Do you know what is most beautiful about small towns?
The community spirit.
Everyone knows each other and there is strong support for local businesses.
Community members can walk into a store and speak directly with the owner.
“Hey Jane! Hey Phil! How’re you doing today?” The owners know their customers by name and can create a highly personalized experience each time these customers visit.
This community spirit is one of the things I love about my country, Trinidad and Tobago. I can walk into my favourite local eatery, be greeted with a smile and be served with my favourite dish. The owner and staff know me and I enjoy the rapport I have with them.
Alas, the power of this relationship building is often lost in the digital world. Too many companies make the mistake of treating their customers as just another statistic. The “buy one and get another free” sales tactic tends to fall on deaf ears because the customer doesn’t feel connected to the brand.
Customers crave authentic and personal experiences. Toma Kulbyte indicates that customer experience will be the most important brand differentiator by the end of 2020; price and product will become secondary. In fact, “86 percent of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience”.
Let’s face it, relationship building on social media is hard. It’s no longer a small town setting where you’re dealing with a few hundred people. Instead, you’re dealing with billions of potential customers. How can you build relationships with so many people?
Tell Your Story
Sure, the main reason you became an entrepreneur was to sell a product or service. The reality is, however, that your target audience wants to connect with your brand’s story and not feel like all you want to do is sell, sell, sell. For a solopreneur or small business owner, the brand’s story is your personal story and it may seem a bit intrusive to share that with the world. However, this story is a part of what separates you from other brands; it’s what your target audience wants to see and hear. Don’t be afraid to share it!
Create a Buyer Persona
It’s important to learn as much as possible about your target audience so that your messages can be specifically tailored for their needs and interests. You want your marketing messages to be targeted as much as possible instead of seeming like they are being sent to a mass audience. This blog post from HubSpot sheds more light on how to create buyer personas the right way.
Engage in Conversations
The comments made on your posts and direct messages in your social media inboxes are a goldmine of information. You can learn so much about what your customers need and directly address their concerns if you tap into the value these conversations provide. Follow-up on comments made and messages sent so that customers see that you value customer service. Statistics show that “brands with superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than competitors that lag in customer experience”.
Chatbots can also help increase customer interactions on your website. Investopedia defines a chatbot as “a computer program that simulates human conversation through voice commands or text chats or both.” In fact, “90 percent of businesses [surveyed] report faster complaint resolution with chatbots”.
Speak Directly to Your Audience
You have several followers. Connecting with each of them means writing each post in the first and second person. For instance, instead of saying, “People learn more when they read a book each day,” you can say “You will learn more when you read a book each day.” Your message should speak directly to each person who reads your post.
Engaging with customers in this way adds a personal touch to your interactions. It prompts the customer to share more with the business and build a relationship so that you can serve them better.
It’s easy for customers to feel disconnected from a brand if that brand doesn’t create a highly personalised experience. You want that small town business feel although your business is catering to a mass audience. Share your story, create buyer personas, engage in conversations and speak directly with your audience. These strategies will help you use your social media platforms to create an unbeatable customer experience.