Two of the most important things you can do for your business are to build relationships with your customers and engender their loyalty.
One of the best ways to do this is through online communities. You want to encourage your customers to feel like they’re a part of something special. This in turn encourages their loyalty.
Here are a few reasons why you should consider building an online community around your brand and some suggestions for making this happen.
Communities Increase Retention Rates
Putting your focus on building a community helps reduce your attrition rates.
Provide customer service that goes above and beyond, and you’ll increase retention.
This happens in two ways. Your first step is to provide exceptional service before and during the initial sale.
Your next step is to provide extra service after the sale. This comes in the form of the community you provide. For example, if you sell computer software, your community might focus on computer/electronic tips and advice.
Online communities extend your customer service reach, thus increasing your retention rates.
Through your online content, you have the opportunity to provide valuable, meaningful and engaging materials for your audience.
Now let’s look at some tips for making your community happen.
Building a Community Takes Patience
When building your online community, you want to be patient as you won’t build a community overnight.
First, decide where you’ll host your community. Perhaps you’ll do it on Facebook or Instagram or another arena.
Look at where your customers spend their time and focus on those digital platforms.
Then, you can start building your community one customer at a time. After you have some people on board, you’ll notice that you start to build your community faster as these customers encourage new people to join.
Let Your Personality Show
As you build your community, let your brand voice show through.
Make sure that you know what you want to portray. Will your community be serious or fun-loving? Pick a brand voice, stick with it and make it work for you.
Don’t Get Hung Up on Numbers
It’s better to have 500 engaged followers who tell the world about you than 5,000 followers who don’t really care.
Remember that it's not necessarily the number of people in your community that matters, it’s the number of people who solidly care about your products or services.
Building brand ambassadors is key to your online community. These are the people who leave reviews, positive comments and share your content with others.
Get to Know Your Community
The best thing you can do for your customers is getting to know them. This will help you build your community and meet their needs on an ongoing basis.
Listen to your customers, respond to them and reach out to see how they’re doing.
Not only will you get to know them, but you’ll learn from them as well. In fact, you just might find they have suggestions for improving your products or services.
Building an online community around your brand is all about building relationships that engender the trust and loyalty of your customers.
You may know that attracting new customers costs five times as much as keeping an existing one. You may also know that the likelihood of selling your products or services to an existing customer can be up to fourteen times higher than selling to a new customer.
As a business that concentrates on building the customer relationship and encouraging trust and loyalty, you’ll watch your business grow.
You’ll find that your customers are less likely to visit the competition and more likely to purchase from you again and recommend your business to others.
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Image: Katie Montgomery on Unsplash