Everyone knows you have to engage customers if you want to keep your business afloat. After all, nearly every blog post mentions its importance somewhere in the text. If you want to truly connect with your customers, you need to strive to get to know them on a personal level so you understand what like, why they buy and why they choose not to buy.

Do you feel like you could learn to better connect with your current and prospective customers on a deeper, more personal level? If so, take a look at these seven ways to create a personal connection that will transform prospects into loyal customers.

Business owner calling a customer

Respond to Customers As Soon As Possible

Every small business owner is always searching for hacks or tips to improve their business. However, the plainest changes are often right in front of your nose. One of the best ways to strengthen your bond with customers is to respond quickly. Your customers anticipate a timely response, and within twenty-four hours is often considered the politically correct time frame to respond. Yet think about the times you’ve waited days or even weeks for someone to respond and no one ever did.

There are studies that show how crucial response time is to your business and its bottom line. According to The Harvard Business Review, your chances of qualifying a new lead fall nearly 400 percent if you take five or more minutes to respond to them.

The ideal time to follow up with a lead or existing customer is when they are ready to take action, otherwise their interest may wane.

Go the Extra Mile

Think about times when you have called customer service numbers for assistance. You probably spoke with someone reading from a script. Now think about your experience when you contact a business that proves that they really care and actually use your name and address your individual concerns or questions. When you work with people who are genuine and authentic and truly care about you and value your business, it makes you, as the customer, feel good.

Customers have a sea of business options to choose from today. If you don’t prove that you are thankful for your customers business, there’s a good chance they’ll take that business and go to a competitor who does.

Send Emails Your Subscribers Want to Read

Email is often cited as the top ROI producing method; the return for what you put in is four or more times higher than the closest competing channel. If you want to make more sales, send more emails. However, you want to make sure you aren’t encouraging unsubscribes by sending too many emails that aren’t interesting to your readers.

Do you want to why people unsubscribe from newsletters? A Constant Contact study found that people unsubscribe from business newsletters due to one major reason: irrelevant content.

Subscribers don’t want flooded with emails that are no longer relevant to them. If the content you curate is relevant and interesting, consistently emailing your subscribers should be ok! Continually remind your readers why they signed up to receive your emails and what value you provide them instead of solely blasting your latest products for sale.

Blogger blogging at her desk

Personalize Your Business Blog

People like other people, you know that. This is why every business needs to give their blog a personal spin to help emotionally connect with the audience.

Don’t hide behind a faceless and nameless corporate veil that prospects are not willing to trust. Learn how to speak your customers’ language and use words your customers understand instead of industry jargon. Use a consistent voice and always practice transparency.

Let Your Customers Help Create Content

Bloggers often say that content is taking longer to produce. If you’re struggling to come up with ideas, empower your customers to help you. Interview them; it’s a quick way to build up some helpful content. You can find out which topics your customers have questions about and use that information to create how-to blog posts. You can even leverage this information in other ways from audio to video to reach a wider audience.

Meet Your Customers Offline

People are much more likely to say yes when they see you face-to-face, and more likely to say no via email. You simply can’t substitute face-to-face conversations and their value when it comes to building a connection with customers.

If meeting in person is next to impossible, consider holding a virtual event. Every person involved gets the same benefits of an in-person meeting without the cost and hassle of flying and renting hotel rooms and leaving their family. Make sure you give people a clear reason why they would benefit from attending this meeting. Attending can be free of charge, you can have them pay or you can allow them to donate to their favorite nonprofit.

Customer care

Reward Your Customers

A major reason why you need to strive to connect with your customers personally is because it is costly to get new customers. The reason behind this is that sales and marketing are typically the most expensive line items for many businesses. Customers like to be rewarded for their loyalty, and the rewards urge them to be even more loyal to the business.

One easy way to reward your customers is to write them a thank you note. A hand-written note on a nice card that addresses your customer by name and refers to recent purchases are so rare today that they are special. By taking a moment to write a specific note to a great customer you will show them how much they are appreciated and boost loyalty.

In every business, people want to buy from other people. The buyers prefer to be able to trust the seller and want to believe that they have their best interests in mind. The way to form a trusting relationship is by establishing personal connections with your customers. This isn’t an overnight process and you can’t just suddenly say that you care and call it a day. Instead, you have to show your customers through actions that you care by not wasting their valuable time, getting them involved and incorporating them more.

What strategies help you personally connect with your audience?