If a MySpace profile is as tech-savvy as your brand gets, it’s time to take a look at ways to better reach your customers, who are using technology and social sites to research brands and make purchasing decisions.
1. Online Appointments
Nothing irks me more than a website that acts as if you can book appointments online but once you’ve filled out the form says “We’ll have someone call you!” (Massage Envy, I’m talking to you!) If I wanted to talk to someone I’d call.
Online booking streamlines the process of getting customers in the door, and it saves you on admin costs. It doesn’t cost a lot to set up, and the return is more than worth the effort.
2. Video Calls
If you’re like me, you rarely meet your clients face to face. I write a lot of emails, and a few phone calls. But why not really impress them by setting up a video call through Skype, Google Hangouts or similar service? It’s as close to the real face time as you can get.
PS If your client isn’t set up for this, don’t push it!
3. Coupon Codes
If you sell online, you’re competing with plenty of other brands that deliver similar products or services. You can bet some of them are offering coupons to customers. Set up regular discount codes (off specific products you want to sell, or off an entire purchase) and list them on sites like RetailMeNot. If you have blogger contacts, share the codes with them so they share with their audience.
4. Online Tutorials
Do your customers constantly call to ask about how to set up or use a product? Are your paper instructions not helping? Save trees and time by creating online videos walking customers through some of the most asked-about features of your products. That might be a video of you putting together the product, or tips on getting the most out of it.
Share the videos on YouTube, and link to them from your blog. Include links to them on your FAQ and Customer Support pages.
5. Link to Yelp
If customers review your business on Yelp, Google + Local or other review sites, make it easy for them. Include a link to reviews on your website, and if a purchase is made online (or you have the email of a customer), send a link to the review page, encouraging them to share their own experiences.
6. Mobile App
Mobile applications can be a great way to connect with smartphone-savvy customers…if it makes sense. In other words: don’t make an app just to make one. But if you sell vintage clothing, for example, you could design an app that puts your clothing on a photo of a customer, so that she can see how it would look on.
Focus on apps that bring value to your customers, and make them want to visit your store or website even more.
7. Create Content
One of the best ways to show that your brand knows its stuff is to create great blog content. Don’t blog constantly about how great your brand is; instead, talk about your industry, news and insights. Share these posts on social sites.
8. Host Webinars
Offer free webinars about a topic that interests your clients. Don’t make it product-driven. Your goal here is to brand yourself by being the host of such an amazing webinar. People will associate your brand with their experience, so you want it to be a good one.
If you’re a small business coach, host a series of webinars on topics that affect small business owners, such as Setting Up an S-Corp, or How to Use Social Media to Market. Making them free is key; there are too many similar events offered at no cost to charge for yours.
9. Work with Bloggers
Bloggers are potentially already talking about your brand, so why not harness that and build relationships with influential bloggers who appeal to your audience? Work with them to give product reviews and host product giveaways, as well as to drive traffic to your site.
10. Get Social With Customer Service
You may be using Facebook and Twitter to market your business, but do you use them to address customer service issues? Doing so creates trust; if you’re willing to help a customer with a complaint publicly, and others see it resolved neatly, they’ll begin to think of you as a tech-savvy brand that cares about its customers.
Set up a customer service rep to monitor your Twitter and Facebook feed. Whenever a customer question comes up, respond immediately with helpful links and solutions.
Even if you implemented just one of these ideas, you’d go a long way to show your customers that you’re on the cutting edge of technology!
Photo: marcelo03 on stock.xchng