There was a time when it was impressive for a small business simply to have an online presence. This is not that time. Today it’s all about using your small business website to build online connections with your customers. In many ways, we’ve become disconnected from those around us. When someone shows an interest in building a relationship with us, it makes us feel good. We feel like we’re important to them. When we get that from a shop owner we’re more likely to do business there. Here are five ways you can build a genuine online connection with your customers.
1. Engage Customers Through Various Channels
You start by including a phone number and email address on your website. An easy to use contact form will make it even easier for a customer to reach out to you. And don’t forget to add links to the social media accounts you’ve set up for your business.
Start with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Monitor these accounts so that whenever a customer leaves a question or comment you’re able to respond quickly. Although these avenues are very public, you can make the conversation private if necessary. However, by initially responding publicly other customers will see that you’re taking the time to engage in a timely way.
Consistency is important. Be sure that your response time, messaging, and follow-through are the same across all channels.
2. Get to Know Your Customers
Take time to learn who your customers are. The more you know about your customers the better you can focus your messaging to resonate with them. Google Analytics gives you insight into the demographics of your website visitors. Facebook Pixel provides in-depth information including cross-device usage and conversion habits. You can install both of these tools on your small business website yourself or hire someone to do it for you.
3. Keep It Personal
Don’t let yourself get side-tracked by the desire to make a sale. Let your website serve up the sales pitch. When you respond to inquiries from customers, keep your focus on solving the problem presented. Keep in mind that they’ll do more business with you if they feel you truly care about them. Connect with your customers first, the transactions will follow.
4. Show Your Appreciation
Everyone wants to be appreciated. Show your customers that they’re important to you and your business. Whether they follow you on social media or signed up for your mailing list, you can create special offers that are meaningful and just for them. This is another reason it pays off to know as much about your customers as you can.
5. Content Marketing
This is one of those buzz phrases you’ve probably run into more than once. Content marketing is about publishing and distributing content that speaks to your customers. It’s content that’s designed to increase their engagement. This can be accomplished through blog posts, podcasts, infographics, social media, videos, and paid advertising. Your small business website helps connect your customers to your content. Once the content is published on your site, it can be shared across multiple channels.
Now you know how to build online connections with your customers and develop a relationship with them. As the relationship grows so will customer loyalty.