4 Ways to Connect with Customers
Tags: CRM   ERP  
15/01/2012 5:56 PM

In the modern business environment the importance of connecting and building a relationship with customers is critical to success. Customers are the lifeblood of any business and the bigger the customer base you are able to build, the more successful your organisation is going to be. These days there are more avenues than ever for connecting with customers, and the way you use them is extremely important. In this article, we'll take a look at four ways to connect with customers, from high-ranking websites and social media to the utilisation of business software.

1. Traditional methods
In the last couple of decades, a range of options have arisen for connecting with customers that weren't available previously. However, more traditional methods of advertising still endure, and they certainly still have their place. Whether it be newspaper advertisements, television commercials, radio spots or even something as simple as posters, flyers and brochures, the power of a well-placed advertisement is still undeniable. However, these more traditional methods should be used with more modern avenues, discussed below, if your business is not to be left behind.

2. Website
These days it's often said that if you don't exist on the World Wide Web, then you don't exist at all. While this is not strictly true – in fact, up to half of all businesses still do not have an online presence – it does illustrate the importance of a website to your business success. Whereas, a decade ago, the majority of customers would have looked at a resource such as the Yellow Pages to locate services, these days they go straight to the Internet. Having a website that ranks high on Google is essential. Additionally, your website should contain a call to action that encourages potential customers to leave their email details so that you can continue to market your business to them after they exit your website.

3. Social media
In addition to a well-designed and high-ranking website, your business should endeavour to create a social media presence– in particular on Facebook and Twitter, the two most popular social media websites. In fact, as a business owner, social media offers you an opportunity to connect with customers in ways that were never possible before. Instead of advertising to them in a one-way fashion, social media is a two-way street; it allows customers to interact with social media representatives of your business through conversation and shared interests. Essentially, social media provides an opportunity to build trust and loyalty in your brand.

4. Business software
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and customer relationship management (CRM) software has grown huge in the last few years, with businesses around the world seeing its potential for improving their business. While ERP software is more over-arching and focused on improving your business as a whole, CRM software focuses specifically on managing your customer base and ensuring you stay connected with them at all times. You can track customer activity, sales and marketing activities, analyse customer relationships, identify the highest-value customers and more.

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