Message & Media: Make the Connection
Now more than ever, it’s imperative to keep in touch with your customers. Set up a marketing communications plan for sending targeted messages to targeted audiences. Start by putting yourself in your customers’ shoes.
In today’s business environment, when customers stop hearing from you, there’s a good chance they will assume you’ve gone out of business. So don’t disappear. Use this as your opportunity to stand out by sending messages that do the following:
• Empower comparison shoppers. Be a resource that provides value-conscious customers with a comparison checklist of features and value-added benefits of leading products in a category, yours included. Don’t be afraid to talk about what makes your product a solid choice while also providing positive, objective information about the others.
• Inspire customers to buy smarter. Give customers reasons to stock up and save. As a direct marketer, you know what customers buy and how much. Ask them to buy more, and give them a “smart shopper” quantity discount.
• Show genuine gratitude. At a time when every buying decision is a considered purchase, let customers know how much you appreciate their business with handwritten notes, traditional thank-you cards, e-cards or phone calls. I recently received a handwritten postcard from the optical shop where I purchased new glasses, signed by both people who helped me. A small investment of time can make your business a standout.
• Acknowledge customer loyalty. You can do this with secret sales, preferred customer offers and creative gestures of appreciation (downloadable coupons, invitations to customer appreciation events, low-cost thank-yous with high perceived value). Encourage loyalty with candor; let your customers know you value them and that you’re looking out for them in your corner of the marketplace.
• Instill confidence in your company, products and service. Now is the time to reinforce credibility and financial stability. Squelch rumors wherever they pop up, online or off. Position your company as a leader.