By Hugo Beniada, Fueled

One of the first things that you learn in business school is that acquiring a customer can be up to six times more expensive than retaining one. Simply keeping your customers happy at a low cost can help your business succeed. In a world where there are endless new options and services popping up all of the time, it might be hard to differentiate the good ones from the bad. We’ve selected the best ways to connect with your customers so you can stick to your best options.

Face to face

What’s a better way to interact with customers than face-to-face? It might seem a bit archaic, but it’s no secret that physical interactions are what work best. Without any barriers, you have to be ready to answer all of your potential customers’ questions to better promote your products. According to a study made by CIO, marketers were asked “What are your company’s most effective channels for customer engagement both now and in three years?“ The top response was “face to face” from 59 per cent of the respondents.

It means a lot to your customers when they can place a face to a brand, which humanizes it rather than making it seem like an out of reach corporation. Nowadays, brands tend to be more and more intangible. This needs to change. Street marketing is, for example, one of the best ways to acquire and convert potential customers into real ones.

Social media

It’s no secret that social media has completely changed the way we converse. And it didn’t take brands much time to figure that out either. Every major social media player has its own purpose and brands must know how to take advantage of them to get the most possible coverage. Facebook, the number one social media website, is a great tool to promote products, events, or any kind of news. In my opinion though, Twitter is actually a much better tool to connect with customers because it’s more conversation oriented – 140 characters makes a huge difference, more than people realize. The best brands on Twitter are the ones that respond to every one of their customers’ tweets which can be informational, critical, funny, or something along those lines.

The thing that keeps Facebook on top though, is its number of active users is still much higher than Twitter. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be responding to tweets. A dissatisfied customer on Twitter is always worth contacting. If you show customers that you care, they may give your company another shot.

Another major, growing social media platform is Instagram. Brands are using this platform more and more to publish photos of their new products, but sometimes they forget to use it as a way to connect with customers. Hashtags are a huge thing on Instagram, even more than on Twitter. We’re positive everyone follows people who share photos of their new shoes and hashtag with the corresponding brand. These hashtags are a valuable asset for brands and some major companies don’t hesitate to use them as much as they can. So double tap, share, regram, respond, or whatever you can do but interact with your customers because it will make them happy.

E-mail

There are two different kind of newsletters, unique and targeted newsletters. The second option is obviously the best because brands should know that not all of their clients are the same. No one has the same budget, the same tastes, and so forth.

Fortunately, many different services exist nowadays that can help brands target the right customers through their newsletter campaigns. Mailchimp is one of our favourites. It gives brands additional data to help them to target the right audience. The more specific and relatable your emails are, the better chance there is that a customer will go out and use your product.

A brand should put a lot of effort into making each customer feel like they’re unique. Customers don’t want to be just like everybody else, they want be special and rewarded. Addressing the right message to the right person can therefore achieve this goal.

Apps

Apps are big right now and will only continue to grow in popularity as a new venue of revenue. They’re a great way to increase both brand visibility and customer loyalty. But apps aren’t only good for commerce, so many other things can be done with them. They’re just as good at leveraging sales as they are at connecting with customers. In app purchases are becoming more and more frequent, thanks to the development of m-commerce.

Customer interactions are another important factor when building an app. Using a brand’s app, users can have access to everything they might need all at once like e-shops, social media, to contact pages, and so forth. A great example of how a brand can use an app to connect with its customers is the fashion retailer Urban Outfitters. The company’s app is definitely a win-win situation for the brand and the users. Customers are rewarded for purchases and can easily access the brand’s latest news. Basically, Urban Outfitters has cleverly figured how to increase sales by creating an interactive app.

Emotionally engaged customers are 300 per cent more likely to become repeat customers. Customers are what keeps a brand growing and a brand that connects with its customers is a brand that will continue making money. Brands that let his customers down by not interacting with them will, on the other hand, lose revenue. With these four ways of connecting with customers, brands will benefit from the best options that will ensure customer engagement and the brand’s development.

At a low cost, and without too much effort, a lot of good can be done for both a brand and its customers.

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