Competitive advantage these days demands customer-centricity. The more customers (especially loyal customers) your organization can engage meaningfully—especially those who care enough to tell you how to do things better—the better off you’ll be.
Use social media to create personal relationships with customers—for their benefit and for the organization’s. Simple conversations that acknowledge people and address them the same way you would in-person are what build relationships—and, in turn, loyalty and sales.
Ask questions! Whenever you can, let customers feed your content and drive its direction, keeping the brand’s priorities in mind, of course. Asking questions encourages dialogue.
Commit to listening and taking meaningful actions in response to customer suggestions and complaints.
Create direct access to involve customers “behind the scenes”; when they become part of the process, they are empowered and become enthusiastic brand ambassadors.
Find ways for customers to contribute, then reward those contributions with recognition and status (for example, featuring a customer on your blog or website, or some type of gift or merchandise). It is worth spending money on engaged customers who care. If treating them like VIPs turns them into active brand ambassadors, it becomes an investment with great returns.
Meaningful relationships are two-way, and that means constantly looking for ways to improve your customers’ lives. The most direct way to do that is to constantly improve on your product or service!