“How to Connect with Your Customers in the Digital Age” written by YapStone.
The rise of technology and big data over the last decade, and especially the last few years, has given companies a tremendous advantage when it comes to knowing the customer. It is easier than ever to target your exact audience, whether that’s through robust a blend of marketing and technology, leveraging a mix of social media, email and retargeting campaigns. While extremely effective, this methodology can leave loyal customers feeling like nothing more than a number. As a marketer, you run the risk of alienating (or even losing) your audience if they feel you are relying too heavily on data mining and reporting to measure your customers instead of good old fashioned customer service.
As much as relying too heavily on technology can alienate your audience, ignoring these incredible opportunities completely will cause you to quickly fall behind in the market and miss out on sales and profits. So, how do you leverage the power of technology while maintaining meaningful connections between your brand and your customers?
Here are a few ways to keep your customers happy and your business flowing.
Ask your audience for insights
So often, companies use social media as a way to do outbound marketing and nothing else. The true value of social media comes not when you talk at your customers but when you talk with your customers. Create polls, reply to questions, and ask for feedback about your products and services. To open up the floor for customer conversation, YapStone recently hosted its first ever live Twitter chat. Bruce Dragt, Vice President of Product, says chats are a useful in getting real time feedback on how consumers interact with products.
Get genuinely interested in your customers and cultivate an “investigative mentality.” Seek out your customers online and find out who they follow besides your company. Learn what their interests are, what they do in their spare time, what they believe, and how they engage with friends. Do you notice any patterns? Technology and data mining can teach you a lot about your customers, but good old fashioned curiosity can often fill in the gaps. Martin Gilliard, General Manager of AdTruth, says technology companies have to figure out how to ingest that type of information and find the things meaningful to connect to and understand the consumer. For the YapStone Marketing Team, this means joining conversations customers are already having by reading industry discussion boards and subscribing to newsletters the company’s customers are reading.
Collaborate with your users
Customer collaboration is one of the most powerful ways to ensure that your product excites your users. Your customers will gladly tell you what they want and if you’re smart, you’ll listen to them. At YapStone, we actually collaborate and build with our partners and customers; this approach enables our teams to work closely with our customers to build the solution that’s best for their particular needs. We find that this way of working not only makes for a better product, it causes our customers to be more emotionally invested in our brand.
Delight your customers
The number one reason people leave companies has nothing to do with the quality of the product/service or the price. The reason people leave companies is that they feel like they are not valued. The good news is it doesn’t take much to delight your customers. Providing good customer service or ensuring that they have effective means of communicating with you often mitigates problems before they begin. Francesca Gottardo, manager of VacationRentPayment marketing says “In our email campaigns, we ensure that customers are getting emails specifically targeted towards them. A direct message ensures a more meaningful interaction and serves to build trust with our customers. Payments can be a complicated concept, especially with how multifaceted our software integrations can be. Educating and communicating with our customers helps to solve problems before they begin.”
At YapStone, we care deeply about our customers and we value technology for its ability to bring us closer to them. We also know that our customers want to bridge the gap between them and their clients. Our payment solutions allow our partners to leverage technology that helps them easily engage with their customers. Check out our payment options page to learn how a streamlined payment system can bring you closer to your customers.