As nice as new leads are, customers are the most important resource your brand has. Customer loyalty is one of the best goals a company can aim for since it not only shows you’re doing your job well but is also a big driver of profits. 61% of customers go out of their way to buy from brands they feel loyal to, and 75% recommend them to others. Not to mention, customers that feel an emotional connection to a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value.
In a crowded marketplace, where all your competitors are vying for attention from your target audience, earning customer loyalty is a challenge. You need to find a way to build a unique and personal connection with each of your customers. For smaller businesses, giving each customer individualized attention can create intimacy. But the more your business grows, the harder it becomes to create that individualized connection with every customer you have.
You can still create customer intimacy as a large business, you just have to get creative. Here’s how:
1. Personalize your product offerings
Most of the conversation around personalization is all about marketing. But you can bring personalization to your products as well.
One of the features the messaging platform Intercom offers is custom bots that customers can tailor to the exact needs of their business. Instead of offering a one-size-fits-all solution, they allow clients to input the categories and answers their customers care about to automate personalized conversations with website visitors. This makes for both a customized solution for Intercom customers and a personalized experience for their website visitors.
2. Send creative, personalized direct mail
A couple of years ago, direct mail may have seemed on its way out, but as online marketing grows more competitive, physical mail has become a way to be noticed. Valassis research shows that including a direct mail component in your marketing leads to an average 6% lift in sales.
However, there’s still a challenge to overcome. People receive so much junk mail, it’s tough to find a way to make anything stand out and become memorable.
Here are three effective strategies for nailing the unique factor:
Personalize your direct mail
Direct mail services now let you personalize mail with variable data printing. Maps4Mail does a clever version of this—you already have the recipient’s address, why not use that to send them a custom map of how to get from their place to your office or event?
Send objects rather than paper
We all get a stack of junk mail almost every time they check the mail, but we always notice the 3D objects. Commercial sound production house GGRP memorably sent a cardboard phonograph that actually played the sample record they included as a way to promote their services to ad agencies. You can bet recipients took notice!
Combine the two with a personalized gift
The phonograph was smart, but could it have been made more personal? You can go a step further by sending an object personalized to your customer’s taste. If you have hundreds of customers to reach, that may sound unrealistic, but it’s not anymore!
Paper Magazine turned to Prazely to instantly send over 100 personalized gifts to partners, based on the interests that Prazely’s AI identified from their social media profiles. For instance, clients who shared their love of cocktails online received a glass shaker and bourbon bears.
3. Host customer events
Tech tools have done a lot to enable greater personalization, but the most direct path to intimacy is still meeting someone in person. That’s hard for a company with an international audience, but you can still coordinate ways for people from your company to meet with customers directly.
Set up events like lunch and learns or customer appreciation dinners in each city where you have a location, or when your representatives visit a new city for a conference or business trip. Or go big and host a conference that brings hundreds of your customers together.
In-person events provide opportunities to get to know some of the faces and personalities behind the different accounts your company depends on. And just as importantly, lets them get to know the human beings behind your brand.
Most of us can think of brands we have a real, emotional connection with. Even if another brand can offer a lower price or greater convenience, we’re likely to stick with the one we have positive associations with. Creating customer intimacy is how you become that brand for your customers and earn that kind of loyalty.
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