There’s a need as a business to be connected with your customers more now than ever before. With so much competition to look out for, a customer could change their minds and go with a different supplier or company without even batting an eyelid. So with that in mind, here are some tips for connecting with your customers online.

Use Social Media 
With social media, there’s a lot that you can be doing to interact with your customers. Most people now have a digital presence, and most of those people with a digital footprint will also have at least one social media platform. Every social media platform performs differently, and therefore, you want to find out where most of your customers are. You can tell this by how much interaction it might already be getting on those social feeds, regardless of whether you are currently on those platforms or not. When creating your social media profiles, make sure the brand logo is being shown off so that your customers know that it’s you. You can use social media to have a more in-depth and personal interaction than you usually would with more traditional formats of communication like e-mailing, or phoning. So find out what social media platform is most popular for your company and then work on improving that platform to get more followers and more interest in your brand. Welcome every person that follows you and provides a mixture of professional and more relaxed content. Be consistent, and always respond to your followers.

Know Your Audience With Data
There are plenty of software platforms available nowadays where you can find out information about your audience. Like user research software, this way of finding your audience data can be extremely beneficial. Audience data is like a gold mine for any business because what can be done with it has the potential to help tailor content and products or services that the business creates. By knowing exactly what your audience likes and doesn’t like will help you, in theory, to sell more of what you’re selling. There are plenty of ways that you can access this data, but be wary that you’ll need to have the right disclaimers in place to ensure that the customer is happy for their data to be used. Data is a powerful thing, so if you can understand it, this will help you become more familiar with your audience, and it can help build relationships. That’s something you really want to achieve when it comes to connecting with your customers online. You want to be able to build relationships so that customers become loyal not just to the business but to the products or services that they’re buying. If you have the perfect product, then why waste your time going anywhere else?

Respond To Concerns Directly
When a customer complains, a business may have ignored some complaints, but now that the online world is here, that’s not possible anymore. Why? Well, because if a customer is going to complain and they’ve not heard back from you over email or phone, then they’re going to express their dislike for your company in the public domain of social media. It’s a space where you can speak freely, and it’s not something that others can delete unless it’s going against the rules of the social media platform. When you do receive complaints or a clear message directed to your company, respond to them directly. Not only does this show to others that’s your responsive, but it also tells the customer what the protocol is when it comes to a complaint. A lot of people like to complain for the sake of it, and this approach might whittle down those who are just doing it to try and get something to those who have been genuinely messed around.

The more you can do for your customers, the better. It’s important to go that extra mile for them when you can and have the ability to do so. It shows commitment to your customers and that you care for them which will be seen by everyone else who’s watching it via the public nature of social media.

Make Your Interactions Less Scripted
It’s important that when you’re interacting with customers online, you’re doing it in a more conversational manner, rather than something that’s scripted. No one likes talking to an automated robot, and the same goes for those who are clearly working from a rehearsed script. So with that in mind, when you’re responding to people via social media or you’re commenting on things that are said about a product or a company, be personable in your response. Make it more about having fun with the conversation, rather than it having to be too professional.

Throw out the script and bring in something more loose and fluid. Obviously you want that professional manner of what needs including, but in regards to what is said exactly, this can be down to the individual who is responding on behalf of the business.

Have Plenty Of Communication Options Available
No customers will like the fact that you only have an email to get in touch with or just the one avenue of communication. It puts out the feeling that you’re not a company that likes communicating with customers or has any decent customer service. That’s probably not the case but you’re not doing yourself any favors by being unapproachable. So provide as many communication options as possible. From email to phone, postal to online webchat. There are many ways you can offer customer service, so use as many of the above as you possibly can. Don’t forget direct messages on your social media handles too!

Connecting with your customers online is what’s going to make them stick around and to spread the word about your company, hopefully. So create those social media profiles, work on customer communication options, and don’t forget to be personable in your approach to talking to customers online.

This is a contributed post