With the Covid-19 pandemic reaching its next wave, the world seems to be in a perpetual state of flux. So far, millions of people have lost their sources of income, and equally as many have experienced a devastating corona loss of family or friends. Now, more than ever, consumers are looking for comfort and support from the world of business and trade. As such, there has never been a more appropriate or important time to truly connect with your customers.
Why you Should Connect with your Customer
Naturally, without a steady stream of clientele, your company cannot continue to financially flourish. However, there is more to the corporate vs private person relationship than a mere bottom line. Consumers have the power to make or break a company’s reputation, be it by word-of-mouth or an online review left for potential customers to read. By understanding, connecting with, and catering to your customer, you are positively impacting the public perception and reception of your products and services; or as Markus Lindblad, the Head of External Affairs at the Haypp Group, aptly put it:
“The closer we become with our customers, the more we will understand their needs across different markets and customer segments. Only then can we be on the customers’ side and create proper change.”
Lindblad is no stranger to successfully building customer relations, as the Haypp Group’s subsidiary, Nicokick, reported a 250 percent sales increase in their nicotine pouches within six months thanks to the company’s consumer-centric strategy. According to Lindblad, this increase shows no signs of slowing down, as the Group continues to focus on their customers.
How do you Connect with your Customers?
Building customer relationships and loyalty is an ongoing job and, as such, you must never grow complacent in ascertaining what your customers require or desire. It is also important to remember that no two customers are the same, and so you should never manage your business with a one-size-fits-all approach.
1. Stay Connected on Social Media
There are approximately 3.5 billion social media users around the world, so there is no better place to maintain a constant and current dialogue with your customers. Social media removes geographical barriers between customers and businesses, allowing them to communicate about issues or questions in real-time. In a sense, social media interactions are as ‘face-to-face’ as one can get with a company.
There is also something intrinsically personal about social media which will make the customer feel closer and more familiar with a business. Fun and personalized looks into the everyday operations of the company or Instagram stories documenting company events will help to draw customers even closer and raise excitement for your brand.
Of course, Facebook and Instagram stories can also serve as informal polls or focus groups, in which your followers can provide you answers regarding your services or products. The best part is that these answers come straight from the customers’ mouths – and are both fast and free.
Social media is also the perfect space to run promotions or competitions, which will increase the enthusiasm and following of your company, and will also display a certain level of gratitude to your customers for their continued loyalty and support.
2. Always Respond
Nothing can alienate and drive away customers faster than a company that does not seem to care about them. When customers reach out with concerns, problems or complaints, it is important that they receive a personalized reply as soon as possible. The timeousness and care of a business’ reply will determine whether or not a customer remains a customer – as well as how the customer will relay their experience of the company to other consumers.
3. Remain at the Forefront
The world is ever-changing, and so it is very important that companies stay on top of the latest trends and customer concerns. This could involve updating the specifications of your products to suit modern requirements, but it could even include your carbon footprint or political stance. More and more, customers are looking for companies that speak out and support initiatives as another means to connect on a more personal level.
In the example of Nicokick, the Haypp Group recently launched their new endeavors to become more environmentally friendly, by using suppliers who prioritize packaging made from recycled paper. In fact, Nicokick can now boast that many of their suppliers are ISO 14001 certified. Moreover, users can now place their finished nicotine pouches in the lid of their nicotine pouch cans, for safekeeping until they can dispose of the pouches in the trash. While nicotine pouches and recycling may not be two terms you commonly associate with one another, Nicokick and its partners have stepped out of the box and responded to the environmental concerns that the world, as a whole, is facing.
4. Create job Opportunities where Possible
With the surge they experienced in sales, Nicokick was able to open new branches and create job opportunities within the US. If possible, this is a great way to further cement a company’s support of its customers, as they struggle in the aftermath of corona’s great impact on unemployment. Providing work will also build loyalty, as customers will remember which businesses attempted to provide support during difficult times.
Although it may take effort to connect with your customer, and the job is never truly done, it is the biggest advantage you can create for your business as your reputation, and ultimately your revenues, rely on your success in this area.