Online business has many advantages, but the distance it can create between your company and your customers is a real downside. Nowadays many businesses never actually physically meet their customers, so it’s difficult to create personal relationships with them and culture their loyalty to the brand. However, there are ways in which your business can connect with these customers, and you should be making every effort to do so if you hope to have a loyal and satisfied customer base.
Here are five ways to keep your virtual customers happy:
- Create a strong brand voice
It’s likely that in most cases the only interaction your customers will have with your business is reading content on your website, social media channels and email communications. For this reason it is of the utmost importance that you create a strong, engaging tone of voice that will speak to your target market on a personal level, and make sure they feel like they’re interacting with a personal business, not just a machine. Once you’ve created this tone of voice it’s essential that you ensure it’s consistent across all of your comms channels, so your customers old and new can recognize which brand they’re hearing from a sea of online businesses.
02. Make sure your site is fully functional
No website visitor will stick around if your website is slow to load, navigate or buy from. Creating a fully functional, easy to navigate website doesn’t have to be hard: you can use a simple website builder tool (like Midphase’s Website Builder!) to create a site that works on all devices and won’t have any tangles in the back end to send customers running to your competitors. Invest in a robust web hosting service too, because if your website is slow to load – or if it’s suffering downtime – you’ll lose valuable custom every second.
03. Have a strong, fully available contact team
People buy from people, so a reliable, helpful customer service team will be invaluable to your business. They can manage and rectify any complaints in person, mediating with unhappy customers and ensuring that they stay loyal to your brand even when things go wrong. Be clear about what times your contact team are available, and ensure that they actually are reachable during these hours; customers kept waiting aren’t likely to respond well.
04. Utilize social media
Social media is the key to engaging directly with virtual customers. It’s a powerful tool for your customers as they have a direct – and very public – line to your business, so you must be sure to monitor all communications and respond well to all messages, good or bad. You can also use your social channels to share any company news with your followers, and it’s engaging for your brand to publish the social, more human side to your business via social media as this content gives your business more personality.
05. Showcase the personal side of your business
Humans connect with humans, and if your customers can’t identify with a personality when dealing with your business they’re unlikely to remain loyal. As mentioned above, social media is a great way to showcase your brand’s culture, publishing images and videos of staff events, and informing your followers of the ins and outs of your business on a day-to-day basis. A strong “About Us” section on your website is also key to providing a bit of background to your business, telling the story of where you come from and how your team works to deliver your products and services and keep your customers happy.
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