How To Connect With Customers You’ve Never Met

In an age when opportunities for face-to-face interactions with customers and associates are fewer and electronic communications only are increasingly the norm, building and maintaining real connections has special challenges. So if finding ways to connect with customers and associates are important (and many believe they are), how can they be established and maintained in today’s business environment?

A few down-to-earth and practical ways to build/maintain connections are:

1) Use variation and customization in your emails and other electronic communications.

Electronic communications (emails and the like) needn’t be cold and impersonal. A friendly, helpful (but still professional) tone can be the norm instead of the exception. Promptness in responses show respect, consideration, and so are appreciated as well.

2) Personalize your interactions.

Treat each customer or associate as an individual. Use their names in interactions, show genuine care and attention. Personalization creates a sense of connection and makes people feel valued.

3) Incorporate video conferencing when possible.

Even though video conferencing isn’t the same as an in-person meeting, adding a visual element allows for a richer interaction. Seeing facial expressions and the ability to be more conversational often improve the odds you’ll understand what’s being said and be understood yourself. Plus after all it’s difficult to hear a smile.

4) Build an email list.

Collect email addresses from interested customers and send regular newsletters or updates. Use email marketing to provide exclusive offers, industry insights, or helpful resources. This helps maintain ongoing communication and strengthens your relationship with customers and associates.

5) Express appreciation.

Regularly thank customers for their business and loyalty. Express thanks in tangible ways such as exclusive discounts when possible, offer loyalty programs, or make other kind gestures that are likely to be appreciated.