It can initially seem impossible to try and grow a loyal customer base from people you’ve never met.
And with the cynicism and freedom of the modern buyer, it’s easy to mistrust brands and leave them fast.
But there are ways that you can improve CRM and build loyal customers, by treating them like humans, not numbers.
Don’t generalise, remember feelings and remember people.
Building an emotional connection with your customers isn’t easy, but it’s one of the most effective and rewarding things you can do for your customers and business.
It helps customers remember, care and humanise you. Once you do this, you’ll have customers who are passionate about you, make more purchases, recommend you to others and stay loyal.
And this emotional connection is so important for health and wellness brands in particular.
Your products are ripe for a meaningful connection with your customers.
The right health product can be life-changing for someone, who may have been struggling with a personal health issue for so long.
And at the end of the day, your main goal should be to make a positive change to your customers’ lives.
So you should make the most of this opportunity to support your customers with constant nurturing and encouragement. Celebrate their wins and support them with their struggles across their journey with you.
So here are 6 ways you can build an emotional connection with your customers and improve CRM:
1) Personalise your content as much as possible
If you want to create meaningful relationships with your customers that last, you need to get personal.
Your CRM strategy should never be a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
Hyper-personalised content is fast becoming the norm, and goes way beyond using first names in emails, or looking at demographics.
Now, personalisation thrives on content and real-time behaviour.
Online, we have the luxury of being able to see only what we’re interested in, and filter out what we’re not.
Because of this, our attention spans are only getting shorter.
So if your marketing messages don’t speak to their needs and interests, you’re just going to become white noise in their already overcrowded inbox.
Personalised content gets customers attention and supports them if they feel helped by it.
To do this, you need to look at your customer data.
What are they interested in?
What do they struggle with?
What is the best channel to speak to them through?
You can start personalising your content by segmenting your customer data into separate groups, then map out customer journeys filled with content related to their shared interest(s).
Knowing how to segment your customers can be difficult. And each segmentation strategy will be different for every business.
But there are few common ways you can segment your customers for personalised content:
- Health goals – This is the most effective way to segment customers for wellness businesses. There is endless potential for content to support and motivate customers to work towards something so personal to them.
- Products they’ve purchased – What a customer has purchased from you can indicate a lot about their interests. Send them content related to the product, support them as they’re using it, and recommend similar products that may interest them based on what they’ve already bought.
- Values and morals – It’s possible that a customer specifically chose your brand because you share values. For example a strong stance on sustainability, or only using organic/natural ingredients within their products.
- Real-time behaviour
You can also personalise messages based on their real-time behaviour on your website, using marketing automation technology.
This means you can optimise your marketing for each customer at the exact time they need you.
Which brings us nicely onto the next point…
2) Timing is everything
Poorly timed messages will always result in a poor customer experience, keeping engagement and Return on Investment (ROI) low.
Online, there is no longer a boundary between customer and business. Customers now expect service 24/7.
So how do brands still provide round the clock support for their customers without working overtime?
The answer is: marketing automation.
Using marketing automation technology, you can create ‘triggers’ so that every time a customer does something on your website, they’ll automatically get a message sent to them based on what they need.
For example, someone who has abandoned their cart may receive an email 30 minutes after leaving to entice them to come back.
To do this effectively, you need to plan out a strategy for every possible customer scenario.
Timing is also important to consider in the long-term customer journey too.
Think about the stages a customer goes through after they’ve purchased your product, and ask yourself:
- What are they feeling?
- What are they struggling with?
- What do they need to know to get the most out of the product?
- When do they need help?
- When do they need reassurance?
- When do customers usually stop using the product?
And then, most importantly…
- When does this happen?
- What can I do to help?
By taking the time to map out segmented customer journeys as mentioned in the previous section, you can predict what content or support they need based on where they are.
Then your messages will be effective and appreciated, because they’re sent when your customer needs them most.
If you’re a wellness business and want to get some ideas on how you can support your customer journey and get them to use your product routinely, check out our guide here.
3) Show customers you appreciate them
Ultimately, if a customer cares about your brand, they want to feel appreciated.
Relationships between customer and brand can often feel one-sided, as they know ultimately you’re after their money.
But showing you appreciate them when they invest in you helps build an emotional connection.
This is because the relationship becomes one of mutual respect rather than a one-sided financial transaction.
Here are a few ways you can make your customers feel appreciated:
- Expressing gratitude (through your words, but not milking it)
- Creating a loyalty scheme (ultimately rewarding them for sticking around)
- Listening to customer feedback (and actually doing something about it)
- Celebrating their wins/milestones with them (such as their birthday, or making progress on their health goals)
Customer loyalty should never be taken for granted. And if a customer is passionate about your brand, they’re only going to feel more connected to you if their feelings are recognised and reciprocated.
