Don’t Let Them Just Walk Out the Door: Continue the Conversation

Adam Boyden

The holidays are a financial boon for establishments such as retailers, restaurants, and professional services organizations. They provide some of the greatest selling opportunities of the year and a chance to connect with old and new customers alike. However, after the hustle and bustle of the holidays, post-season sales often slump and newly acquired customers move on to other vendors. Smart businesses can stave off a decline in traffic and sales, and boost customer retention by taking advantage of these three simple tips.

Go where your audience is
You don’t have time to wait for your customers to come to your website or store, so push content out to them. Identify where your customers spend time online and why. What sites (besides yours) do they frequent? How do they like to get and share information? There are many platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, email newsletters, etc., to consider. Once you find your customers’ hot spots you can create an authentic and engaging presence where they are already gathering. Ideally, you want to share information that drives sales. You can host contests, announce promotions and events, provide product tips or demos, or offer giveaways or discounts. The key is to provide content that is both relevant and informative so that customers want to engage with your business.

Show it, don’t just tell it
Adding video to your email communications, Facebook or MySpace page, or Twitter handle is a great way to spread your message. Why? You can maximize each opportunity by choosing video content that is appropriate to each network; for example, use music or humor to reach teens and young adults on MySpace; share a “how-to” demonstration with members of a professional group on Facebook; use Twitter to share a breaking news video about your company/issue; or use embedded video in email as a thank you with a discount offer. Video is exponentially more engaging than text and it can really provide value to your customers.

Bring it altogether with the touch of a button
Most computing today is done from the web browser—it has become a persistent, constant interface with the consumer. Creating a custom application that delivers your brand and content to the browser and desktop, such as a branded conduit or a web gadget can provide a direct link to your customers no matter where they are on the web. You can aggregate all of your online marketing efforts into your browser applications , and with the touch of a button, your customers can quickly access your valuable website content including video, blog posts, news, and special offers, as well as useful applications like chat, RSS feeds, email, e-commerce, weather, and more; thereby, keeping your brand and service top of mind.   

You worked hard to attract holiday customers; don’t let those valuable relationships slip away. It costs exponentially more money to attract new customers than to keep those you already have, so efforts to retain holiday shoppers are well worth the investment.

Adam Boyden, president of Conduit
©2010 Author retains copyright ownership. All Rights Reserved.

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