All the money, effort, time and planning you put into getting in front of potential customers is awesome. But, what do you do once you have their attention? Your customer relations strategy can hugely impact your business – positively or negatively.
Certain relationship marketing practices need to be recognized to stay competitive in the coming years. Customers not only appreciate the communication but also have come to expect it. Customers want to see these customer relations opportunities throughout the entire purchase process and beyond.
Companies that have embraced inbound marketing and customer relation improvements have raised the bar for the rest of their competitors. And This isn’t just for big businesses. Industries across the board need to tighten up their relationship marketing to stay competitive and continue to delight their audience.
Your confidence in the quality of your product will grab the attention of potential customers. Let them discover how your product solves their pain points. As a result, the free value will minimize buyer’s remorse and increase brand trust.
Offer a free aspect of your product like Canva. Canva, a simple graphic design platform, offers a free version of the product to immediately offer value and product experience to potential subscribers. The free platform is very helpful for simple projects but shows throughout the platforms the cool and enticing options of which the paid subscription has access.
If you don’t have a product that can easily offer a free subscription, offer a free temporary trial. This is a very common strategy for streaming services, editorial platforms, or SAAS products. The key is to offer a long enough free trial for the potential buyer accustomed to the product. Once the potential buyer is acclimated to your product, it’s the perfect time to start the conversation on a purchase. The New York Times is great at long-term relationship marketing. By offering a limited amount of articles per month, viewers realize the quality of content and are likely to consider subscribing when they reach a monthly limit.
Let’s say you offer a physical product that can’t be trialed, like retail or physical products ordered online. Offer pre-purchase information or content that simplifies the decision making around the purchase process. Help your potential customers understand the quality of your product through functionality videos, videos showing accurate sizing for apparel. This content puts your customer in your product and tells a story about how the product improves daily life.
Among 16-24-year-olds, social media has already surpassed search engines as the leading product research channel. This is a strong indicator that Social media is one of the first points of communication with your potential customers. This means that on top of keeping eye-grabbing content, you need to offer consistent opportunities for communication. Potential customers can gauge your level of communication based on whether you interact with your audience in post comments, what the average response time on facebook messenger, or reposting audience product mentions.
Let’s say a potential customer graduated from using your social media platforms to using your web page. Chatbots are a great option for companies that want to have quality communication but don’t have 24/7 customer support. Nashville Pedal Tavern, a Nashville-based party bike company, is a niche industry leader with a limited biz-ops team. Nashville Pedal Tavern is a forward thinker in the tourism industry for consistent communication. Since Nashville Pedal Tavern added their chatbot, customers are getting quick answers to their simple questions. On top of that, the biz-ops team has fewer contact forms they need to respond to.
Your potential customer just upgraded to a full-blown customer! If you want to keep their support, you need to make sure they know how to use the product. When there are several aspects of your product, on-boarding processes can maximize user experience and empower customers to take full advantage of the products. Onboarding processes can look like interactive tours of a product, informational videos, or even full-blown certification courses like Hubspot Academy. Without this introduction on how to use the product efficiently, customers could feel buyer’s remorse and eventually unsubscribe.
Offering a very simple return or exchange policy is the best way to convey product confidence. By offering easy returns or paying for exchange shipping, you are standing behind the quality of your product. This communicates that a majority of customers are satisfied, and you are happy to accommodate the customers who have issues. At Athleta, an athletic wear company, it is possible to return any products for any reason no questions ask. They even have a ‘give it a workout guarantee – which a majority of their competitors don’t offer. Offer a return policy that sets you apart from the rest.
Everybody loves to feel like a part of the group. Loyalty programs can inspire brand loyalty through exclusive information or content. Second purchase discounts stimulate repeat customers and can help start a long-term relationship with new customers.
Insider product launch notifications are another way to create a community within your current subscribers or customers. An inside product launch is giving your already-loyal customers the first-look at new products, lines, or updates. It offers an incentive to stay in the community and is a great way to up-sell new products. Win-win!
Beard Brand goes over and beyond to offer customers advice and tips for how to best use their products through post-purhcase emails and quizzes.
Related product recommendations are another great way to stimulate repeat purchase without needing to offer a discount. Crate & Barrel offers recommended products at multiple steps in the purchase process as well as post-purchase. Beard Brand, a beard up-keep startup, sends a post-purchase email with a video for how to best use the specific product. This strategy offers value surrounding the purchased product, as well as adding an organic feeling repeat purchase strategy.
Your biggest customers, users, and fans will have the most valuable experience in finding new areas of improvement and functionalities. Find the individuals who already like your product or offering and create a personal relationship for potential influencer benefits. Reach out to them to strengthen the community under your brand. This opens a conversation with your most qualified customers around areas for product improvement.
These brand advocate programs create pride around supporting your brand and stimulates total brand loyalty and increases word-of-mouth marketing. Adobe Partners built its entire influencer program around this idea and threw a lot of resources behind it. Adobe Partners created an all-inclusive ambassador program where brand advocates are invited to HQ. The program involves them in decision-making processes and immerses them in Adobe so they can adequately represent the brand.
In conclusion, taking steps towards improved customer relations experience both pre and post-purchase will help you keep customers, and grow your base of support in the long run.
Ready to tackle an updated customer relations strategy? Reach out to our team to set up something amazing!