Are You Missing Opportunities to Connect With Customers?
We were chatting over coffee, cameras, and laptops with a group of photographers as is our custom every weekend. We talk about the business of creating, we share information, and we critique each other’s work. No competition here. Just artists and entrepreneurs communing over coffee and Nikon and Canon camera bodies.
One of the photographers knows I’m a marketer and tells me about the nightmare he was experiencing. He’d built his website and on his contact page, used an email address he admitted that he didn’t check frequently. Fast forward six months and he’s beginning to question his abilities as a photographer. He had made key connections during that time and sent them to his website to review his portfolio. He then asked them to message him via his website. My photographer friend couldn’t understand why his phone wasn’t ringing more than it was. One day while updating his site it all became quite clear. He’d completely forgotten about that email address and never checked it after building the site.
He logged in into the email account and there they were. At least a hundred emails all from his website. People inquiring about weddings, people wanting to hire him for commercial jobs, even an opportunity with that key contact he had made. After he scrolled through all the emails he realized that he had lost approximately $25K in revenue all due to one infrequently used email address.
What Opportunities Are You Missing?
As small business owners, connecting and engaging with your target audience and potential customers is critical to the continued growth of the business. Just ask my photographer friend. But mistakes happen and technology sometimes fail us. And unfortunately, many business owners simply get caught up working IN the business that they forget to consistently connect.
I recently met with a company and they admitted that they had started blogging as a way to connect with their customers and potential customers. They, like so many businesses, started their blogs in a blaze of glory but enthusiasm waned and other projects quickly took priority. Before they knew it, it had been months since they’d written or posted to their blog. They too missed opportunities to consistently connect and provide value to their target audience.
How To Stay Connected To Your Customers and Target Audience
Defer to the experts – Hire or outsource a social media professional to handle your online connections. If you want to consistently stay connected, this role can no longer be considered optional or assigned to an employee to work on in between their other projects. Your social media professional should be able to:
- Write and post content
- Create graphics
- Create and edit short videos
- Understand SEO and social media ads
- Live and breathe providing great customer experiences and service
- Understand your North Star Metric
Use the right technology – Marketing Automation, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and even chat bots can help you stay connected to your audience and personal network. A fellow business owner introduced me to an AI scheduling assistant. Your AI assistant can schedule meetings and quickly respond to clients, leads, and contacts. You can even assign them their own email address. If my photographer friend had used an AI assistant he could reasonably be $25K richer.
The right technology can respond to inquiries and even engage customers. Some of my favorite tech tools are:
See the gold in your CRM – A good customer relationship management tool holds a wealth of information leading to more personal ways to connect with your customer. You can use your CRM to remember client birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions. Not only is this a key way to stay connected but it’s also a good customer retention strategy and helps decrease customer churn.
Missing opportunities to consistently connect with customers and potential customers on and offline can cost your business valuable feedback, referrals, and revenue.