expertise or cannot spare the time, you are strongly advised to secure the services of a professional app design studio such as Worry Free Labs, whose web address is http://worryfreelabs.com/about/. One of the key advantages of taking the outsourcing route is that your app will be maintained and upgraded at regular intervals, leaving you and your staff to get on with carrying out their core duties.
Video is a great way to give customers an insight into what makes your company tick. Consider making a short clip showing a day in the life of one of your workers; how some of your products are made or a presentation by you or a member staff who does a particularly skilled or interesting job. You might also record a series of tips and suggestions on how your products might improve the lives of customers. Clips can be uploaded onto your website, mobile app, Facebook page or even sent as an email attachment. Another option might be to use video apps like Apple’s Face Time or Skype as customer support tools and for in house video conferencing.
As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities for you to assemble a suite of communications tools that either as a package or individually are sure to have a positive impact on the level of interest you generate in your company. Having grabbed the attention of your audience, sales are sure to follow.
Featured image credit: Customer Word/ShutterStock