Three Ways to Build More Authentic Connections with CustomersEditorial Team
In today’s digital shopping landscape, clear and easy communication with your customers has never been more important. With so many more people shopping online, making a lasting impression to create repeat customers is vital.
In fact, according to a recent Meta study, 75% of adults across the globe said that they want to be able to communicate with businesses in the same way that they communicate with friends/family through messaging (e.g., via a chat app, text).
These days, however, it’s much more difficult to form real, authentic connections with customers as they’re constantly inundated with information online. To break through the noise of full inboxes and endless scrolling, small businesses need to get creative.
Recently, I moderated a panel hosted by Messenger and Create & Cultivate with real business owners to hear their insights on creating seamless customer experiences grounded in authenticity to power business success. Here are three key tips business owners can use to master communication, connect and create loyal customers.[ Smart Hustle Resources – Business Communication Tactics for a Better Customer Experience ]
Showcase Your Business Through Authentic Content
Just like in any other relationship, to build a meaningful and lasting connection with customers, you need to be yourself. People gravitate towards what’s real and genuine.
In fact, a recent WordPress study found 82% of Gen Z consumers said they trust a company more if it uses images of real customers in its advertising.
And while every business is different, one common thread to generating authentic content is active listening and crowdsourcing from your community. For example, Isis Asare, CEO and founder of Sistah Scifi, an online bookstore, discussed how she tries to make social content a two-way conversation, encouraging customers to share photos, book recommendations, and more.
Not only does this kind of conversation add a personal touch directly with customers, it also fosters continuous dialogue in the business’s community – across all platforms.
From user-generated content to implementing surveys, hosting focus groups or even just reading comments – all are helpful methods to inspire authentic content and reach your audience effectively.
Using Messaging for Quick, Convenient and Genuine Communication
Traditionally, when a customer has an issue or a question, they would have to track down a business’s phone number or email. The entire process – looking for the contact information, reaching out, waiting to hear back – could take days (or even weeks!) and can be incredibly frustrating. Messaging has truly reinvented the game for businesses and shoppers to communicate more quickly and efficiently .
Direct conversations with customers are also a great way to build authentic connections. In the same study mentioned above, customer service was found to be one of the top three characteristics that establish Gen-Zers’ trust in a brand.
Elnaz Sarraf, founder & CEO of ROYBI Robot, highlighted how messaging has helped her business with both ease of communication as well as quality of conversation.
One of the tools she uses is Facebook’s Chat Plugin which allows website visitors to connect seamlessly with the business directly, even if they have exited the website. These kinds of messaging tools, and many others, can help businesses create those interpersonal connections with shoppers.[ Smart Hustle Resources – 5 Ways To Improve Communication with Customers ]
Meeting Shoppers Where They Already Are
Most marketers will agree that meeting customers where they are is one of the most effective tactics. In the digital world, this means using the platform that your customers are using, making it easier for them to discover your brand, learn about new products and offerings, ask questions and more.
Walton’s Jewelry has been operating for more than 50 years, and co-owner Julie Walton Garland talked about how she brought the brick-and-mortar jewelry storefront into the digital landscape.
For example, her business uses the tagging tool on Instagram for each product which shows the basics like price and the direct website link. She says this means customers already have the basic information they need, and the messaging function can be reserved for more personalized questions.
“Ultimately, what people want is the familiarity and comfort that they’re used to, but combined with the ease of shopping, quick communication and quality that they desire,” said Julie. “It’s kind of the best of both worlds – keeping true to your roots and what people have always loved, but being able to translate that and re-imagine it to fit today’s business model is really important.”
These are just some of the ways businesses can effectively be themselves online, meaningfully engage with customers and build powerful connections.
By following the advice of Isis Asare, Elnaz Sarraf and Julie Walton Garland about showcasing your business online, using messaging to communicate effectively and meeting customers on the platforms they’re on, business owners can break through the crowded digital landscape and turn first-time shoppers into loyal customers.
Article contributed by – Anayo Awuzie, Product Marketing & Communications Manager, Meta, shares this insight with the Smart Hustle community.