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3 Ways to Create a Lasting Customer Relationship Online

Posted on May 14th, 2015
Written by Alexis Hall
In this article

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    Pamela Wilson - Authority Rainmaker 2015

    A warm handshake, an inviting smile and a shared joke. These types of in-person interactions create a personal connection that builds trust. As more and more business today is conducted on the internet, brands are challenged to create a warm customer experience online which is crucial to build the trust required for transaction.

    In this post, we cover three basic tactics which build a warm experience in person and how that translates to the online experience as told by Copyblogger’s Pamela Wilson at Authority Rainmaker 2015.

    3 Ways to Create a Warm Customer Experience in Person

    1. The Introduction – A warm introduction is the first step in building trust with a prospect. Introducing yourself can make your prospect more open to hearing from you and more likely to listen.
    2. A Personal Touch –Once you’re in front of the prospect, add a personal touch. Make eye contact, have a conversation, listen empathetically. Make sure you understand their problem before you offer a solution.
    3. Communication –Once you’ve made the sale, focus on strong communication. Communicate to your new customer how the process works step-by-step and what is going to happen next.

    These things work great in person, but what about online? To optimize your customer experience design, you have three online touch points. Nail these touch points, and you’ll have a grand opportunity to build that deep personal connection.

    3 Online Touch Points to Create Warm Experience

    Touch Point #1 Homepage (The Introduction)
    As a prospect enters your website they are asking themselves “Where am I?” and “Is this worth my time?”. It is critical to answer those questions quickly and in a way which builds trust. To do this, build a “c’mon” or, “come on in” into your homepage. A “c’mon” is both welcoming and empowering for the prospect.

    Here are three components of a successful “c’mon” for a website home page:

    • Clear site name: Sounds simple, but is really critical to answering that first customer question, “Where am I?”.
    • Simple navigation: You want to do what you can to make it as easy as possible for your users to take action quickly. Do your best to stick to one menu and straight forward drop downs.
    • Benefit driven tagline: This is especially important if your business name doesn’t immediately tell your prospects what you do. A tagline give your prospect an immediate opportunity to understand what you do.

    Touch Point #2 Content (A Personal Touch)
    Once you’ve nailed the intro, your prospect is ready for a click through. They are asking themselves now “Who are you?” and “Do I care?”. Content is your opportunity to create a conversation and tell your prospect you care about their problems.

    Here are three ways to make your content create warm customer experience.

    • Keep it Consistent: Publishing on a schedule is the equivalent of shop owner opening their shop at the same time every day. It’s critical to keep prospects coming back.
    • Make it Informative: Content which helps prospects meet their challenges and answer the questions they have will show you are empathetic, and can build trust.
    • Ensure it’s easy to consume: Avoid a big wall of text. Content that has subheadings, uses short paragraphs and has a large font size it going to be much easier for your prospect to consume online.

    Touch Point #3 – The Commerce Experience (Communication)
    The commerce experience includes any time there in an exchange of something of value. It is not just when someone buys something, as it could include actions such as signing up for a newsletter, or downloading an eBook. At this point your customers are asking “Can I trust you?” and “Do I know what to do next?”.

    Use these three tactics to create a warm commerce experience.

    • Segment your list: Divide your prospect list by interest. This way customers are receiving offers around what they actually care about and it makes them feel like you really know them.
    • Present offers in a way that builds trust: Use trust symbols and testimonials in order to continue to reassure your customer that you stand behind your offer and they can rely on you to deliver.
    • Be responsive: Problems are always going to pop up, what matters is how you respond to them. Make sure you are monitoring and responding to customer problems via email, phone or social media. Resolve their problems in a timely, considerate manner and they’ll continue to value the relationship.

    The challenge today is building an online experience which is warm, lasting and valuable for both the business and the customer. By applying many of the same principles of effective in-person relationship building, you can build an meaningful online relationship with your prospects. What others ways do brand build trust with you online?

    Keep your eye here on Online Marketing Blog as well as Instagram, Flickr, Pinterest and Twitter @TopRank for coverage of the Authority Rainmaker conference. You can also see the eBook we created featuring advice from Rainmaker speakers here.

    Disclosure: Copyblogger Media is a TopRank Marketing client for the Authority Conference.