Message & Media: Make the Connection
• Share good news. Whether it’s about your company, people or products, let customers know good things are happening. With all the negativity in the news, people are eager to know when good things happen.
• Provide customer reviews. It’s one thing for you to talk about product benefits, and another for customers to comment on the pros and cons of your products and service. Share online customer reviews in offline media messages, as well.
• Ask how you can help. There has never been a better time to engage customers in a discussion about how you can help meet their changing needs. It may have to do with products, service or something else. Let customers know you value their opinions and want to fulfill their needs. Use online surveys, package inserts, phone interviews and social media to elicit response.
• Say oops without getting egg on your face. Mistakes happen, but don’t wait to say you’re sorry. I recently ordered a pair of shoes online. When I didn’t receive my order and didn’t hear anything from the e-tailer, I called to learn it was out of my size. The e-tailer had forgotten to tell me. The last e-mail communication I received was an order cancellation. That was my first order with this e-commerce site, and it will be my last. It was a missed opportunity to say, “We’re sorry.”
• Alert customers to added value of quirky product applications. Get ideas from customer reviews and your own product innovations. Sharing real-life tips in your e-newsletter or package inserts extends product value and positions you as an innovator.
• Reassure first-time triers. First-time buyers aren’t customers at all. They are triers. And their first experience with your company is critical. What is the message you’re sending to your first-time triers? If you are fortunate enough to attract new customers in today’s shopping slowdown, don’t take them for granted.