Building Empathy & Customer Connections
In today’s very transparent world, there's a slight tendency to make assumptions about our customer base or market segment. Often times, we see customers as a social media profile, but don’t have a true understanding of how to reach them and to begin to build a relationship. There are a few approaches that can help you truly connect with your audience and begin to establish a bond that will ensure they keep coming back.
Building empathy with clients begins with starting to understand what drives them in their decision making process. The best way to do this is to listen. This can be a difficult task for entrepreneurs because, in many cases, their business is their baby! New parents can attest to how the dominant topic of conversation is always the little one, so it’s no wonder that people treat their businesses the same way.
However, on the flip side, people don’t have to buy from you just because you created something. Finding ways to connect with customers begins with practicing deep listening techniques. When having conversations with potential customers, instead of trying to go through everything that is great about your business, give them a brief overview and then ask THEM for their feedback. Ask questions like: ‘What would you like to see?’, ‘What are some of your favorite past buying experiences?’, or ‘How might we win your business?’. Listen intently to their answers and take lots of notes. Ensure that who you are speaking with feels open to discussing by making sure they are aware that you aren’t selling anything to them.
The next step to building customer connections is to continue on from the initial contact point in a positive way. You want to try to make this potential customer a part of your company’s journey. In reality, building a startup takes a village and your potential customer’s feedback is critical to building something that will result in other’s like them, wanting to buy from you.
Now that you have the first conversation out of the way, it is time to start having many more. We at Momentum are hooked on the 100 Coffees idea. By reaching out to 100 people you know could be potential clients, taking them out for a quick coffee and asking them the questions noted above, you begin to build connections and your network. Another bonus? You will start to see patterns emerge. Survey says? My customers see value in part A of my business but not part B. This is your opportunity to change up the model so it is more attractive to customers.
The opportunity we have in this highly connected world is to form digital connections with your audience. Facebook Live, Periscope and even Snapchat/Instagram stories can provide you a channel to show your audience the real you. Authenticity is key to getting your potential customers to trust that you are the person they want to work with. Showcase what you’re doing and keep asking for feedback through your digital channels. Anytime someone likes or comments, shoot them a private message and ask them to meet.
If you can get yourself into the habit of actively following up and requesting feedback, you will build strong connections and learn so much about what your customers want. This is how you grow and scale your business. One customer connection at a time.
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