Let’s Chat: Reaching Customers Where They Are in a Digital Marketplace

With a physical store, it is very easy to have a conversation with your customers. From the moment they walk in the front door, you start with a greeting, and then you ask questions and begin a conversation that centers around what they need or may potentially want, and how your company and your products or services could meet those needs.

In the digital marketplace, this conversation happens in an entirely different way, and sometimes it can seem like the silence is deafening. Your website is more than a one-way conversation, and getting your digital communications just right is essential. Here are some tips for reaching customers where they are in a digital marketplace.

Say Hello

Everyone knows that a customer who is not greeted when they first walk in a store is more likely to leave without making a purchase, or to simply feel like an unwelcome inconvenience. The same thing applies to a digital marketplace. You need to greet the customer.

This can be something generic, like a simple greeting on your homepage. It also has to do with the colors you use on your website. They need to be soft and welcoming, making the reader comfortable and wanting to stay.

It can also be something active, like a chat window that pops up with a “How can we help you today?” or alternatively a “Hi, welcome to [enter site name here], let us know if you have any questions.” Either greeting, a clear way for the customer to contact you, and the right color schemes are all simple ways to say “hello.”

Ask the Right Questions

One of the first things you do when someone walks into a physical store is ask them some questions. Simple things like “What brings you in today?” or “What can we help you with?” are the beginning of a conversation that typically centers around the sale of an item.

Unfortunately, when a customer lands on your website, you don’t typically have the opportunity to ask them these questions directly. You need to have anticipated what questions a potential customer might ask about your product or service, and you need to have those answers ready.

There are a few places and ways you can provide these answers.

  • Blog Posts: One of the best uses of your blog, and the best ways to get organic traffic, is to educate your customers through entertaining blog posts. Your blog should be a go-to spot for those in your field or shopping for your product or service to get answers.
  • An FAQ Page: We all know the questions every customer seems to have and adding a list of them to your website in a single page or spread over several pages is a great way to provide this answers without tying up the customer’s precious time talking to a representative.
  • A Forum: It is often useful to have a forum where customers can post questions and get answers. Making those answers searchable also means you will not have to answer them more than once, and even if you do, the customer feels both heard and less isolated, as they see there are others who have had the same issue.
  • Product Pages: Sometimes there are specific questions people ask about specific products or services. Those product pages are a great place to have those specific answers.

Asking and answering the right questions is a way to get your customers to engage with you in deeper conversations, and the better you anticipate those questions, the more profitable and engaging your site will be.

Preserve the Answers

Who is asking what questions? What are those people like? Where do your customers live? Do they rent, or own a home? How much do they make every year? How much of that money will they spend on your product or service or other similar products? All of the answers to these questions can be pretty easy to discover.

However, if those answers are not preserved and analyzed, along with preserving specific customer questions and issues to inform future interactions, all of that data gathering is useless. This is where the right CRM software for customer support comes in. Customer demographics and specific information about them can be stored and accessed by anyone. This means if the customer is passed on to a new sales team, they will have the same data the original one did.

Personalize the Customer Experience

From the greeting to the answers the customers give to the questions asked, and the data gathered, each customer can have their own profile. While most of our customers will likely fall within certain demographics, they are also individuals. With the information we have gathered about them specifically, we can start to customize their online experience.

This means they will see the pages they need to see, gather the information they need to make informed decisions, and not be shown ads or information not relevant to what they want and need. 

Conclusion

Most customers want the freedom to reach out if they need help, but to shop and buy at their leisure. The better you are at accommodating that, the better your customer service will be. You need to meet your customers where they are, but be both responsive and respectful of their time. This means you need to offer them a greeting, ask and answer the right questions, and preserve those answers to use in future interactions to save both of you time and trouble.

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