Every business owner faces this problem: How do you get customers to remember you?
If customers forget about you, they will not buy from you, and revenue will tank. So as a business owner, one of your primary function, is to ensure that customers think about you when they are looking for some products and services. This is easier said than done.
Think about the time when you wanted to buy a car. Which make, model and brand come to your mind first? Assuming that budget is not a concern, which brand would you pick?
See? You already know the answer. How did that happen? Obviously, the brand didn’t slip into your consciousness by accident. You must have come across that particular brand multiple times and something about that brand must have stuck. Perhaps you have driven a car with the same brand previously and you liked it. Or perhaps it’s a symbol of success that you have so often come across on TV commercials and business magazines. If it’s a brand that you trust and would buy from, then from the perspective of the car maker, that’s successful marketing.
Doing business on the Internet is not that much different from the example above. You WANT your customers to remember you, and trust you enough to buy repeatedly from you. How do you achieve that?
First thing you need to do, is to ensure that customers can FIND you. You achieve that by performing SEO and making sure that your website come up on top whenever a potential customer searches for some product or service that you are offering.
Search Engine Optimization is the gateway to everything else. Get it right, and you have a much better chance of being successful online. But SEO is only the first step towards success. It certainly wouldn’t GUARANTEE success. So what else is needed to be successful online?
When you get traffic to your website, these visitors will assess your Company. Many thoughts will come to their mind. “Is the Company trustworthy?”, “Should I do business with this Company?”, “What sort of results can I expect?” and most importantly – “Can this Company deliver?”
So do everything you can, to SHOW that you can deliver results. This can be a demo, some testimonials from high profile clients, or a video. You see, the branding process has started the moment the visitor opens up your website.
2) Sense of identity.
Would you do business with someone you don’t know? A complete stranger walks up to you and asks you for $1,000 in exchange for some product or service. Would you part with your hard earned money? Quite unlikely. But would you do business with a trusted friend, or at least someone you already know? The chances are higher. Why is that?
That is because you already have a good sense of who this person is. This is the reason why some people spend YEARS of their lives going around giving talks and organizing book tours. Others get a sense of who they are, and as a result, they are more likely to want to do business with them.
On the Internet, you are trying to achieve the same goal with your business. Others MUST get a better sense of what your Company is all about. Of course, you can setup a simple ABOUT US page and simply opt to tell others about what you do and how your Company operates. But don’t just stop there. Make sure your Company values are reflected in everything that you do. One way to build up a strong brand is to reflect the value of “Excellence”. How do you do that? By having Excellent customer service, pre and post sales support, excellent quality goods and services, etc.
Naturally, when excellence is a core value of your organization, your customers will learn to trust you. Perhaps a new customer may spend $10 on a first visit. But he or she experiences EXCEPTIONAL service and gets the VIP treatment. This new customer will be more likely to come back and buy again, and again, and again…you get the idea. The very same customer may refer you to his contacts simply because you are doing such a good job.
Sometimes, small start-ups can rise to success very quickly simply because of the above – excellence and trust building. Remember, the first wave of customers may be just “seed” customers. Even if it’s just one customer, it is YOUR responsibility to treat him like a KING. Your reputable will start to spread (things happen faster online) and you are well on your way.
On the other hand, if you do something wrong, your business can go South very quickly. So what you can do, is to manage the trust level between you and your customers very carefully so as to protect the reputation of your business. If there is a problem, fix it quickly. Sometimes, even the best make mistakes. So if you happen to make a mistake, admit that a mistake has been made, then seek to quickly correct the problem. If you can do this, customers are more likely to stay with you despite the mistakes.
4) Repeated communication.
So you managed to build up trust between the Company and the customers, and you are getting repeat sales. That’s great. Now, you and the Company has to stand the test of TIME. Over time, if you do not make an effort to get in touch with your customers, they will forget about you. They will forget you regardless of how great your products are. Your competitors will come along and grab their attention with great offers and before you know it, you have lost a sizable chunk of your customers.
So how do you make sure customers remember what you do?
You can achieve this, through repeated communication.
This is nothing new. Traditionally, businesses have been doing that for ages. But traditional tools are somewhat limited. What do you have, before the age of the Internet, to communicate with customers?
- TV advertising.
- Print advertising.
- Snail mail.
- Telephone and fax.
Oh, and there is one more method that is quite unorthodox. And I’m going to call it Loud Speaker Marketing. You take a loud speaker, drive around in a pick-up and spread your marketing messages around. Think this is a joke? Maybe. It’s what some politicians in my country choose to do during every election.The loud speaker goes something like this, “Vote for [insert organization], vote for [Mr. so-and-so]“.
I don’t know if loud speaker marketing really works or not, but the message I want you to remember here is simple. If your customers don’t hear you or see you, they are going to forget you and that reduces the chances of them buying from you.
Today, in the age of the Internet, you have even more tools within your arsenal to get in touch with customers.
- Email marketing.
- Websites, blogs and forums.
- Press releases.
- Video marketing.
- Facebook and Twitter.
- Instant chat.
Have you been using any of these tools lately to get in touch with your customers? If not, perhaps it’s time to get started.
So, here is my version of reminding you that we are still in business – a link to our Products & Services page in Giant Font Size. See you around!