The secret to a successful business is not only to sell great products, but also to show support and engagement within the community. Many customers, including the young people in Gen Z, tend to value transparency when choosing where to invest their money. Since so many consumers spend a lot of time on their phones, they have the resources at their fingertips to dig deeper into a company's behaviors and motivations. When they see that a company cares about its consumers and aligns with their values, then they are more likely to shop with that business.
To truly connect with these customers, you will have to form a reciprocal relationship of customer engagement and loyalty. Create a well-executed customer strategy by establishing a digital presence and then engaging through your marketing and social media. Let’s talk about the importance of a digital strategy and how you can build customer trust.
If you want to bring your marketing tactics to the next level, then you first need to create a digital presence. Many CEOs and strategists agree that we are entering a digital age, and once you get online, you need to create a business strategy that will attract the customers in your target demographic. That means launching a website, creating a business entity on several social media platforms, and investing in online ads.
Once you have the pieces in place, you can begin the steps to connect with your audience. That means not only talking about new products that they may want to purchase but also helping them when they have concerns or need customer service. Put the proper staff in place so you can respond to customer concerns quickly. Also, when people post on your social media with a complaint, then make sure you take the time to respond and provide a resolution.
It is also important to make your voice heard when there is a social issue or a catastrophe strikes. For example, if there were a natural disaster in the area and your company intends to provide money or services to those affected, then you can announce your intention online and show that you are there for your community. Just make sure that you follow through on what you promised. The worst thing a company could do is say one thing but do another.
There is a lot that your company can do to engage and support your community and customers, and much of it can be done over social media. You need to take time to create high-quality and engaging posts that send a message. In order to stay engaged, you need to post often so your customers don’t forget you are there. Keep in mind that you don’t have to talk about social issues every day. Instead, you can mix in discount coupons, giveaways, and other posts to keep things interesting.
If you really want to connect with your customers and understand the issues that concern them the most, then you can also ask them directly by posting surveys, polls, and quizzes on social media. Then, compile the data and use it for your future posts. Don’t just throw everything at the wall and see what sticks, or your customers will see through that. Marketing analytics can help customer loyalty because you are able to personalize offerings and messaging to your exact audience.
Also, don’t be afraid to show empathy. If you dropped the ball on a social initiative, then come out and say it. Your customers will appreciate your honesty, and they may give you a second chance. The same goes for regular customer service issues. If someone received a damaged product, then apologize and provide a solution. Customers know that accidents can happen, and they will love the fact that they can depend on you to make things right.
While every company and community will deal with its own social issues, one issue that still affects most people in one way or the other is the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus took a major toll on our physical and mental health. There was a 328% spike in calls to counseling hotlines during the pandemic in 2020. Although we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, people are feeling the after-effects and are still concerned about their well-being.
As a company, you can prove that we are all in this together by showing empathy and providing advice. You can remind everyone to socially distance themselves whenever possible to avoid transmission. At the same time, you can promote your company by posting about how you are prioritizing safety for your customers when they come into your store. A customer may be more willing to choose your company over a competitor if they know they will be safe.
You can also think about perks that you can offer your customers that can help them through troubling times. As an example, since many customers had to stay at home during the pandemic, some phone companies gave away free data so they could communicate with loved ones. Disney even released content ahead of time so families had something to do at home. If your company can offer something in that vein, then you could make for some very happy, trusting customers.
As you can see, there are many ways that you can show support and engagement to build customer trust. Think about how you can connect to your audience, and as a result, your company’s reputation and bottom line could benefit greatly.