Happy Valentine’s Day to all you lovers and friends out there–whether you’re single, blissfully in love, or somewhere in between, this is a day dedicated to showing the love. And as marketers, we pride ourselves in being Valentine’s Day aficionados because, while we might not know your favorite flowers, we do understand the importance of showing the love today and all year round as part of a solid marketing strategy.
No matter your business’s field or industry, showing customers that you appreciate their patronage is essential to forging long-lasting relationships that lead to repeat business, positive referrals, and a slew of other positive consequences. In honor of this year’s day of love, let’s take a look at some lessons in love that can be applied all year round for better business.
Listen. Communication is key to any successful relationship, and the relationships you build with customers are no different. Whether they’re happy, disappointed, or just want to offer their feedback, it’s important that customers have an easy way to communicate with your brand to let you know how they’re feeling. And it’s even more important that you acknowledge and respond to what they’re saying. For brands, doing this is easier than ever with the advent of web-based social and customer service software, a great example of which is Parature, with software that monitors, analyzes, and allows you to respond to what customers are saying in a timely and meaningful way. No matter how your customers are feeling, showing that you care to listen to what they have to say can make all the difference in leaving them feeling good about your business.
Show you’re invested in the relationship. Nobody likes to feel like they’re being used in a relationship, so make sure your customers know that you see more than just dollar signs when you look at them. Get to know them–their hobbies, favorite adult beverage, latest travel destination, and other aspects of their personality not defined by their business. Build a deeper connection with customers, one that goes beyond purely business transactions. When it’s clear you’re invested in the relationship, customers will equally invest themselves in the relationship–and be less likely to take their business elsewhere.
Remind them of your affection. While Valentine’s Day is the day to show your significant other how much you care, in marketing, you should be demonstrating this to customers throughout the year. Consumers have countless choices as to where they spend their money and are inundated with marketing messages all day, every day. So, when people decide to spend their money at your business, acknowledge that they do have a choice and show them how much you appreciate them choosing you. Some fun ways to show your appreciation might include offering customers special loyalty discounts and rewards, featuring customers in special social media spotlights, sending birthday rewards, and even the simple act of thanking them for their business!
While you’re reveling in the love today (or perhaps listening to Alanis Morissette on repeat), remember that in the realm of marketing it behooves to your business to get its Casanova on now and then in order to show your customers the love all year long.