You have probably heard marketers saying, “It’s not enough to just connect with your customers - you have to connect meaningfully.”
What does that mean? And how to create meaningful customer connections?
Basically, it means to show your customers that you truly care about them. You’re not just making small talk and faking smiles whenever you see them. You actually remember when you last saw them, they ordered, what they liked, didn’t like, and even how much they spent.
When you truly know your customers, then you are able to connect with them meaningfully. For example, imagine that I have been going to the same cafe for years and ordering tea. Yet the cashier or waiter is always suggesting their new coffee specials to me. What does that tell me? How does that make me feel? It’s not a big deal, but it also doesn’t make me feel so good.
64% of customers expect tailored engagements that are based on past interactions.
Now, imagine I also have another cafe that I frequent. In this cafe, not only do they know my name and that I like tea - they also remember what kind of tea I like. For my birthday, they also give me 20% off my favourite tea.
Which cafe do you think I will be recommending to my friends and families?
Another reason to connect meaningfully with your customers is because customers buy based on emotions. Whether it’s that cup of coffee from Starbucks, that watch from Apple, or that Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream, they buy it because it makes them feel something. These brands have spent time and money and figured out how to invoke certain emotions from their customers.
You can do the same for your business. Connect with your customers meaningfully and keep them coming back to your store. Here are a few tips to help you out with that:
1. Instantly connect with customers
You go through so much trouble to get customers to notice your store - whether physical or online. So when customers come to you, you want to instantly connect with them. This can be done through a simple loyalty program. When a customer is checking out at an online store or paying at a physical store, you can instantly create a customer database with simple information like their name and email or phone number.
This will enable you to immediately build a comprehensive database of your customers. From there, you can start analysing your customer profiles and get a good look into their buying behaviour.
2. Find out your buyer personas
Once you have customer’s information and data, the next step is to put them into different segments. You can also create buyer personas. A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal client or target audience. This allows you to develop more targeted content that speaks to your customers.
Are your customers mostly mothers? Are they students? What’s the spending power like? What products do they like? What age group do they fall in? What is the reason that they keep coming back to you? Most importantly, who are your loyal customers?
These information is important for targeted marketing and promotions. You do not want to waste time and money on blanket promotions - those days are over.
Customers who are fully engaged represent a 23% higher share in profitability, revenue and relationship growth.
If customers are frequenting your store in the morning, you can come up with a time-senstive promotion between 9am to 10am for example. If your traffic is coming from office employees nearby, it’s time to launch a coffee promotion or happy hours if you sell alcohol. If your customers are mostly families, then you want to include family bundles that include some freebies for kids.
Study that data and pattern find out who your customers are and what they like. Once you do that, you can start reaching out to them.
3. Start connecting - meaningfully!
The rule of thumb is to avoid bombarding your customers with unnecessary emails and promotions. Sure, there can be some general offers, but keep that to a minimum. Send out messages that convince customers that you truly know them and care about them.
Craft targeted campaigns for each of your customer segment or buyer personas. Some examples of targeted campaigns you can launch are:
- Welcome points to new customers or new members on your loyalty program
- Reminders for regular customers about their unused points and expiry date
- Activation rewards to customers who have been dormant for some time
- Exclusive invites to a coffee workshop for customers who love coffee
- Time sensitive discounts during certain time of the day
- Gift card sales during festive seasons
- Birthday rewards for customers in their birthday month
The possibilities are endless. With a good loyalty program, you will also be able to reach out to your customers via different channels like emails, SMS, push notifications, direct message, and more.
When customers receive relevant, targeted messages, they feel good. They know they are not just another number or statistic on your database or spreadsheet.
This is how you create meaningful connections with your customers.