February is American Heart Month. The entire month is drenched in the color red celebrating love, health, and appreciation for one another. Is your business participating?
People love to feel loved. They love to feel appreciated. Yet so many business’s fail to acknowledge this raw, human emotion. They fail to show their gratitude, devotion, and respect to the people that keep them humming along. What’s surprising is… it’s not that hard!
Loyalty in business is created when a company goes out of their way to do something that shows they care. If you want loyal customers, you have to first be loyal to the people that make your business possible – the ones buying from you, talking about you, and coming back for more time and time again.
Too many business owners get caught up in their mile long to-do lists day after day that they forget to show their customers how much they love having them around. In fact, it’s not until a customer leaves that most businesses reach out and say, “Hey, we care about you, please come back!” And at that point, it’s too late.
Don’t Wait Until Your Customers Leave to Show Your Love
Showing your customers how much you care about their needs, solving their problems, and delivering something that is genuinely helpful isn’t hard. It’s so easy that it makes not doing it almost a white-collar crime. Here are 10 ways you can seduce your way into your customer’s heart this month, and every month thereafter.
1. Start a Blog
Blogging is perhaps the easiest way to show your love for your customer’s. It is also the easiest method of showing your appreciation to neglect.
Blogging takes time, but when done right, it can transform the way people engage with your company. It can also help you create loyalty among your followers and fans.
Start a blog that makes an impact on your customers life. Offer actionable tidbits, and valuable insights. The more information you post to help your readers solve a problem, the more likely people are to send your valuable information to others making your company’s website spread like wildfire online.
2. Stay in Touch
People are busy. They quickly get distracted and forget what they have to do to keep their lives on track.
Show your customers you care about their problems and you’re available to solve them by sending regular, consistent messages with helpful information. When you drop in and send a friendly email, quick reminder, or helpful tip, your audience will thank you. Keeping in touch via email is never unwelcome when you have something useful to share.
3. Offer Something for Free
It’s always a good day when you get something really helpful and valuable without having to whip out your credit card.
Giving away ebooks, whitepapers, or offering a subscription to an immensely valuable newsletter without asking for anything in exchange (except maybe an email address) is a perfect way to show you care. Better yet – it’s easy to do! Freebie offers can be created in only a few days. Once finished, they can withstand the test of time keeping new customers coming through your door, and helping your existing customers learn something to ease their challenges.
4. Let Them Go Behind the Velvet Rope
Behind the scenes passes are sexy! People love getting to take a peek behind the curtain where all the magic happens.
Give your customers a pass to go behind your velvet rope in your company and show them how hard you work to make their lives easier. They’ll feel more connected to your business, they’ll appreciate the time you took to show them more about how you operate, and you’ll establish a trust that can’t be rivaled.
5. Form a Personal Connection
Social networks are too often seen and used by businesses as a promotional tool. Companies post information about their products, their offerings, and what they have for sale that week that they forget to focus on why people should care.
When used incorrectly, you could do serious damage to your business’s reputation. But when you take the time to engage with your audience on Facebook and offer something fun and valuable to the people following your brand, the results can take you through the roof.
Post something inspirational, post something that’ll help your customers solve a problem, or post something that will make your customer’s life a little bit more enjoyable. Whatever you do, keep your communications on social media personal and valuable. When you do, you’ll consistently stay top of mind and win the loyalty of your fans and followers. When it comes time and they’re ready to buy from you, you can bet who they’ll turn to first!
6. Send a Handwritten Note
Stuff like that doesn’t happen in business anymore. We’re so caught up in sending emails, text messages, and other promotions that we forget to take a step back, sit down at our desks, pick up a pen, and write a genuine thank you note.
What’s surprising is, the time it takes you to write a heartfelt note to your customers will multiply exponentially to the time they remember your good deed. If they’re ever faced with a difficult choice between you and a competitor, I can guarantee your handwritten note will rise above the noise of the market and win you a repeat customer for life.
7. Ask a Question
So much of marketing is about listening. People love to share their opinion. They love to give feedback, voice their concerns, and share what would make their lives better.
When they share, is your business around to listen? It should be.
Spark the conversation by asking questions. Send out a survey, ask a quick question in an email, and when the responses roll in – LISTEN! You might be surprised how valuable the feedback you get can be for your business. When you listen and implement the changes your customers request, your customers will feel heard – something that’s a rarity in today’s business world.
8. Answer a Question
Your customers have questions too, and they turn to you – the industry expert – for answers. Do you have them?
Use your website to answer your customer’s top questions clearly and concisely. When you make it easy for your customers to find information quickly and without having to jump through too many hoops, they’ll know that you are working with their best interest in mind. They’ll appreciate you clarifying a burning concern. When they need more help, or are ready to make a purchase, you’ll be the company that pops into their mind.
9. Get Out of the Office
If you’re like many business owners, you’re married to your company. You love what you do, but sometimes, sitting behind your desk day in and day out can be costly.
Getting out of your office and into your community allows you to see what’s happening in the market. It allows you to explore new ways to offer value to your customers. And, it allows you to put a human spin on your business by being interested in more than just your work.
I’m a firm believer that doing things like riding bikes, sipping wine with friends, or going on an adventure in a new city can help you refocus, reenergize, and think more creatively about how you help your customers. Sure, they may not be able to see it, but your innovative ideas and refreshed state of mind will be infused into all you do.
10. Instantly Add Value
People come to you to solve a problem. They need your help with something so that they can sleep bettertonight!
We live in a society that thrives on instant gratification. Our cell phones chime with notifications around the clock. Our FitBits tell us exactly how many steps we’ve walked at any given moment. We thrive on knowing exactly where we stand right at this very moment, and exactly where we will be only minutes from now.
The problem is, most major changes (like the one you offer) won’t happen immediately.
That’s why you have to be creative in your instantaneous offering. For example, if you’re a moving company, offer a free checklist to instantly help your customers start their planning. If you’re a gym, offer a free nutrition guide upon signing up to get people on track from their very first meal when they walk out your doors.
Focus on the value that you can addright now and your business will have an instant win with each customer you meet.