Pop quiz! Which is more vital to your business: keywords or customers? Gearing your customer-centric marketing is one of the most effective marketing strategies you can do. In fact, studies are showing that focusing on keywords and catering to the algorithm too much can actually jeopardize your SEO. With all the tools available these days, it’s easy to forget customers are our most valuable commodity. So how do you keep customers as your primary marketing focus?
Treat your customers like elephants (they remember everything!)
Respect isn’t a word that comes up in marketing often, but it’s a key component of good customer-centric marketing. Your customers are the most important aspect of your business. So whether you’re replying to an inquiry via email or responding to a negative review on Facebook, every interaction customers have with you adds up. And just like elephants, customers never forget. Just think of a time a business treated you unfairly or rudely. Chances are, you never gave them your business again. Ultimately, we’re all customers and one of the best ways to gear your business towards your customers is to think like one.
Keep the marketing cycle going
If a customer tags you on an Instagram snapshot, leaves a good review on Yelp, or recommends your business to a friend, give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve kept the marketing cycle going! You’ve given potential customers the opportunity to be influenced. They may try what you have to offer, like it, and leave a review/share/tell a friend. Thus, the cycle continues. When customers have a bad experience or aren’t satisfied, the cycle comes to an abrupt halt. Keeping the marketing cycle going is about creating a good experience, developing loyalty, and becoming their favorite company to do business with.
Little things can bring the cycle to a halt including high prices, lazy/rude staff, or a slow website load on a mobile device. Simple things like this could cause your customers to walk away. Your goal should be to keep the marketing cycle moving through as many people as possible. Every customer’s experience ought to be a positive, satisfied one. While that may sound like a tall order, other businesses bend over backwards to make it happen, which means you will too if you want to compete.
Think it’s enough to make a good product and ask customers sweetly for their money? Think again! Just like any relationship, you have to win your customers over. But you’ll never have the opportunity to build trust, reliability, and loyalty with your customers if they never walk through the front door. Promotionals, reward programs, free samples, a small “thank you” after a first visit are all great ways to open the door to new customers.
Take Chic-fil-A’s “Cow Appreciation Day” for example. One day a year, anyone can get free chicken just for showing up dressed as a cow. What a great way to draw in new customers, use them to advertise the product, and encourage them to share it with others!
At the end of the day your customers are real people with real problems needing real solutions. While reach, keywords, and analytics can be helpful, customers are the core of your marketing department. Keep them front and center!