Technology: How To Get Better Customers Online and Offline.
In order to get better customers, let’s first look at how businesses get customers, overall.
The common methods are word of mouth, online marketing, events, direct sales, advertising (print, TV, radio, bill boards). These common, tried and true methods are what most businesses use to ensure that customers know about their products and services.
While getting customers in important it’s also very important to ensure that you get the right customers to buy the right products at the right time. To do this takes careful and systematic planning and there are a few technology tools and business processes that can help.
- Email marketing – your email newsletter should not be a venue to broadcast hard hitting sales messages to customers. Instead let your newsletter be educational and information rich so that the reader, who might be a prospective customers just seeking information, will WANT to receive your newsletter. When they are ready to buy the product (or product category) you are writing about you’ll be one of the first companies they think to purchase from.
- Social media – social media is a powerful communication tool, yet so many of us don’t use it properly. One of the most affective ways to use social media is to post succinct content of importance to your audience and ensure that when they give you the privilege of allowing them to be contacted that you honor them with every Tweet or Facebook post and only communicate what they expect to receive.
- Your web site – on your web site try to have cookie crumbs, as it were that connect with various customer types. Maybe you sell shoes. Why not have one section for children’s shoes, targeted at busy moms, teen shoes targeted at busy moms and the teens, women’s shoes and men’s shoes. These are various demographics with various ways of shopping, ensuring that the experience is appropriate for each of these segments will help you find the right customer.
These are just three ways technology can help.
Looking at business processes or strategies, let’s look at a few things:
- Don’t compete on price, unless you want to compete on price. Instead keep your prices relatively competitive and compete on customer service, quality, timeliness or something else that your target customer most desires.
- Follow up with customers to know why they bought from you, which over time will help you identify who your perfect, target customer is.
- Spend time with customers. So often we can focus on sales, sales, sales that we don’t take the time to LISTEN to our customer’s specific needs and meet their needs even better.
- Engage all your employees. If all your employees are not engaged as customer advocates your customers will find uneven service. While you and other managers might be so great with customers, your staff in the mail room or other areas of your company who might engage with customers are giving them (customers) another level of service. Ensure that all service is evenly great.
- Don’t be afraid to fire customers. Not all customers are good for your business. Those customers you find are losing you money or a pain to serve, migrate them to your competition.