How Are You Engaging With Your Customers

Are you keeping in touch with your customers and if so, how? In these lean economic times it is critical that you keep hold of each and every customer relationship that you’ve worked hard to establish. Today, every industry is being driven to provide goods and services at commoditised rates. You must be able to engage your entire customer base and build solid relationships with them or risk losing them to your competition.

But how often do you see your customers? If it is once every year or two, you run the risk of losing them to your competitors. If your clients don’t feel any connection to you they will feel no obligation to telephone you next time they need work done. They may have liked the job you did last time, but in three years time they will be lucky to recall having had work done, let alone the contractor who performed the work. In contrast, if you had been in constant contact with them over that period and had established your brand as the face of your industry, you have a strong chance of getting the call. How do you keep that engagement with your customers?

Email marketing works on the premise that through the act of engaging your services in the past, your client has tacitly given you permission to market to them. And because people are always checking their emails via their phones and tablets, email marketing becomes a quick and effective way to maintain regular contact with them and deliver your message.

How do you establish an extensive database? By now, you should have at least a small number of email addresses of your existing customers. If not, you must change the way you are recording your contacts. In the marketing world, a database is gold. To put an email database of your customers into perspective, it is a proven list of people who are prepared to pay for your services. Other companies would give anything for this data so protect it, as it is potentially worth a great deal of money.

You must now consider how you will engage your customers with your emails so they don’t end up unread in the Outlook trash folder. You must provide quality content that doesn’t come across as a hard sell. You need to be the ‘tradie’ mate at the pub that is giving free advice. Don’t be afraid to give away a few tricks of the trade. Nothing builds trust more than people seeing that you are not trying to sell them something.

Provide an update to what is happening in your business or industry. Let people know if you are moving or extending your premises. And don’t forget to include some photos introducing the members of your team. You are establishing your business and face as the brand associated with your industry.

Email marketing doesn’t need to be confined to your existing customers either. There are a host of methods to attract new email recipients. Create a website contact form with an option to subscribe to your newsletter and it’s a good idea to post your newsletters in a ‘Latest News’ section on your website. Nothing helps to build traffic to your website better than fresh, informative content. You may even offer potential customers a gift or free service in exchange for their name and email address.

Once your database has been established, consideration must be given to how these emails will be sent. Sending out professional looking email shouldn’t be left to MicroSoft Outlook. Instead, consider using one of the many online subscription services that specialise in sending emails to large customer databases. You just sign up for an account, pay your monthly fee and upload your list of customers. You then select from many email templates and the message will be sent to your entire database.

Some better business website platforms, such as Synergy 8, have built-in email marketing features and even integrate directly with simPRO allowing you to directly email your simPRO contacts.

Email marketing should only form part of your overall marketing plan but it should become an essential element as no other form of marketing allows you to get your message so quickly and easily to the intended audience. If done well, it can help build solid customer relations that are the life blood of any business.