5 Ways to Connect More With Potential Customers Online

gdc_online_2012_thursday_1011_customer_experience_track__the_customer_is_always_right_and_other_myths-300x198Whether you operate a real-world storefront and you’re looking to make your mark in the online community or your enterprise exists solely in the virtual world, you probably have the same goals: to connect with potential customers via the many options for communications provided by modern technology. Obviously your endgame involves increasing traffic and sales, building a positive brand image, and creating lifelong patrons that become your brand ambassadors. But first you have to get customers in the door, so to speak, in order to sell them on youra products or services. Luckily, the online arena offers you many ways to do this. In fact, it can be hard to narrow down your options. So here are just a few strategies that could give you the best chances of connecting with more potential customers due to your efforts on the worldwide web.

Raise your page rank

The place to start is by building a stellar website that features unique and valuable content. Check. Now you just have to make sure that people see it. As it turns out, Google’s search engine wants to help you here; their current algorithm promotes websites that offer the caliber of content they want their users to have access to. So you’re ahead of the game on that score. But you also have to help yourself by engaging in SEO practices that make it easier for Google’s bots to find you in the first place, thus boosting your page rank and making you more visible to prospective customers.

Offer membership

A lot of traffic will no doubt make its way through your website, some of it targeted, but much of it casual. However, you need to offer even accidental tourists the option to see what you have to offer. You can do this by prompting all new visitors to sign up for membership with your site by entering their email address (although you should, of course, make it optional rather than a requirement to view your site – nobody likes an ultimatum). With your membership you can offer perks like regular newsletters, email blasts, and exclusive content or offers like discounts and coupon codes for your products or services. This added value could help you to entice consumers that might not even be interested in you initially.

Get social

The trick with properly utilizing social media lies not in how many accounts you have on different platforms, but rather in how active you are where your profiles are concerned. If you want to make social media work for you, it’s going to require a time commitment on your part. You’ll have to participate in trending topics, answer questions and comments, and utilize your profiles to post timely and engaging material. You may also want to use humor, shock value, or controversy of some sort, depending on the type of business you run, to gain more followers. More than anything, people want to be entertained or wowed when they participate in social media.

Word of mouth

Customer service is an important part of keeping your current patrons happy, but it can also play a role in connecting with new customers. For one thing, those who are supremely satisfied with your service are going to pass the word along to family, friends, and associates. However, you can also offer options like a live chat feature to new visitors as a way to engage them and answer any questions they may have immediately.

Directory services

It may not be as sexy as social networking, but using directory software as a way to make yourself available to potential customers could be an easy and relatively inexpensive addition to your overall strategy, especially since there are so many directory services online.

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