Connect With Your Customers: Tips On Delivering What They Want and Avoiding What Turns Them Away

Yesterday’s consumers showed their love for their favorite local businesses by coming in and supporting them with their hard earned dollars. Those local businesses showed their respect for their customers by offering unique customer service and special deals.

A new study (done by the research firms Chadwick Martin Bailey and Constant Contact) finds 21st century consumers do online business with small businesses for similar reasons as previous generations.

Personal attention to their customers gives small local businesses an edge online.

According to Mark Schmulen, Constant Contact’s General Manager of Social Media, “Small businesses clearly have the edge over larger organizations. By comparison, small business owners excel at customer experience and building lasting relationships. That personal touch translates exceptionally well through engagement marketing practices, including both email and social media. Relationships are the cornerstone of any business, and they are one of the top reasons that emails get opened. Additionally, a quarter of respondents indicated that they prefer to opt in to local businesses via email and Facebook over national businesses because of the personal relationships that they have with the organization.”

The study “Why & How Consumers ‘Like’ & Subscribe” (which analyzed the behavior of 1,481 U.S. consumers 18 & over) also found:

  1. Producing content that is not relevant and over-communicating drives consumers to unlike and unsubscribe.
  2. Despite the widespread use of mobile devices, 84% of consumers primarily access email from their computers.
  3. While 30% of consumers access Facebook from a mobile device, 82% prefer their computers.
  4. The organization it is from and the subject line are the top reasons consumers open emails from a business or nonprofit.
  5. Lack of interest and over-sending are the top two reasons consumers do not open emails from a business or nonprofit.
  6. The top reason consumers subscribe to a business’s email list are to receive discounts and special offers.
  7. Consumers primarily “Like” Facebook pages for discounts and promotions.
  8. Consumers decide to opt in to email and Facebook for similar reasons.
  9. Over-emailing and irrelevant content are the top reasons consumers unsubscribe from email lists.
  10. A quarter of consumers prefer to opt-in to local businesses over national businesses via email and Facebook.

Kristen Garvey, Vice President of Marketing at Chadwick Martin Bailey, adds: “While consumers decide to opt-out of email and Facebook communications for very similar reasons, they also decide to opt-in for similar reasons: to receive discounts and special offers. Consumers want great offers, and this is good news for marketers. Regardless of whether it comes through email or on Facebook, a great offer can be a front door to new business, and a really good opportunity to begin to build a long-term relationship with new customers.”

Previous generations didn’t enjoy having advertising rammed down their throats. However, today’s generation can do something about it.; They can give your small business permission to be part of their lives.

With the power in consumers’ hands, small businesses now have to plan wisely to keep that relationship alive.  There is a fine line that must be walked, as too much information, too often to your customers will definitely kill your business, while just the right amount of the right content could prove very successful.

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About Jordan Brown

Jordan Brown is a veteran Writer/Journalist/Actor based in Harlem NYC. The DC native has also called Los Angeles, Chicago, Memphis, Pittsburgh, PA, Oslo & Bergen Norway "Home." Mr. Brown spent many years as Senior Producer at ABC, worked as War Wire Editor at Fox News Channel & Business Radio Producer at Black Enterprise. Since 2005, he has been Publisher-Editor of "The FREE Jordan Brown JOBS Report" http://www.thejbreport.blogspot.com. His personal mission is to help fellow creative media people find employment in these trouble times!