3 Steps to Deeper Intimacy With Your Customers

This blog post was co-authored with Uyen Nguyen, Content Manager at Sprinklr. Sprinklr provides the technology that enables large brands to manage customer experiences at every social touchpoint across teams, departments, divisions and geographies.

It’s a bewildering truth that marketers have gotten away with treating their customers like a series of nameless IP addresses for far too long. Now that people are sharing more information about themselves than ever across the Internet, though, it’s imperative that businesses keep in stride with their users and start marketing to them like the real human beings that they are.

To get you started on developing those deep, authentic relationships with your customers, we’ve outlined three simple steps you can take today.

1. Give users a forum to share feedback with your brand and other customers

70% of global millennials feel responsible for offering their thoughts and perspectives to brands (AdAge). The numbers clearly indicate that this young customer base wants to share feedback with their favorite brands, and it’s up to these businesses to provide the right avenues to enable this.

Rather than trying to stifle these conversations due to possible negativity, consider implementing ways for users to voice their opinions on your site via ratings and reviews, comments, voting, and more. By doing this, you open avenues for consumers to share their feedback in a direct and authentic way — building out your brand-consumer relationship along the way.

2. Practice two-way communication at all times

It’s one thing to let your customers share direct feedback on your content and products; but if you aren’t being proactive about following up and responding to this input, you can lose your users’ interest fast. This is especially true in the age of social — 42% of customers who contact a company on social media expect a response within 60 minutes and 67% expect a response within the same day.

The consequences of not responding? Your customers will go somewhere else. In fact, 89% of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience, according to a study by Salt Branding.

One possible solution to the response gap is to have a central hub to aggregate, sift and easily respond to all messages you receive from customers on social media. This will help ensure that each piece of customer feedback you receive receives a relevant, timely response from someone on your team.

3. Inform your experiences with data-driven insights

As consumers continue moving towards more relevant digital experiences, it’s important for businesses to remain a step ahead of users. This means swapping mass marketing techniques for tailored messages that speak to users on an individual level.

There are a couple ways to successfully execute this:

Consider investing in an identity management platform that includes social login, which securely authenticates your users via their existing social media profiles. Once customers register and sign in socially, you gain access to their profile and behavioral data, which you can use to inform your user experiences.

Picture this: Your user signs in to your site with his Facebook credentials, granting you access to his full name, email address, interests, and friend graph. Your company can tailor the entire digital experience to these data points, greeting him by name when he signs in and serving him relevant product recommendations based on his interests and his friends’ site activity.

Another option is to integrate your social management system with your legacy systems. By connecting your social platform and CRM, you can tie a customer’s social profile to his/her real-life data. So rather than just nameless tweets, you’re seeing people’s email address, how much they’ve spent with your business, what they talk about, etc. Because you have a holistic image of your customers, you can target them with messages (organically or through paid) that resonate best.

Getting Personal — at Scale

In the age of social, consumers want — and expect — brands to deliver tailored experiences — 79% of consumers say that their relationships with brands are more personal than ever before (Mediapost). This means that businesses of all sizes need to find ways to engage their customers in relevant, tailored, and valuable ways.

By Emma Tzeng