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How To Be More Interactive With Your Customers

Irrelevant of the industry that your company operates in, without your customers, you’ll be nothing more than an organisation that has on offer a product or service.

You may only need one or two customers a week utilizing your services to ensure you make the amount of money that you require or you may be a company that sees thousands of people purchase the product that you offer every month, but whichever category your company falls into, without customers, it’s guaranteed that you will soon fold.

It’s therefore surprising to realise that far too many companies don’t take as many steps as they possibly could to ensure that they continue to satisfy their customers, often believing that as long as the product or service that they offer is of a high quality, their customers are going to be continually happy and keep on returning.

And whilst there is no doubt that the product or service that you offer has to be of a high enough standard to meet the needs and expectations of the customer, it’s not by any means the only type of customer satisfaction that you have to keep in mind and carry out.

Customer interaction is key to the successful running of any company and whether you think you’re doing a good job at it at the moment or not, it’s worthwhile taking a look through the following 3 points to ensure that you’re being as interactive as possible with your customers.

Have a blog

It’s highly likely that if you run a business, irrelevant of it’s size, you’ll at least have heard about blogs and be aware that they’re a type of website that allow you to provide regular updates.

The problem is that as a lot of people still view blogs as being just that – a website that you can update easily – they don’t often think they need one, as they’re quite happy with their current website and can update it when they wish.

In today’s world, however, a business without a blog is very much like a computer without an internet connection – the computer can operate quite contently by itself, although it will be thought of as a little old fashioned, but give it access to the internet and you instantly open up a whole new world.

Blogs are one of the easiest and best ways to interact with your customers, as you can update them regularly in regards to a whole host of useful information and often more importantly, it gives customers a means to contact the company directly – and if they get a reply on a public blog, it instantly creates a connection between the company and the customer.

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Utilize social networking websites

Although you may not be aware of the term ‘social networking’, it would be surprising if you hadn’t heard of at least one social networking website.

Facebook, perhaps?  How about Twitter?  Maybe even StumpleUpon or Digg?

As with blogs, the problem with social networking websites is that as a lot of people aren’t fully aware of their benefits, they believe they don’t need to utilize them.  In a nut shell, however, social networking websites can ensure that you’re interacting with your customers in the most modern way possible.

There are literally dozens upon dozens of social networking websites available to utilize, some of which you’ll have heard of and many of which you won’t.  Don’t be put off by any of them, though – as long as you do your research and get to grips with them fully before you integrate them into your business, you should soon be able to see the benefits of each and every one.

Be contactable

It may sound particularly simple and straightforward, but making yourself contactable as a company will instantly increase the amount of interactivity that you have with your customers.

If you already believe that you’re a particularly contactable company, it’s worthwhile taking a look at how customers can currently contact you, as it’s more than likely that you’re missing at least a handful of different options.

For example, chances are you offer a land line telephone, e-mail and fax.  You might even have a blog in place and utilize social networking websites now.

But what about those customers who want to speak to you directly but don’t want to pay for the phone call?  A freephone number could come in useful here, as could a free internet telephone service, such as Skype or Google Talk.

And then there’s the customers who want to have an instant conversation with someone, but not face-to-face or via the telephone.  In these instances, you could look at the possibility of having instant messaging software integrated into your website.

Forums, text messaging services and company open days can also be fantastic ways to ensure you can interact as much as possible with your customers.

The one thing you have to keep in mind as  a business is that your customers are the key to your success and if you’re not looking after them and delivering what they want, you’re unlikely to succeed as a business.  Interact with them and take on board what you’re being told, however and you instantly put yourself in a position where you can continue to develop, expand and be a successful company.

This post was originally published on October 5, 2010.

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