Ultimately, you want to show customers you care about them through your actions.
Appreciate your customers and they’ll love and support you for life.
4) Brand loyalty clubs
Brands want loyal customers, yet many don’t put in the work to reward customer loyalty.
Loyalty schemes are a great way to keep and connect with your customers.
Whilst it’s not the healthiest example, Nandos has a great loyalty scheme. Every time you spend £7, you earn a “chilli”.
Every 3 chillies earnt gets you to a checkpoint with a tasty reward. Once you’ve earned 9 chillies, you’re rewarded with an entirely free meal.
The reason this works is because of the psychology behind the checkpoint system. Nandos has completely optimised this by mapping out the entire rewards journey in the graphic shown below.
So a Nandos customer may pass a checkpoint, but they’re never too far away from the next.
This ultimately motivates them to come back.
Systems like this help a customer justify spending their money with you, as they know they’ll be rewarded for it in the long-run.
Loyalty schemes are great for building an emotional connection between a brand and its customers.
If someone’s a big fan of the brand already, being rewarded for their loyalty will make them feel appreciated.
This creates a positive connection between the two, as the relationship is built on respect and mutual benefit.
And that relationship is what every business should aspire to.
5) Humanise your marketing messages
Humanising your brand is essential for building lasting relationships with your customers.
But what does “humanising” really mean?
The classic definition is: to give something a human character.
If your customers see your brand as human, they’ll naturally respect you. They’ll engage with the content you give them, and they’ll purchase from you more often.
Humanising your brand isn’t just how you talk, it’s what you talk about.
Here are 3 simple ways you can humanise your brand:
- Make your marketing entertaining.
Laughter is one of the most inherently human traits we have. It breaks the ice when you’re building a relationship with someone and it helps us feel more relaxed.
Making entertaining content not only proves to be the best way to engage your customers, but it also shows brand personality.
If you can brighten a customer’s day with laughter and fun, it helps shape a positive, memorable and human connection with them.
- Share your brand’s story
Your customers need to trust you.
And naturally, people are more likely to trust another human than a faceless brand out for their money.
Sharing your brand’s story helps the customer understand exactly WHO your brand came from and why it exists.
And stories are naturally memorable for the human brain.
Seeing the journey the brand has been on and the passion the people behind it have helps customers feel connected to it, and inclined to support a business.
This helps the relationship between you and your customers feel personal, not transactional, setting you apart from your competitors.
- Put people in your marketing
We naturally engage significantly more with faces. Sajjacholapunt & Ball (2014) discovered that including faces in banner advertisements not only sparks engagement, but also enhances memorability and recognisability of the information provided.
We connect with stories when we can see the people telling them.
Faces of your team, owners and brand ambassadors also help inspire your audience through admiration.
Therefore, as obvious as it may sound, including humans within your marketing is a great way to humanise your brand.
6) Building a community
Building a community for a brand may be a commitment, however, if you get it right, the benefits can pay dividends.
Building a community is a great way to not only form a connection with your customer, but for your customers to form connections with each other.
Communities create a sense of belonging. Therefore, your customers are more likely to stay loyal to your brand, as leaving would mean giving up more than just a product.
Wellness brands automatically have a great platform for building communities, as many of their customers will aspire to a shared goal.
These goals could relate to their health, their skin or their fitness.
Therefore, if customers are a part of a wellness community, the sentiment will mean more to them, content will resonate with them, and ambassadors will truly speak to them in a way that other brands can’t.
Creating communities within these brands is a great way to share stories, promote spokespeople, and to offer incentives or rewards.
Helping you motivate your customers to continue their wellness journeys.
Communities can become interactive, with the use of webinars, Q&As, or workshops which will help engage your customers.
Helping you form connections with your customers, and improving CRM.
It can initially seem impossible to try and build meaningful connections with customers you’ve never met.
And with the cynicism and freedom of the modern buyer, it’s easy to mistrust brands and leave them fast.
But brands are adapting and finding new ways to connect with their customers to maintain a positive relationship and lifetime supporters against the odds.
To improve CRM, it’s important to keep your marketing:
All of the above comes under a great retention strategy. It may seem like an impossible task, but it’s possible if you have the right people behind the plan.
At Airbase, we’re experts in CRM and retention strategies, combined with the tech know-how to get it done RIGHT.
If you’re interested in taking action with the support from the experts…