Building connections and nurturing relationships with customers leads to increased loyalty, word-of-mouth promotion, and ultimately higher sales. Doing this well doesn’t happen by accident – it requires strategy and execution. I
- Understand your customers deeply. You can’t connect with customers effectively if you don’t truly understand them. Start by looking at your current top customers and segment them to understand the insights about their demographics, behaviors, concerns and motivations. Go beyond basic attributes and really dig into what drives them. Instead of fake personas, create buyer profiles off your real, top customers. If you have great clients and customers, keep heading in that direction by interviewing them about what pushed them to purchase. Recognize that your early customers might not have the same persona as later customers.
- Identify where conversations are happening. Be present in the digital and physical spaces your customers already spend time. Social media analytics tools can uncover where online conversations in your industry are happening. Online groups, forums and communities relevant to customers are valuable for starting organic engagement. Even offline traditional locations like community centers or conferences might provide opportunities for relationship-building. Meet them where they already are.
- Map out a journey-based engagement approach. The typical customer journey is moving through stages of a funnel through touchpoints that bring a customer from awareness all the way to purchase and through to retention. To turn engagement into revenue, your strategy must address how to best reach, nurture and convert high-value leads at each step of that journey. Use tools like Miro or Whimsical to make an actual map, assigning action steps to each touchpoint.
Master these fundamentals before rushing into tactics and technologies for outreach and communication.
It's a myth that likes, followers, and shares are vanity metrics. At the end of the day, you can only market to those you can reach. Growing your social media audience, email lists, and website traffic will lead to revenue, so focus on those tactics first. Keep iterating your personas, identifying new spaces for organic connections, and mapping messaging to all journey stages. This creates the solid foundation for customer engagement that drives sales.