5 Ways to Connect with the Digital Customer

From online shopping on e-commerce sites to writing online reviews and recommendations, digitally,Young man using digital tablet in cafe customers are everywhere. Interacting with today’s digital customer is essential for companies to experience any type of successful selling.

The key to interacting with the digital customer is looking beyond a single interaction. It’s important to develop relevant and engaging messaging to build long-term loyalty (which is what companies look for in customers, right?).

So, how does long-term loyalty get established and be reinforced with today’s digital customers? Here are 5 ways to connect with the digital customer:

  1. Embrace the customer’s voice and message.  Customers are not shy about sharing their opinions about brands on social sites. Learning from what customers have to say, or even participating in those conversations, helps build relationships between a company and  customers and shows that they are being heard.
  2. Understand the customer’s motivation to buy. Looking at a customer’s past purchase history is one way to predict and deliver what a customer may need, but the real question is, “what is motivating them to buy?” By understanding a customer’s motivation to buy a product, a company can create engaging content that is relevant and personalized, catering to their interests. Creating relevant and personalized content for customers can lead to conversions and, ultimately, increased revenue through point-of-sale and repeat purchases.
  3. Engage customers 24/7. Today’s world is no longer a 9-to-5 day. A company should engage with customers 24/7 because social media and mobile sites run all day and all night, leaving “the perfect moment” to be any one of those 1440 minutes each day. Customer conversations on social sites doesn’t end when the work day is over (and sometimes it even picks up) so engaging customers shouldn’t end at that time either. Building a better, deeper relationship with customers can require 25/7 attention!
  4.  Be open in the digital world. Customers have no qualms being open as they may blast companies for minor mistakes or incessantly profess their love, but companies are often fearful of being open and asking for feedback, because it may lead to dealing with negative light being shed on the company’s shortfalls. But, it is important for companies to be open and invite feedback because being open create trust and loyalty among customers. The key to this is to be prepared for negative or critical feedback and know how to respond, and to do number five…
  5. Provide a good customer experience. Customer experience directly connects to business performance. Let’s repeat, customer experience directly connects to business performance. Without providing a good customer experience, a company will not result in positive business performance (well, maybe for a bit, but even the best fall down when customer experience falters). Especially online with the instant gratification customers often expect, it is even more important to focus on providing good customer experience.

Looking beyond the single interaction with customers and developing relevant and engaging messages are key and Connecting with the Digital Customer white paper is a great resource. Overall, these five strategies for connecting with the digital customer will help build better long-term relationships with customers, which is key to retention and acquisition (as customer recruitment is often through digital word of mouth).