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Watch the Journey

Customer Connections Build Business

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Want to know how to succeed in business? Make your business more about relationships and less about selling.

It sounds like a scary mind-shift to make, but trust us. Good business has more to do with relationship-building than sales pitches in today's interconnected digital world.

The business of building a brand is much more focused on connecting with the audience. Millions of companies and hundreds of millions of people have us all feeling a bit insignificant at times. Like we're just dollar signs to Big Business.

We'd all rather buy from someone we know and trust (and who we think knows us) than the opposite. Aren't you more likely to buy Girl Scout cookies from the neighbor your child plays with who asks politely than the group of scouts at the front of a store calling out to everybody?

The same is true for your customers and potential patrons. To quote “The Wizard of Oz,” when you can show them the "man behind the curtain," they are much more likely to buy from you than your faceless competitors.

Also, you're much more likely to grow your business in the right direction. Your relationships provide valuable insight into what others think of your service and products.

​Let's talk about how to build connections with your audience.

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Seek to Understand

Actively listen to any feedback your customers give you. Whether it be surveys, market research, or social media posts, investigate your customers to understand them better. They're talking. You need to actively listen. See what's going well, what can be improved, and their pain points.

​Invest in market research to learn more about your "average" customer. For example, investigate their interests and demographics (age, gender, location, etc.).

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Personalize

Do your market research. Figure out your average customer profiles (segmentation), and then promptly forget for a moment that you just lumped them into similar groups. Instead, seek to make your engagements the most personal they can be.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach here. You must treat each interaction as special (because it is). Address patrons by name and ask a follow-up question from your last conversation (if you had one). Email automation and customer relationship management (CRM) tools make it even easier to personalize your emails or shopping experiences when communicating with your customers via technology.

​Consistent communication is vital to increasing your significance, brand awareness, and loyalty. Use automation tools to make communication a habit. These tools add value to the customer relationship because they make reaching out easier.

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Be Available

Provide proactive support to show your customers you are ready and willing to listen. Please don’t wait for them to come to you with a problem. Use automated tools to help you stay on top of communication follow-ups, such as well-timed “How’d we do?” emails after their first interaction with you.

​Promptly respond to all questions, comments, and concerns. Even a heartfelt response to your worst critic can turn a hater into a five-star-rater. That customer might never make another purchase from you, but at least they can speak to your responsive customer care.

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Active Social Media Use

Many customers choose to interact with their favorite brands via social media these days. Go where your customers are. You'll have to post often to stand out in a sea of other posts, but doing so and responding to at least one customer a day will help you come across as uber-personalized.

Social media lets you boost engagement with your brand. You can directly ask your audience for feedback and build a community. Utilize influencers and user-generated content to promote your brand.

​Social media management often takes a team of people to keep up with. With a social media management tool, you can manage without a team (at least in your start-up phase) by responding and engaging with your followers for a few minutes daily.

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Analyze Data

Ensure your tech tools can collect and sort vast amounts of data into usable insights. Look at your customer interactions, preferences, and behaviors to better understand your target audience. Use this newfound knowledge to optimize your service and offerings. Locate areas of improvement. Target your audience better, track trends, and discover gaps.

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Lean on Technology

Streamline your processes, lower operational costs, and improve efficiencies, boosting your overall performance with tech. Use AI for faster, more streamlined processes and insights. Gain customer support satisfaction using a chatbox. Stand apart from your competitors with augmented or virtual reality to heighten your customers' experiences.

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Ask Questions

Keep asking questions of your customers. Employ surveys, feedback loops, online forms, and pop-ups to stay connected with questions you can use to keep improving your personalization.

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Customer-Centric Culture

The best advice in business growth strategies is to treat your customers as people, not numbers. Approach the customer journey through their eyes, always asking yourself how to improve.

​Stay significant with a commitment to communication. Use emails, social media, and your website to engage with your customers in various ways. Remember that your main goal is to understand and meet them where they stand.

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