Estimated reading time: 3 mins
Authenticity in marketing is a huge buzzword these days. Customers want to connect with a company and form genuine interactions. It’s why you see people go to the same hairstylist, request a specific waiter, or post a good review when a salesperson goes above and beyond. We’re all just human after all, and coming across as anything less in business is a recipe for disaster.
Luckily, this kind of personal touch can be achieved in any industry with a few simple suggestions:
#1 – Be Upfront About Your Pricing
In this digital world, it’s a lot harder to fool anyone with false promises and bait-and-switch tactics. Anybody can hop on the internet and search for testimonials about your company making it impossible to hide behind and profit from blatant scams.
It’s a lot easier to simply be honest about charges from the beginning. Make good on your promises and don’t come in at the end of a purchase with random upcharges. This deception in your pricing will cause understandable frustration, leading your customers to take their business elsewhere.
#2 – Give Away Custom Gifts
Everybody loves receiving something for free, which is great news for your advertising efforts. Even if you go outside of your budget, choose something special to show customers how much they’re appreciated. Cool coffee mugs or reusable water bottles are a lot more exciting than boring brochures or business cards.
Across the board, promotional products are voted the number one most effective form of advertising. Whether you hand out stainless steel travel mugs to top clients or keep pens with your company logo on the reception desk, these everyday objects are always exciting to receive. It’s the thought that counts, and you’ll clearly be thinking about your customers with free giveaways.
#3 – Offer a Loyalty Program
Your customers have a whole world of options out there, but still, they chose to work with you. In fact, according to Access Development, a well-known merchant network, 82% of U.S. adults are loyal to brands. This kind of commitment deserves to be acknowledged with a good loyalty program.
Maybe you offer an exclusive coupon after your customers reach a certain number of points. Perhaps you surprise them on their birthday with a free gift. There’s really no limit to what you can offer through a loyalty program. The point is to up the ante and give your customers an incentive to keep working with you again and again.
#4 – Send Thank You Cards
Sure, it’s easier to send canned emails to all of your clients, but it means more to deliver sincere thank you cards. Even better, hand write a personal note and send it along with a small token of appreciation like candy or gift cards.
If you have a graphic designer, you can also take it up a notch with customized cards. This is your opportunity to let your brand personality shine, while at the same time, making a meaningful statement to your customers. Something so inexpensive can cause your customers to feel over the moon about working with your company.
#5 – Be Present in Your Community
Many people feel extremely passionate about a cause or mission. In fact, you can find non-profits and charities in almost every city throughout the country. With this in mind, there’s no reason to be anything but involved in your community.
It’s worth taking the time to make a public appearance. Not only will you connect with potential customers, you’ll also show heart in your branding. Set aside some time for employees to volunteer at a local shelter, or organize a breakfast for those in your network. When you put a human face to your business, customers are more likely to trust your products and services.
Customers aren’t just the building blocks of your business. They are more than plots on a chart, profit margins, and statistics. At the end of the day, you should want to form an authentic bond with your clients. After all, they’re coming to you with some change in lifestyle in mind – whether it’s filling a cavity, buying new furniture, or changing their cell phone plan. No matter how you choose to strengthen that connection, take the time to drive home how much you care about each and every one of them.