How to Show Customers You’re Thankful

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Black Friday marketing madness leaves many people overlooking Thanksgiving, especially what the holiday celebration is really about – it is about being thankful.

In fact, all year long it is easy to get caught up in day-to-day tasks and forget to show your appreciation for the things that really matters. In the business world, however, professionals can change this habit by just making an effort to show customers their gratitude.

Fortunately, some of the Web’s top tech experts are shedding light on how businesses can show customers that they are thankful.

Check out some of their advice below:

Simply listen.

Dana Miller, SVP of client services at Crimson Hexagon
“Brands should pay attention to what their customers are saying on social media and analyze those conversations to understand what customers really want from them. Customize your approach and use that data to your advantage. Show them you’re thankful by showing them you’re listening and making changes based on their preferences. Letting customers know that what they say matters can go a long way.”

Foster deeper relationships with personalization.

Loretta Jones, VP of marketing at Insightly
“Businesses should personalize their interactions with customers by automating workflows within their CRM to send one-to-one messages on birthdays, anniversaries or around the holidays. This consistent and personalized interaction is key because it lets customers know that they are valued and appreciated, which is key to maintaining strong relationships. If businesses offer holiday promotions, they can also capture that information in their CRM to track and measure the effectiveness of the promotion.”

Respect customers’ preferences.

Cynthia Price, Director of Marketing at Emma
“Blasting your customer base with irrelevant emails is a sure way to get on their bad side. In fact, 56 percent of people unsubscribe from email lists because of it. Instead, show them you’re listening and understand what they care about by segmenting your email list and delivering truly personalized, valuable content. Respecting your customers’ preferences is a great way to express thanks for their business. And of course, a special holiday offer doesn’t hurt either.”

Create a dialog with customers online.

Jonathan Hinz, director of strategic partnerships and business development at Trustpilot
“We all know the feeling when a friend goes out of his way to ask how you are, or if he can do anything to improve your day. You’re thankful he cares. Customer-brand relationships should be no different. Brands need to show customers they are thankful for them by listening and responding to the opinions, suggestions and thoughts left in online reviews. Creating a dialog online, and then making changes customers can see is the best way to show you are thankful for your customers and their opinions.”

Provide unique, 1-to-1 experiences.

Jeff Hirsch, chief marketing officer, SundaySky
“Consumers have many options when selecting brand products or services. The best way to show appreciation and build loyalty is to deliver unique, 1-to-1 experiences throughout the consumers relationship with a brand. By taking a more customer-centric approach through personalized content and interactions, customers with without a doubt feel the love from their favorite brands.”

Help solve customer problems.

Roseanne McCauley, SVP Enterprise Sales at Avention
“Getting to know your customers as people, what problems they have and how your business can help them to solve whatever problems they’re facing makes them feel appreciated. Organizations can show their customers that they’re thankful for their business by going the extra mile to getting to know them as individuals and showing that you genuinely care about helping them.”

Article by Allison Howen
See more at: http://www.websitemagazine.com

Remove customer stress and improve your conversions!

If you aren’t sure what conversions are, here is the a definition:

A website conversion is the most important factor to the success of your online marketing strategy and goals. It means getting your visitors to do what you want them to do, whether that is to buy your product, sign up for your newsletter, register for a webinar, download a whitepaper, or fill out a lead/contact form.

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With an unimaginable number of products and sites to choose from, holiday shoppers are not surprisingly overwhelmed.
In fact, according to customer advocacy platform Needle, results from a national consumer survey finds that gift-giving causes 84 percent of respondents stress. It’s so bad that purchasing the “right” gifts for everyone on their list stresses the majority of shoppers (79 percent) making it even more stressful than spending time with extended family (31 percent) and holiday travel (26 percent).

It’s not just shoppers who are tense. Since the holidays represent a good portion of retailers’ annual sales, they’ve prepared for the next six weeks all year by finding ways to optimize their inventory, their websites, and how they acquire and retain customers more efficiently.

The answer may just be in meeting in the middle. It seems that by reducing stress for shoppers it is likely to increase revenue for retailers.

This strategy is a recurring theme in Monetate Senior Director of Digital Marketing Insights Brett Bair’s “3 P’s to a Successful Holiday Experience.”

1. PERSONALIZATION

Since many websites only see customers once a year, Bair advises us to use this knowledge to dictate what experience retailers give them on their websites. For example, a user searching for men’s items close to the holidays may be searching for a gift for a spouse or parent. To be certain, it would be ideal to have some information on this shopper (particularly gender or past purchases), but presenting the shopper when they come back to the site with content like “Great Gifts for Dad” or “Gifts for Him Under $50” is a safe bet and makes the experience relevant for that customer. In a hyper-competitive retail environment, personalization becomes a competitive advantage.

2. PAINLESS

While holiday shopping starts at different times of the year for different people, those waiting until the last month put a lot of faith in retailers and mail services that their packages will be delivered on time. Bair believes shipping and shipping deadlines to be some of the bigger pain points of the season. Monetate provides a way for retailers to personalize these logistics based on location. Knowing where the customer is, the platform can present highly targeted information around shipping deadlines (e.g. “You have 12 hours left to take advantage of free shipping” or “You have one day left before you’ll have to pay for expedited shipping to receive it by Dec. 24.”)
This type of personalized shipping information reduces customer anxiety and frustrations (our Associate Editor Allison Howen recently wrote about her mom’s less-than-ideal post-Christmas delivery) while providing shoppers a reason to make that purchase now. This sense of urgency can help them make a quick decision, rather than continuing their research on a competitor’s site.

3. PERFECT PRESENT

Holiday shopping is when people are “buying things they are not very familiar with,” according to Bair. This presents an opportunity for retailers to guide visitors to the right purchase. Remember, shoppers are more stressed about finding the perfect gift than spending time with a relative and all their opinions (tis’ the season). Bair advises retailers to call out specific products, like “customer favorite,” “top rated” or “best seller.” By “badging” individual products, retailers are indicating to shoppers what would make for a good gift.

By following these three P’s, retailers can provide a great holiday experience for all the shoppers coming to their site for the first time, for the first time in 12 months or for repeat customers. Bair says it’s so important to be overly diligent during the holidays, because retailer sites see the biggest amount of traffic and biggest amount of new eyeballs, so giving shoppers a really great experience could bring them back for a different holiday in the New Year, like Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day.

See more at: http://www.websitemagazine.com/content/blogs/posts/archive/2015/11/19/reduce-customer-stress-improve-conversions.aspx#sthash.KTBxh3IC.dpuf