Building long-term relationships with customers using digital media

There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the Chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else” – Sam Walton

When someone wants you to hear a story of their recent customer experience, it usually turns out to be a story with sad ending. But it doesn’t mean that good service is less likely to be seen. After all, providing customer satisfaction is the key part in enhancing the overall outlook of a company. Am I making sense? Yes. And that is what compelled me to appreciate and value the importance of satisfying customers and building a long-term relationship with them. Before I provide some insights on this 21 st century hot topic, I want you to really appreciate the value of gratifying customers through the following example.

Enriching people’s lives

We’re very simple people at Apple. We focus on making the world’s best products and enriching people’s lives” Tim Cook

Yes, the example is about Apple! The following story went viral after Apple launched iPad 2. A man bought iPad 2 online but was forced to return the product immediately. He attached a note in front of the device saying, “Wife said no”. The incident ultimately reached some Apple VPs. Guess what? Apple refunded it and returned the product to the customer attaching a Post-It that simply read, “Apple said yes.”!

Amazing!! Isn’t it? It would have been a nice surprise for the customer. And that too for free! So, this is what I am trying to communicate.

The emotional value of a product out shadows the monetary value of a company when it is achieved by creating a long-term relationship with the customer. In order to build that relationship, you need to adopt new ways of marketing. The power of digital media to enhance your relationship with customers is not to be neglected in this highly competitive world. So there you are…Thinking of the possibilities of strengthening your customer base through the power of digital media!

Needs, Perceptions

You have marketed your product quiet well and people bought it. They are satisfied with your product and are happy. You thank them and reward them in some cases. So, is your job done? No. Understanding the needs and perceptions of your customers is as important as delivering quality products. For that, you need to collect data regarding customer requirements. But how? Let me share some ideas.

  • E-mail surveys

You can choose appropriate questions and create an e-mail survey using websites or software which offers e-mail survey programs. Gathering data from customers about your product or service is an effective way of analyzing your customers’ preferences. Being a part of social media marketing, e-mail surveys help you to conduct market research in a cost-effective manner.

  • Building relevant data

You can learn more about your customers at key buyer stages by building relevant data regarding the buyer behavior. This not only helps you to understand the behavior of customers at the purchasing stage but also helps in analyzing the post-purchase behavior of customers. You can collect data from customers using tools which support you in customer-sourcing.

  • Feedback gathering

Knowing how happy or sad your customer is after buying your product helps you make necessary changes based on their needs. So, it’s very important to gather customer feedback to achieve customer satisfaction. Tools that help in gathering feedback from customers are becoming popular nowadays and it helps you to improve your business in an effective manner.

Engaging customers

You need to be connected with your customers and should keep them connected with each other as long as emphasizing the value of your brand is essential for the survival of your business. So what can you do? You can let your customers connect and share ideas about your product or service. Platforms can also be created for like-minded customers to share insights and views regarding the product or service of your company. Maintaining a social media presence would help advance the brand building efforts of your business drastically in the long run. After all, social media marketing is one of the powerful tools of digital marketing in this century.

Channels + Content + Marketing

Be it social networks, search engines or e-mail marketing , your efforts to reach your customers need to be clear and powerful. Integrating proper channels, valuable content and unique marketing strategies will help enhance your customer relationship management activities in exceptional ways. Integrated digital marketing has gained wide acclaim where diverse channels are used to strengthen the brand communication efforts. So in order to attract and retain your customers, you need to produce relevant and quality content.

Unfortunately, creating high quality content alone won’t make you successful. The selection of right marketing channels should be done after carefully considering your business’ long term perspectives. Just because your competitor achieved success through a particular strategy doesn’t mean that your business is expected to follow that. Every business is unique and so are their digital marketing strategies.

After all, what you really need is a mass of customers who rely on your product and value your business. You need to be careful while implementing your promotional plans. It is not necessary for all your plans to hit the market. Choose the right digital marketing channel, produce relevant content and strategize your marketing activity if you really want to build a long-term relationship with your customers!

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