5 Ways to Connect with Your Customers AND Learn From Them

5 Ways to Connect with Your Customers AND Learn From Them

[updated January 25, 2022]

Customer needs and expectations are constantly evolving, and those expectations are based on the sum total of all your experiences. Your customers no longer compare your product or service to the best in your industry. They compare you to the best of their experiences, which means that your company competes against the best brands in the world. and compared to them, you’re… well, you get the point.

Reading: Learn how to connect with customers

In addition to global competition, companies must connect with and learn from today’s customer, the “always connected” consumer, to remain relevant in their lives. and what today’s customer wants is speed, trust, authenticity and an emotional connection.

“post-covid, 59% of consumers care more about the customer experience when deciding which company to support or buy from. 38% worry the same as before covid (which was a lot). In other words, customer experience will dictate purchases in 2021. In 2021, if your business doesn’t care about customer experience, you’re out of step with your customers. and you will lose them when you need them most.” – liliana petrova ccxp

This is not a blog post about ways to connect with customers through sales tools and a sales process. The internet is already teeming with information on how to connect with customers through digital marketing. This article will focus on connecting with customers as people, not just as users of your product or service. read on to learn how to connect with customers and build that “bridge” of trust.

The 5 best ways to connect with customers

  1. learn from brands that pamper their customers
  2. discover something new about their customers
  3. make an emotional connection
  4. engage in authentic conversations
  5. innovate and co-create with your customers

1 -learn from the brands that pamper your customers

A common mistake most companies and business owners make is comparing themselves to industry competitors. Instead of focusing on how your competition meets customer needs, look for brands that exceed your customers’ expectations, regardless of industry. You will be impressed by the amazing experiences your customers have with these brands.

In a recent simplr cx survey, 61% of consumers said their customer service expectations are based on the best experiences they’ve ever had.

An example of a best-in-class brand that most people can relate to is Walt Disney World. With a vision of “we create happiness,” Disney constantly sets the bar high for an exceptional customer experience. One would think that the reason Disney is at the top of its industry has much more to do with its rigorous advertising. the company, after all, can afford to hire the best people in the field of marketing to launch engaging email marketing campaigns and other methods to boost its brand. But the use of targeted advertising can only do so much for any business. People pay premium prices to immerse themselves in an experience only Disney can provide because management understands what their customers need. In addition to a strong focus on employee engagement, Disney continues to improve its CX by following three principles:

  1. create a common organizational purpose
  2. understand your customer holistically
  3. view exceptional service as a revenue generator rather than an expense.

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As you seek to reinvent your customer service, the real question your business must answer is not “what is your competition doing?” but who is delighting and pampering your customers. the answer to this question is almost always outside your industry.

2 – discover something new about your client

It’s hard to exceed expectations based on old assumptions. To connect with your customers on a deeper level, start by renewing your knowledge of your customer base.

  • Learn more about your customers by asking questions you’ve never asked before.
  • Seek to understand how your customers live and work and what motivates or worries them.
  • what are the emotional, social, and identity-related elements that surround your client?

Only with new insights can you create new opportunities to wow your customers and convert them into followers. Use different market research techniques like surveys and interviews to find out what your customers think. Joining an internet forum that your customers are likely to visit will also help you gather additional information.

Most companies prioritize face-to-face meetings as a way to build and retain customer relationships. In-person meetings, trade shows, and events are great ways to get to know each other. Today’s customer, really all customers, communicate with the businesses they patronize through multiple channels: the company’s website, email, live chat, and social media. every point of interaction with a customer presents an opportunity to learn something new about them, especially now that nearly everyone has a smartphone to easily communicate with a business.

A great example of an organization using customer information to provide a personal touch is the Australian Red Cross. Knowing that donating blood is a personal experience, the Australian Red Cross took advantage of AI to make the donation process as personalized as possible. By collecting information from participants, such as blood type and location, the Australian Red Cross communicates with each donor on an individual level, expressing appreciation and building relationships that help the nonprofit meet its unpredictable demands. the result is beneficial for both recipients and donors.

artificial intelligence (ai) is no stranger to the manufacturing industry. it is now used to improve the quality and delivery of services, as well as to automate processes. Before long, more industries will adopt AI, not only to easily identify potential threats and data breaches, but also to improve the customer experience, just as the Australian Red Cross did.

3 – establish an emotional connection

Emotions can be a scary and uncomfortable topic for businesses. In business, most people prefer a rational and predictable world where decisions are made logically. but the reality is that emotional behavior is the basis of any brand. emotions are what make customers pay more, experiment with something new, get excited and share their experiences with others. Generation Z, in particular, highly values ​​emotional connections with a brand. Being an expert on your customers’ emotions increases the likelihood that your business will last longer in your industry.

In fact, customers who feel an emotional connection to a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value and will recommend that brand 26% more than average. so design meaningful customer experiences that create opportunities for your brand to make an emotional connection with them. encourage your call center agents to go the extra mile when handling customer interaction. Make sure they really know everything about the services or products your business offers and don’t just rely on chatbot data to answer customer questions. Not only will this improve agent response time, but it will also increase your customers’ level of trust in your business.

