3 Ways to Grow Your Business by Communicating With Your Customers

Listening to your customers to discover their wants and needs is the most important component of a smart marketing plan. For many years, companies used traditional marketing methods to understand the customers and potential customers’ wants and needs. Companies have used focus groups and large market surveys. Although the traditional methods can still be helpful, there is an easier and more cost-effective way.

In today’s competitive business environment, small and medium-size businesses can use Internet tools and web information for marketing to grow their business. By listening and interacting with customers, business owners can find a wealth of information to help grow their business.

• Find out the exact way people are searching for your product or services.

• Implement customer engagement by connecting with the target audience with blogs, live chats and follow-up emails.

• Create a user-friendly Customer Care web page and develop a friendly Customer Support team.

Vanessa Fox, author of “Marketing in the Age of Google”, referenced statistics from comScore.com, June 2009. She stated that “Americans conduct 22.7 billion online searches a month”. In addition Ms. Fox noted that, “we type into a search box monthly 131 billion times. That’s 29 million searches per minute.”

Keywords and Keyword Questions

By understanding the keywords that people are using to find information on the Internet, business owners can see trends and thereby create web content that would engage customers in their particular industry. The Google AdWords Keyword Tool is a useful keyword research tool.

In addition, business owners can find out what questions customers and potential customers are asking. By providing content on their websites to answer those questions, the business owners will capture the clicks of the people who are searching for answers in a particular market. Wordtracker offers a keyword questions tool that will help you find the real questions that your target audience is asking.

Customer Engagement

Customer engagement with your brand and business is essential for attracting loyal customers who will come back to do business with you again and again. Providing live chat on your website is an excellent way to engage the customers and potential customers. When a new visitor comes to your website, and the online transactions show that the customer is searching for a variety of products, a live chat will help the customer make a decision and purchase the right product and thus, promote customer satisfaction.

After the customer makes the purchase, a follow-up email to thank the customer for the purchase and to give information about the delivery date will reassure the customer that the transaction went through properly. After the product is delivered, the business owner can follow-up again by email and ask the customer about the success with the product. In his book, “The Ultimate Guide to Electronic Marketing for Small Business”, Tom Antion stated, “Frankly, I’d much rather be spending time on the phone with a customer building trust than wasting my time cold calling”.

Customer Support

A user-friendly Customer Care webpage will encourage the customer to stay longer and purchase the product. An example of great customer service is provided by Zappos, a very successful online shoe retailer. Zappos’ customer friendly policy indicates that the company is customer service driven. The article by CNN Money, “Shoe In – Zappos has become the No. 1 footwear retailer on the Web by making customer service a competitive weapon”, tells about the strategy of growth by retaining customers. The article is available on http://cnnmon.ie/o8oc02. If the shoes do not fit, the customer can print a return mailing label from the Zappos website, at no cost to the buyer, and ship the shoes back to Zappos.

In conclusion, it is important for business owners to listen to their customers and communicate with them in order to determine their wants and needs. First, business owners can use Internet tools to find the keywords that are submitted and questions that customers are asking about their particular industry. A second way to grow your business is to engage the customers through blogs, live chats and follow-up emails to stay in touch with customers. A third way to promote growth is to create a user-friendly Customer Care webpage that will make customers and potential customers feel welcomed and thereby, encourage customers to make a purchase and come back to purchase more products.