Any type of relationship starts with emotional intimacy. Business relationships are no exception. This is why many companies are investing in customer intimacy strategies.
Is customer intimacy just a fancier way of referring to customer engagement? Nope. Customer engagement is designed to create interaction with customers both online and offline using tools such as surveys, social media activity, clickable links, interactive print, and so on. Customer intimacy is different. By definition, it is based on relationship, not just response or activity. Relationships, by their very nature, create a bond of loyalty and advocacy that, in a business environment, have a direct impact on the bottom line. Relationships are sticky. Thus, customer intimacy is deeper and less fickle than other measures, and it’s worth your time to figure it out.
How can you use the tools in your marketing toolbox—print, digital, mobile, and social—to deepen customer intimacy?
Whether it’s print or email, enhance your understanding of your customers with data that is relevant, current, and continually kept up to date. When communications are truly relevant, that builds trust. Trust builds intimacy.
When you ask someone’s opinion, you show that you care. It starts a two-way conversation that makes customers feel valued. Use direct mail, email, web and social media polls, and even text messaging to solicit feedback.
Monitor Net Promoter Score (NPS)
A Net Promoter
Score is a single survey question that asks, on a scale of 1 to 10, how likely customers are to recommend your product, company, or service. Monitoring your NPS by customer segment, over time, tells you where you are doing well and where you need some work. When customers see that you value their opinions and respond to them, that creates intimacy.
Updates and “report cards”
What are your company goals this year? Communicate them to your customers and provide updates. Transparency helps customers feel more connected with you. In a B2B environment, offer annual reviews of your customers’ performance metrics, too. This is one way you can give back and deepen the relationship.
Send gifts and cards
Take note of key dates in your customer relationship,
including birthdays and customer anniversaries. Sending a card or gift sends a powerful message: We care. Do this by mail, not digitally. Printed pieces create far greater emotional impact.
There are many other ways to create customer intimacy, so get creative. Whatever tools you use, the message should be the same:
We know what you value. We care about what you value. By engaging with you about these things, we care about you.
That’s a message that resonates—and sticks.