How To Connect With A Customer When You Can’t Get In Front Of Them
Trying to connect with your customers when you can’t be in front of them is a challenge. Not being able to be face to face with your customers can be a major hurdle to the growth of your business and throw your sales strategy for a loop. If you don’t adapt your tactics, being removed from your customers can eventually tank your whole business.
If you’re reading this soon after my writing then I’m sure you are more aware of the challenge of not being able to meet with your customers in person than ever. Our world is in the middle of a major overhaul to how we do business and connect with not only customers but even close family and friends. Face to face meetings, networking events, live demonstrations, and in-home product parties are simply not possible. Entrepreneurs and businesses are being forced to sink or find new ways to connect to clients or customers.
It’s not all doom and gloom though. If you can’t meet up with customers or prospects in person there are still many ways that you can connect with them! New strategies, like connecting with customers through social media and connecting with customers over the phone, are more critical now than they have been in years. It may take a little bit of adaptation and pushing outside of your comfort zone, but you can stay in front of your customers in ways that may be even more sustainable than meeting with them consistently in person.
In this post I want to share with you several ideas for ways to connect with your customers when in-person meetings or networking opportunities aren’t available. It’s true that there’s no substitute for connecting with customers face to face, but these ideas may help to maintain your connection with them during a forced absence or serve as an on-going supplement to regular in-person meetings if you are able to have them.
Ways To Build And Connect With Your Customers When You Can’t Be With Them:
1. Be Active & Engage On Facebook, Instagram, Or Twitter
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all designed with great features to keep people connected to family, friends, and community. This means that they are also well designed for businesses to connect with customers or their target market! If you have a Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter account, keeping active on it can be a great way to stay connected with your customers.
Communicating with customers through social media by posting consistently, responding promptly and thoroughly to comments on posts, and replying to direct messages can be a highly effective way to stay in front of your customers remotely. In addition, social media’s emphasis on photos and graphics can provide a great way to connect visually with your customers. This invites them into your life or brand in a unique and relationship-building way.
(Note: If you’re not currently building relationships on social media you can read more about why I think it’s critical that you are here!)
2. Arrange A Zoom Or Facetime Meeting
Zoom and Facetime are growing rapidly in their popularity, both as business and personal tools for connection. If you can’t be in front of a customer using Zoom or Facetime really might be the next best thing. Both tools allow you to hold a live conversation with a video feed, almost as if you were together face to face!
There can be more distractions to a Zoom or Facetime conversation, technical difficulties can be involved, and you lose the value of taking the time to travel to a customer and treat them to food or drinks while meeting. However, Facetime and Zoom can be highly effective ways to connect with your customers when you simply cannot be with them.
Facetime is available on most Apple mobile and computer devices and, if you don’t already have an account, you can learn more about creating a free Zoom account here.
3. Make A Phone Call
Phone calls have become antiquated in our current culture. However, connecting with customers over the phone can be VERY valuable. If you can’t arrange a way to meet with your customers or prospects digitally, then making a phone call still allows you to have a fluid conversation with them. Making a phone call also communicates personal attention more strongly than many electronic means of connecting.
Keep in mind, however, that phone calls can be perceived as inconvenient or intrusive in our current culture depending on the demographic and preferences of your customer base. If your customer phone calls are repeatedly not answered or don’t seem to be appreciated, you will not do your business any favors by continuing to make them!
4. Send A Text Message
This option may or may not make sense depending on the formality of your business and your customer opt-ins regarding communication. However, if you’re able to, sending a text message can be a great way to connect with your customers or prospects. Sending a text to ask how a customer is doing, say hi, or wish them well on a special occasion can really help you to stay on their mind and keep up with their life. However, be cautious of turning your customers off by sending messages that hold too many sales undertones or may be perceived as spam.
5. Send A Personal Email
Businesses often send bulk emails to a mailing list with updates on product promotions or company happenings, but sending a PERSONAL email can go a long way in connecting with individual customers. It can also be a highly productive way to keep in contact with customers since you can draft and schedule messages out on your own schedule.
