It goes without saying that looking after customers, and keeping hold of them, is key to any business. And of course, this is nothing without good communication, too. Keeping in contact with, and listening to, customers are also vital ingredients to business success. But, with so many ways to communicate, where should a business start and which methods should be used?
Know your business
The size of your organisation and customer-base can have a profound impact on the marketing methods you choose. If you have a small customer-base, then sending out mailings or making individual customer phone calls may well work for you. But if your customer-base runs into thousands, or is on an international level, then you might want to consider other options. With advances in technology, large organisations may well find it more cost- and time-effective to send out bulk SMS text messaging to keep in contact with their customers. This can reach a wide, targeted audience in an instant and has the advantage of low-running costs.
Know your customers
Get to know who your customers are. Do some market research. Network. Listen to what your customers say. Whether this involves sending out surveys to find out customer profiles and opinions or organising focus groups or webinars, it’s essential that you know who you are selling to, and are reaching your target audience in the best way, and providing them with the kinds of products and services that they want.
Social media networks
Social media sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook can be used to exploit a wide range of marketing and customer care initiatives. They give you access to a huge (and global) range of consumers, allowing you to keep in contact with them. Getting involved with online discussions and blogs allows you to transmit information and news about your products and services, as well as keeping your name fresh in customers’ minds. You can also learn about what customers are saying about you and your products or services, and by using this information, you can glean how effective you are operating, what customers want and who else is out there trying to compete with you.
Your website is one of your biggest assets and a great marketing tool, so use it to its best advantage. It allows you to showcase who you are, what you offer and what’s new, so make sure it’s up-to-date, user-friendly, and easily found through search engine optimisation. Testimonials from satisfied customers add a real boost to business credential, as do case studies and word-of-mouth examples, so try to feature these in your marketing campaigns.
Costs and effectiveness
With so many different ways to try and reach your customers, it pays to pick out those that are going to be most cost-effective to you, and maximise your returns. Improvements in telecommunications systems have enabled a wider range of customers to be targeted, at low-running costs. For example, business SMS text messaging can be used to communicate with customers on a range of aspects, not just product information, but details of orders, delivery schedules and appointments can be utilised in this manner.
Bulk SMS text messaging can be much more cost-effective than say, sending out direct mailing via the post. It reaches wider audiences than traditional mail, sends out instant messages, and is less time-consuming for staff to administer.
Whichever way you choose to connect with your customers, make sure it’s right for your company and gives you maximum returns whilst providing high quality customer service at the same time.
This post was written by Crispin Jones on behalf of Collstream the business SMS and bulk SMS specialists. Photo: Victor1558