Every day, we talk to all kinds of clients who need help building their brand. There is a reoccurring theme to these conversations — clients want to find new customers and keep the ones they have. Who knew? And exactly how do you do that?
One answer is to start a conversation offline. Any good conversation worth having contains equal parts of talking, and listening. Our digital impulses tend to shut off the listening part of the conversation. Here are four ways to step away from the keyboard, and have a conversation with your customers.
Send a Real Piece of Mail
Sacrilege! Especially in this age of digital everything, that we should suggest something as “dated” as mail. But it works. Sprint instituted “Thank You Thursdays” where employees are encouraged to write at least five thank you notes to customers. As a result, Sprint sent out over 500,000 thank you notes, and each recipient can bring in the note to a local Sprint store for 25% off an accessory. That’s quite an army marching back into the store.
Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve
There is no doubt that you are in business to make money — for you, your employees, and maybe even your customers. But what if you and your customers work together to make a difference for someone else? Supporting your favorite charity is a wonderful way to share your interests and connect with potential customers who have the same passion. Your business has the potential to grow when you share a common goal with customers that isn’t business-related. Host a quarterly work-day at your favorite charity and ask your customers to help. Or reach out to new customers who might be interested in working alongside. But stay genuine and authentic. Do it because you want to do good, not just because you might find new customers.
Host a Party
This doesn’t have to be painful or hard to plan, but a face-to-face event where all your customers can see you is a great way to keep talking. Find something you love to do, and then invite others to join you. Arrange a golf game, or find a baseball game, or concert series you want to attend. Or plan an ice cream social at your office. One qualifier for this idea is that your customers should probably be local. You can even take this opportunity to showcase your company’s talents and experience with a custom display.
Reconnect with Previous Customers
Remember when the company first started and your customer list was much smaller than it is today? Do you still talk to the very first customers? Do they even know you are still in business? Take that list and reach out now to those customers who got you started in the first place. Your message can be a simple, “What Are You Up To?” to start the conversation again. They will appreciate reconnecting with your company, and may send new customers to your door.
It is very common these days to hear the clickty-clak of your keyboard instead of the voice of your customer. It is time to reconnect and keep the conversation going. Go ahead and start talking.