Finding a way to verbally connect with customers can facilitate stronger connections, but email allows you to make sure that you communicate all of your objectives and keep “on script” with your customers – which can be a substantial added bonus!
(Just be sure any emails you send don’t go to spam folders by sending from a personal address if possible!)
6. Send A Card
Sending mail through the postal service may seem like a thing of the past, but mailing a card to customer or prospect can be a great way to make them feel valued and connect with them! There is a special personal touch to a greeting that is hand-written. Sending a card can go far to connect you with your customers in a meaningful way and keep your business on their minds.
7. Start A Facebook Group
If your business thrives on doing product demos, having discussions, or offering specific insight on a subject then starting a Facebook group might be a great tool to help you stay in front of your customers when you can’t be with them. Facebook groups foster a sense of community, are free to start, and you can manage them on your own time!
Within a Facebook group you can create live video feeds, post videos of product demos or lectures, link to valuable resources and articles, share photos related to your business or personal life, and most importantly connect with others through comments on posts and messages. As an added bonus, Facebook groups allow you to interact with and stay in front of a large group of clients or customers all at once.
You can create a Facebook group by selecting the option to “create group” when clicking on the three-dot icon located beneath the header image on your Facebook business page. If you don’t have a Facebook business page you can create one here.
8. Send Samples Or Gifts
Sending samples or gifts to your customers is a great way to stay connected with them AND promote any products that you sell. Everyone loves receiving freebies and the thought and effort to send customers a gift can communicate to them how much they are valued. Sending a gift also gives you a great opportunity to follow-up and be sure that the gift was received – opening lines of communication!
If you send a product sample as a gift, it also gets your prospect or customer using the product! This can help to hook them on the product’s value and create the desire to purchase more.
9. Conduct A Webinar
A Webinar is a great way to connect with customers when you have specific knowledge that would benefit them. The knowledge can be anything from rolling out details of a new product or product launch to giving an educational lecture. Webinars typically feature informational slides or video and a live presentation that customers can log in to online. You can also include a time for questions following the presentation to connect with your customers.
Webinars are not highly interactive, but they are a great tool to get you in front of your customers and remind them of the value that you bring. In addition, you can follow up with the customers that attended to open more lines of communication.
If you’ve never hosted a webinar before you can find a great tutorial on how to get started with one here.
10. Promote A Discount Or Freebie
If you’re struggling to connect with customers when you can’t be in front of them, sometimes blasting out a discount or doing a giveaway can help you to reconnect. (It can also help you to recruit new customers!) If you are reaching out to customers but not getting responses or interaction in return, it may be helpful to provide an incentive to your customers for communicating. While you can’t afford to do this every time you reach out to customers, doing so on occasion can help to open doors for further communication with your customers down the road.
11. Create A Video To Send
Video is a powerful marketing trend. If you’re not ready to “go live” on Facebook or Instagram, you can still connect well with your customers by getting in front of them with a pre-recorded video. Video helps your customers to see and hear you much as they would if you were with them in person. This builds a level of connection that goes beyond what can be achieved with written and verbal communication. It’s also a great way for you to give customers an inside look at your life or brand to create relatability.
You can post videos on YouTube to link and send, add videos to your own business website, go live on social media, embed a video in an email to your customers, and more! For most small businesses, all you need to make a video is a smartphone with video recording capabilities and potentially an editing app.
Connecting with customers when you can’t be in front of them takes a different level of effort. However, with the help of some online tools and the use of a little bit of creativity you can still effectively keep in touch with your customers and prospects. In fact, by using approaches that you wouldn’t have considered if face to face time was an option, you may end up building stronger connections.
If you’re struggling to stay connected to your customers when you can’t meet with them in person, I hope that this list provided some new ideas to help you continue to build relationships and grow!
Make sure you also read my post on the benefits of social media marketing for your business to further explore the reasons behind keeping your brand active and connected to your customers and target market online.