Transactions, conversions, closing the deal. All good stuff in the grand scheme, but not what we should be focusing on when building sustainable relationships with customers. The problem is that when a transaction is the only goal, there’s little focus on keeping the customer coming back for more. Ten different people who make one-and-done transactions with your business may look the same in a spreadsheet, but one person who makes ten purchases over time is a much better indication that you’re doing something right.
Building that type of loyalty is far more valuable than focusing on transactions, and it requires frequent, meaningful engagement. I like to think of it as engagement to the “nth power,” a mix of marketing and customer service touches that builds lasting appeal.
Building loyalty starts with offering quality beyond the products or services that your business aims to sell. Customers also expect a high level of service, and this means different things to different people. Every interaction with a customer through social media, live chat, your website, or face-to-face conversation is an opportunity to build loyalty. Engagement throughout your relationship with the customer – whether you call it marketing, sales, or customer service – is the key to moving beyond transaction-based thinking. Here are a few of my tips for exponential engagement:
First Impressions – You don’t necessarily have control of how a customer first connects with your business, but there’s plenty you can do to form a positive first impression. Be helpful, present, and welcoming on social channels. Create memorable marketing materials that read less like a blatant sales pitch, and more like an introduction. Make sure that your employees are trained with the right values, no matter where they’ll be connecting with customers. A Personal Touch – Data still plays an important role in engagement, especially if you do a lot of business online. However, if you plan to recommend products or services based on a customer’s purchasing patterns, be sure that you’re offering items that customer might actually want to purchase.