Real relationships are made in the store and not online.
Customers expectations regarding customer service have changed. Retailers can no longer ignore how their customers are communicating. The use of smartphones and mobile internet means that comparisons of prices, reviews, and products online can lead to purchasing decisions that are made before our customers even enter our store.
For grocery retailers who know how to interact with customers socially, increasing loyalty and better customer relationships are the reward. Online content is an opportunity to create a conversation and tell your customers that you care about their problems. In addition, by creating posts that inform, entertain, are consistent and easy to consume, grocery retailers can answer questions around who we are and why others should care about our brand.
Negative comments online hurt our business.
Unhappy customers are sometimes the greatest opportunity to build loyalty with a brand. By being prompt, public and professional, retailers can show their customers that they are listening and appreciated. This has a stronger impact than contacting a call center because of the transparency involved that shows other customers beyond the one that you are dealing with, what kind of company you are.
Customers have a much bigger reach than ever before. Where the standard used to be that unhappy customers could tell 10 other people about their negative experience, now with social media platforms like facebook and twitter, unhappy customers could tell 10,000 and in a much shorter time span. The same could be said for positive experiences, so turning your unhappy customers into advocates for exceptional customer service should be the focus of any business that is doing business.
We already know who our customers are.
Really? Do we? Much of our grocery business is brought to life around the premise of “if you build it, they will come.” Analytics provides free accessible data that can be used to get a clearer picture of who our customers are, when and from where they are interacting with us.
Customer engagement is the heart of successful businesses but in order to engage, we need to know who we are talking to and the why of what we have to offer from a customers perspective in order to build that relationship. Selling products that offer solutions is much easier than creating solutions to problems customers don’t even have. In order to do that, we need to be having interactions with customers to better understand their needs and take the time to discover the why of what motivates their decision making when it comes to choosing a grocery store.
While these conversations can be done at the store, new online technologies such as location intelligence solutions are the next step in providing great customer service with real-time offers that use social data to create personalized offers to loyal customers in the right place at the right time. The potential for these types of strategies is limitless and will completely transform the way customers interact with their favourite companies.
In order to do this successfully though, grocery retailers will need to have a very good understanding of who their customers are, otherwise these offers will be just be seen as New World Spam and could potentially cost them loyalty instead of building it.
Flyer marketing is our best investment.
Costs associated with direct marketing campaigns almost seem astronomical compared to the investment in social media marketing. However, it is still tough to convince grocery retailers that the investment in online marketing is worth it because of the time it takes to build relationships that translate into increased sales.
By focusing on what the customer wants, then involving the customer in developing, participating and shaping our offerings, we can create a community that reaches beyond the speed and distance of traditional direct marketing offerings. The result is a long-term investment in our customers that goes beyond any interaction we could have with one week flyer marketing that pushes promotions or sales to entice our customers into our stores.
One doesn’t negate the other, but smart businesses recognize the need for both especially in an era where customers have become increasingly savvy in reducing the amount of direct marketing they view or deal with coming at them everyday.
Facebook doesn’t sell groceries.
So lets just start with the audience on facebook which is currently 700 million global daily users and growing, with the average user spending 55 minutes per day and the average user having 130 friends.
Just over 80% of marketers are currently using facebook and there is currently an award in Grocery Retailing for most tech savvy retailer of the year. So if you aren’t using social media to promote your brand, then guess what?! You competition is.
Most consumers expect businesses to be active on at least three social media platforms and facebook tops the list. In an average week, there are more than 645 million views on local business facebook pages, and 13 million comments on them.
Building a social media presence is not all about sell, sell, sell. It should be about defining who we are as a company, what we wish to be known for, and what sets us apart from the competition. It’s about cultivating relationships, showing our customers the human side to our business and building a community of following which eventually turns into sales.
We can call it building our brand, but it is really all about the heart centre of our soul as a company. Social media marketing is an essential tool in sharing that with others and connecting with communities of people that share the same beliefs. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your customers don’t care…..they already do.
Grocery store customers want more than your marketing. 5 reasons why you might be missing out on good customers.
Think your grocery store business doesn’t need social media? #5worstreasons