Developing Customer Relations Makes for an Effective Online Marketing Campaign
Building a website that conforms to SEO requirements and makes people want to do business with a company are very important for online marketing, but engaging with consumers so that they’ll become repeat customers is one of the most important things that an organization can do to strengthen its online presence. After all – one-time transactions are better than nothing, but they won’t generate the kind of consistent profits that companies need.
Customer engagement can be done a number of ways, but it should essentially focus on getting into the heads of clients and seeing a web page the way that they would. It is very easy for planners and designers to think about what they need from consumers, but getting a clear picture of the way that most people will view a company’s online presence is quite a bit more difficult. This is especially true when one considers how businesses rate their own success at doing so.
For example, a recent survey by the Temkin Group found that 41 percent of companies felt that they were succeeding at customer engagement and providing a good customer experience. However, only 10 percent were doing so according to surveys of those company’s customers. This illustrates the disconnect that can very easily happen, so consider the following ways to alleviate the problem.
Surveys and polls
For a relatively objective measure of the thoughts that customers have about a particular organization, conduct a formal poll or survey. These kinds of efforts are not 100 percent foolproof and may be subject to some variation. However, at the very least it will provide some insight into glaring and consistent problems that all customers are noticing. For example, an organization that prides itself in offering live chat help online might not realize that customers would rather speak to someone over the telephone because the interface of the chat is unwieldy or ineffective. Subtler problems may require more nuance, but straightforward questions will cure some of the worse ailments an organization suffers from.
There are many software solutions available to companies that engage with a wide variety of customers or clients on a regular basis. The most valuable might be customer relationship management (CRM), which essentially gives businesses the ability to create a log or file for every single customer. When used in an online context, it can be attached to a user name that a person uses to log in when they make purchases or seek help. This makes remembering every single consumer (or at least seeming to) a lot more realistic and helps to deliver a much better experience for clients.
Encourage word of mouth
Some of the most effective advertising and marketing comes from people who are simply talking to one another, away from the internet. Forbes reports that research firm The Keller Fay Group performed a study of word of mouth sharing. The results indicate that 91 percent of conversations about brands and companies take place in person or over the phone. Additionally, 67 percent of offline conversations about brands are positive. This makes sense, given that people seem to enjoy venting on the internet but are more likely to share a good experience with a close friend or family member. Giving discounts to people who bring in new clients and customers helps encourage this kind of rapport between individuals and spreads the word about an organization.
Analyze web site usage
Companies that run their own websites and have an IT professional on hand can analyze the Web log files of their online pages. This basically shows how visitors navigate a website and gives some insight into how people use it. This can help greatly during a redesign because it means that effective but unseen pages can be made more prominent while frustrating or dead-end pages can be removed or reorganized.