Have you ever wondered what the most important aspect of marketing to your customers is? After more than 20 years running businesses with many ups and downs, I've discovered that the most important aspect to a long term successful business is your relationship with them.
You can have a great product or a poor product (we have had both ends of the spectrum over our 14 years at my first company, StrandWare). You can have great business marketing. There will always be competitors that appear with a lower price. Other "storms" will appear in your business – sometimes on a daily basis.
I've experienced major declines when we didn’t focus on the needs of the customer, and I've experienced the other side when we did. Your relationship with your customers will determine how well you weather the storm over the long haul. Listening to your customers (and making sure that they know you are listening) is probably the most important step in building great relationships. Everyone likes to know that their needs are being addressed - even if it takes a long time for the final result. If you update your customers on the progress, they will almost always stick with you. Nobody really likes to change products unless they have to. Knowing where the pitfalls are in a product is much better than acquiring a new product and having to learn everything about it and the company providing it all over again.
Not surprisingly, we think that digital signs can be a big part of your customer relations program. They are an ideal way to solicit feedback from your customers when they visit. When combined with your other business marketing messages, digital signs are also a great way to keep your customers informed of what you're doing in terms of product and service improvements, administrative changes that affect them, hours of operation, etc. It also allows you to instantly display welcome, thank you or congratulations messages that provide that “personal touch” to visiting customers.
At StrandVision, we encourage you to think of ways that you can use your digital signage to engage your customers. These “transactions” (situations that encourage your customers to interact with your staff) create a feeling of ownership and loyalty that goes beyond a simple sale. Use your digital signage to ask questions of your customers, direct them to survey forms, promote giveaways and contests (such as trivia or guess the # of something contests). Use them to ask the visitor to talk with your staff to strengthen your company relationship.
Let’s face it; the goal of customer relations and of marketing in general is to differentiate yourself from the competition. Everyone has choices on where they can go to get any item or service. By using digital signs as part of a full business marketing program, you can get your customers to the point where they forget your competition or feel so comfortable in your office or store that they think of you as “their” store.
I’m not saying that StrandVision Digital Signage does it all – it has to be part of a broader marketing program – but I am encouraging you to view your digital signage as part of a larger program that has the unique ability to engage customers at the precise moment when they are ready to buy. Which is also the precise moment that they are evaluating you and, even though they don’t know it, deciding if they are going to come back and do more business with you at another time.Mike Strand