3 ways how to make customers feel valued
No marketing endeavour can ever accomplish much success without an intrinsic understanding of its customers. This understanding should not just be restricted to their preferences, buying patterns, and evolving tastes. It should also include the vital elements of empathy. It’s the ability to feel (and not merely know) what your customers feel that truly quantifies as an act of genuine understanding. Doing this empowers B2C businesses to build a rapport and make customers feel valued.
How to make customers feel valued
The ability and willingness to communicate effectively with your customers plays a vital role in delivering customer delight and satisfaction. To that end, there are three things you may want to consider in how to make customers feel valued:
1. Keep that data clean
To begin with, consider your customer database as a living entity that is constantly evolving and needs constant care and attention. It's not sexy, but data is the enabler in how to make customers feel valued and if you don't manage it effectively it can add financial cost and loss of customers. Addressing a customer incorrectly or sending them something irrelevant can make them lose faith.
- It is important to ensure the accuracy of your customers’ contact information. This is easier said than done because it entails the cross-checking of every single customer-related data from the database and carefully ascertaining the veracity of each input.
- Even a seemingly innocuous discrepancy in their contact information, such as incorrect email address or address, can hurt data cleanliness. About 51% of marketers are unable to ascertain their data cleanliness, which leaves plenty of scope for dirty data to creep in and infect a communication channel. A thorough analysis of the list of names inevitably throws up errors you didn’t know existed.
- Cleaning up data can also help you save money on Direct Mail postage costs. You can eliminate customers who do not live at the address you might have on record. And it can maintain the integrity of your email database by removing spam email addresses. When mailed, such addresses can negatively impact your bounce rates and the true size of the opportunity of converting subscribers into paying customers. There are a number of companies like ourselves who undertake proactive and effective steps to accomplish just that using data integration and cleansing software.
- Encourage your customers to update their contact details on an annual basis. As you do that, you may find that you are indirectly catalyzing the process of opening up fresh accounts as well. Think of creative strategies to incentivise the updating of contact information so that the customers do not think of this process as a chore.
Think of each one of your customers as a real person; a friend. Real-life relationships need nurturing, care and attention. Without putting into practice good listening skills and empathy it's hard to make people feel valued. It's no different when it comes to customers.
2. Pick up the phone
- Try to find out more about what it is that the customers want and/or are missing out on. Notwithstanding your endeavour to create personas and target customers, it's likely for many e-commerce businesses that you will ever meet a real customer. Meeting customers holds the key to understanding them and that’s what salespeople do regularly.
- So owners and marketing directors of B2C businesses should regularly call up their customers, particularly their loyal ones, to make customers feel valued. They can ensure that the most recent most order went through OK, or get pointed feedback about the buying process, the products and service they've received.
- Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. When was the last time that you got such a call. Probably never. That’s why you MUST take proactive steps. Making these calls will make you stand out and get customers talking about you. They also help you retain that elusive touch with reality.
3. Write to them with genuine sincerity
- Emails can be a great way to safeguard customer retention. In the 90's Peppers and Rogers talked about 1-to-1 marketing as the future; understanding customers and talking to them in a relevant way that made them feel valued. Fast-forward to today and technology enabled personalised email marketing is a reality. It's a reality that keeps email marketing one of the best ways to make customers feel valued.
- By blending customer data (e-commerce transactions, email response, web browsing, customer service interactions etc.), you become better positioned to personalise the manner in which you address your existing and new customers.
- Writing personalised emails is one of the most underrated steps in the context of online shopping. Dedicated efforts should be directed at personalising the communication process to encourage your customer to love and trust you like a confidante. Avoid intrusive technical or marketing jargon at all costs.
- But we'd also suggest singling out individual, high-value customers and writing personalised thank you emails to them from the CEO. Like picking up the phone to customers directly, it's a great way to show you care, make customers feel valued and get them talking about it with their friends.
Understanding your customer is critical to building and maintaining a long-term relationship that is productive and mutually beneficial. With an empathetic mindset and the willingness to step out of your comfort zone, you will be able to make customers feel valued by you and your company.