Yes, every business has a love-hate relationship with its customers- there is love when the price is right, and there is hate when the product is inconsistent with the expected quality! Yes, there is a relationship between a business and its customer. In this contributed article, its focus is on keeping the long-distance love alive in the business world. Read on.
Thanks to online dating, more people than ever are embarking on long-distance relationships. In fact, as of August last year, seven million people were making long-distance love work for them. Surprising, given that love like this is supposedly doomed to failure.
But, we know what you’re thinking. What does all this have to do with your company? In truth, it has a fair amount to do with your success. While you’re not entering into a romance with your customers, each sale has the potential to lead to a relationship.
What’s more, if you want to see success, you may find yourself keeping on top of a fair few long-distance customers. In fact, there’s every chance you’ll need to become a serial long-distance adulterer at some stage in your career and striving to find ways in keeping the long-distance love alive in the business world.
With capabilities such as online selling, it’d be madness not to at least appeal to customers further afield. But, as with a long-distance love affair, dealing with customers from afar isn’t without its issues. It’s certainly going to prove more difficult than dating that customer who lives two doors down. But, as those seven million couples demonstrate, there’s every chance of making this work. We’re going to look at how.
Keep Communications Open
Communication is the one true key to long-distance love.
And, the same can be said for your long-distance customer relationships. No matter how near or far, connecting with your audience is essential. And, there’s no better way to do that than through ongoing communications.
By helping, you develop relationships, these can ensure sales. Ongoing communication is also a fantastic way of building loyalty. And, that can keep customers coming back. That’s even more the case with long-distance clientele.
After all, customers close to home may pop into your shop space just because they were passing. On a daily basis, such individuals may see billboard advertisements or your shop logo. And, when they come into your space, you can communicate with them face-to-face.
But, when your customers are further away, matters aren’t that easy. As such, you need to put that bit more effort into those communications. Of course, that’s going to mean different things for every business. It may be that you keep communication open using social media accounts.
In case, you hadn’t realized, they’re pretty important for modern business. You may also want to develop an email newsletter which ensures your company lands right in people’s inboxes. In a way, this is the long-distance version of the logo outside your shop.
However you do it, find new ways to reach across the water and catch the attention of the customers in question. Even sending a follow-up email after a sale could work well here. But, you can be sure that failing to get on top here will spell heartache for your business before you know it.
Take Time For Each Other
As if long-distance relationships weren’t difficult enough, many couples also have to navigate time differences.
And, you may find yourself having to do the same. After all, your business day may not fit with the timezone in another country. And, if you aren’t careful, that could spell trouble. After all, we’re in an age of instant gratification. If a customer can’t get an answer to their question until you wake up, what’s to stop them shopping elsewhere?
That’s not to say, of course, that your business should be available 24/7. That wouldn’t be attainable. But, if a customer from overseas shows an interest, it’s only fair you stay late to organize a meeting which suits you both. That way, you can ensure you’re available to answer all their questions.
Even if you don’t have to stay late at the office, keep different time zones in mind when you send emails and such. No one appreciates being woken by the ding of an unimportant email from a business. If this happens, you can be sure your promotional efforts will go straight in the trash can.
Instead, make sure to pay attention to where customers are from. Then, automate emails accordingly to ensure you aren’t sending at unsociable hours.
Make Use Of Technology
It’d be fair to say that technology has made long distance relationships easier than ever.
Perhaps we could go as far as to thank it for the increased success of couples like these. Who needs to live with their partners when they can see them from a distance using programs like Skype?
And, who needs to set foot in business premises when you can follow your favorite company on Twitter? And, the capabilities of tech don’t end there. It’s also possible to develop a whole host of long-distance benefits this way.
Most important is the ability to sell online.
After all, overseas custom wouldn’t even be a choice without this option. Hence, the reason why you should take as much time as possible to perfect your online store. Keep it updated with pics of your latest stock so even customers far away can see your offerings.
It’s also worth developing apps and other additions which don’t depend on proximity. Bear in mind that, to ensure apps work in other countries, they’ll need to undergo testing. Companies like Global App Testing uses individuals from a variety of countries for that purpose.
And, you can click here to find out more about why this is a step you should take. Then, you can rest easy that your overseas customers get every benefit from those extras. What’s more, this is another fantastic way to keep yourself fresh in these customers’ minds. After all, once they opt-in for notifications from your app, you’re free to send updates straight to their phones!
See Each Other Sometimes
Last, but most definitely not least, you NEED to make an effort to see your long-distance customers.
Even lovers on opposite sides of the world visit each other as much as possible. And, that physical interaction is essential for all for keeping feelings strong.
As such, you need to make an effort to visit overseas on occasion. Of course, it won’t always be possible to visit each country you do business in. But, if you have good interest from specific areas, make an effort to show your face. That doesn’t mean, of course, that you should show up at these customers’ houses.
They aren’t literally your loved ones, remember. It’s entirely possible that they don’t feel any need to see you at all. But, it doesn’t hurt to pay for stalls at any appropriate business fairs, or even apply to hand out flyers in the area. This will be all the evidence you need for your physical presence.
Simply update your social media to let followers know where you’ll be. Then, you can be sure at least a few of them will come out to see you. Again, this will boost their interest in your company. This could also provide them with the ideal opportunity to broach any inquiries with you.
A Final Word
If you put the efforts mentioned above in place, there’s no reason your overseas relationships can’t go the distance. The main thing to remember is that making this work takes effort. But, if you’re willing to put the time in, the love of your long distance customers is sure to stand the test.
In fact, it’s possible to build more loyalty here than you do with customers close to home. If you get enough customers in different countries, you may even one day be in a position to build a business base there! Yes, keeping the long-distance love alive in the business world is achievable as long as you make the effort!
Images courtesy of Pixnio, Pixabay, and Max Pixel.
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