The crux of this post is simple, even though it’s called the online world it’s really still all about real people and their real fears, needs and desires.
Find out what your customers like and who they are. Make your interactions enjoyable and exceed expectations.
Seems simple right? After all, you know your best customers like you know your own family… Or do you?
What do your customers/patrons value most and why do they choose you?
Critically, you also need to know how they came to you in the first place, what they like about working with you and what keeps people coming back to you.
You need to look at real data here, not just go with your gut feelings. Don’t make assumptions, find out what they need by asking directly. Then adjust what you provide to meet their needs.
Find 8-12 of your best customers or patrons and dive deep into their history with you. Objectively review your past sales or engagements. Then go a little bit wider into their personal world to try and get a more comprehensive picture of them. Yes, this will take a little time, but, you only have to do this once a year at most.
- What brought them to you?
- Why do they continue to come back?
- What do they get out of working with you?
- Do they recommend you to others?
- What other services or products might they be interested in that they haven’t used or purchased before?
- Are there services or products that you do NOT currently offer that they want?
- What demographics can be used to model these people?
Many times the most basic of online interactions focus on transactional convenience and immediate satisfaction. In-person activities tends to focus on enjoying the ambiance and overall experience, the delight in finding a surprise element, learning something new and perhaps a bit of discussion or banter.
If you have an engaging website and social media presence you can have much of those same in-person delights and experiences. If you at least try, you will stand out from the crowd immediately.
Putting effort into your online presence is a huge outreach multiplier. Your online presence has an opportunity to reach dramatically more people (24 hours/day, 7 days/week, 365 days/year).
Give your online patrons a more enjoyable experience than they expect. Improve your outreach and engagement socially so that they actually look forward to interacting online and will actively tell their friends about you as well.