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when mack trucks introduced mack anthem™, its first state-of-the-art truck in more than 15 years, the company knew it needed to add value and show that it understood the needs of its customers. Mac Trucks brought the 40-ton semi-truck to life digitally and virtually to put prospective buyers in the driver’s seat. They did this by distributing thousands of Google Cardboard VR sets to potential customers and producing a live streamed reveal event. the company ran a massive social media campaign that showcased clips of the anthem and crafted social content that resonated with millions, harnessing the pride, determination and strength shared by those who drive long-distance trucks, day in and day out. day. . mack managed to make an emotional connection, not only to sell his trucks, but also to reinvigorate his brand to appeal to the masses.

4 – engage in authentic conversation

Customers are attracted to authentic people and the human side of communication has resurfaced. even digital natives seek a more personalized and empathy-friendly world of communication and connection. In essence, customers want to be recognized as unique individuals, not just as a user of your product, an order, or a series of cookies tracked on a website.

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“Customers who are engaged with a brand make purchases 90% more often and spend 60% more per transaction than those who are not.” – rosetta consultancy

To meet today’s customer demands, brands are increasingly communicating with consumers directly through helpful AI and customer service automation. Thanks to ever-improving information technology, people no longer have to wait to access data or contact support. Still, brands need to ensure that a human element remains in every interaction, and that customers can access real people when needed. Customer trust requires both AI responsiveness and a human touch.

part of having an authentic conversation is building rapport with customers. In e-commerce, this is a big deal. no matter how good your carrier is at upselling and making an alternative suggestion, the customer still won’t buy anything just using aggressive tactics. this is not surprising, as online advertising abounds. the last thing a customer needs is another talking ad for email, chat, or phone support.

happiest baby, a customer-focused company, strives to sell products and be a source of encouragement and experience for weary parents. the company understands the sense of urgency in dealing with its customers and the need to ensure that they feel heard and supported. In the company’s original support model, the customer service team did everything and answered all kinds of questions, with the help of consultants and contracted sleep specialists. however, as high-touch email and phone sleep inquiries increased, customers with quick transactional inquiries were left waiting too long. happiest baby leveraged simplr specialists to handle the company’s tier 1 live chat and email inquiries, giving the internal team more bandwidth to support sleep and safety questions. Now all Happier Babies clients, no matter their query, are treated with great care and respect for their time.

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5 – innovate with your clients

The success of a company will depend on the holistic experience it offers. cx crosses departmental lines, from marketing and commerce to sales and service.In fact, customer experience drivesmore than two-thirds of customer loyalty, surpassing the brand and price combined.

The best way to design an outstanding customer experience is to co-create it with your customer and cross-functional teams. By inviting your customers to your innovation process, you learn from their experiences with your company, employees, products, services, and the brand in general. ask your customers:

  • what are we doing well and what can we do better?
  • how do you define an exceptional customer experience?
  • how can we deliver an exceptional customer experience? ?
  • What best practices can we adopt from other brands?

The goal is to learn from your customers first-hand. find out how well you know your customers, whether you’re meeting their expectations, how you can create value, and what it takes to deliver an exceptional experience.

In recent years the Volvo brand has undergone a complete transformation, and we are not just referring to cars. With dealers acting as critical partners in translating the Volvo brand promise to customers, Volvo Car Canada is committed to transforming the company’s customer experience through its network of retailers. As part of the Evolution Volvo-Rising Together program, Volvo Car Canada’s executive team held a co-creation innovation workshop with its network of retailers. The workshop enabled employees from multifunctional dealerships across Canada to share ideas, brainstorm solutions and define opportunities to create a cohesive brand experience for employees, partners and customers at every point of interaction. The results of the co-creation workshop served as the basis for cx training throughout the retail network.

make connecting with customers a priority

These five ways to connect with and learn from your customer are not the end, they are the whole thing. Companies must explore the current ways they connect with customers as people and assess what resources, time and money are needed to invest in expanding the knowledge of the customer base. then align cx initiatives with business strategy and measure results in the bottom line.

Customer needs and expectations are continually evolving, and today’s customer compares your services to the best of their experiences. to connect with customers as people and create a “bridge” of trust:

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  • Do customer research beyond your business to learn about the brands your customers frequent and the activities that conform to their expectations.
  • Discover something new by soliciting feedback and input from customers through formal and informal channels. Select stories (positive and negative) and share them on social media, in a newsletter, or in a blog post on your site to recognize your customers and employees.
  • Create opportunities to make an emotional connection with your customers through meaningful experiences. recognize customers as unique individuals and see them beyond a sale.
  • review your market segmentation and re-evaluate your marketing strategy to ensure you’re effectively reaching your target audience using the right approach.
  • Finally, invite your customers into your innovation process and learn what it takes to wow them so you have a loyal following for life.

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