Consumers are calling on businesses to cultivate stronger relationships with them and to deliver faster, more personal service. This year is about engaging customers in a shopping environment saturated with local, Internet and social media shopping options.
There are four easy steps that every business should take during 2012 to grow organic customer relationships based on the 2011 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) report.
In 2011, consumers reported in the ACSI that they were least satisfied with airlines, most likely due to price hikes and Federal Government regulations. Satisfaction slipped slightly for social media websites hitting a low of 70 percent which is below the national average of 75.7 percent.
Consumers have ranked satisfaction highest in the manufacturing nondurable and durable goods industries, seemingly most satisfied with electronics, foods, personal care, cigarettes, pet food and soft drinks. Based on the ACSI results, buyers seem to be in the mood for immediate satisfaction and less complicated decisions.
To nurture customer relationships, experts recommend taking five easy steps. First, Sweat EquiTees has used its consumers as the clothing brand’s models and managers believe that has built the brand’s following. Local businesses can more easily use customers whether the company is selling clothes or sporting goods.
The second step is to learn about your customers and connect them with other clients who might be able to give them business so you are creating a referral circle and a stronger consumer base. Calling customers and following up on their purchases, or to promote a sale, remains a key third step.
The final two steps are to create a simple YouTube channel to take your message viral by recording testimonials and posting them on YouTube. Finally, show customers love by featuring a fan of the week on Facebook, Twitter or your company website.
“If you build it, they will come” is over. Today is about answering immediate consumer appetites and creating unique connection opportunities.
Camden Smith, owner of DREAMFly Marketing LLC, has more than eight years expertise in branding and marketing strategy and 13 years experience in public relations. Formerly a WINK-TV reporter, Smith is an award-winning PR strategist and lives in Naples with her husband. Visit Smith at dreamflymarketing.com