The recent Netflix fiasco should give businesses — both large and small — a great case study on the need to communicate with their clients.
According to a recent report by the Associated Press, the video subscription service already has lost about 800,000 customers in the wake of a price hike. And it’s expected to lose even more in the coming months. As a result, the company’s shares have dropped by nearly 30 percent.
What happened to cause so many customers to take flight?
In an interview, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings admitted that the company didn’t do a good job communicating its reasons behind the pay hike. In the absence of that communication, he says, Netflix transformed itself into an image of an “evil, greedy corporation” in the eyes of its customers.
The lesson? If you’re not regularly communicating with your clients, you’re not only neglecting the most effective method of gaining their loyalty — you risk alienating them. As any decent therapist will tell you, good communication is the cornerstone of any long-lasting relationship … whether it’s with a significant other or your customer base.
Many successful businesses are discovering the benefits of blogging to get their message across to their targeted market — and, as an added bonus, boosting their SEO rankings.
Make it fresh
As any professional SEO expert will advise you, one of the key ingredients of a solid search engine optimization campaign is content – the fresher, the better. One of the benefits of a blog is that it can be updated quickly and easily. As far as instant gratification in getting your message across, it doesn’t get much better.
Here are 3 tips for developing fresh content your audience will want to read:
- Stay abreast of news in your industry. Be among the first to comment on trends and developments in your industry. Sign up for RSS feeds from some of your favorite industry-related sites. Take the time to review them on a daily basis.
- Update deals regularly. Offering a discount to your clients for products and/or services? Don’t make it a one-month deal. Give them something to look forward to by changing it up every one to two weeks. This approach may be more time-consuming, but it will give customers a reason to see what you’re up to this week. You don’t have to go as far as Groupon’s Deal of the Day, but you get the point.
- Disclose any changes in your company. If you plan to hike the price of your products or implement a change in services, quickly communicate those adjustments to your clients along with an explanation. Don’t assume a minor change is not worthy of announcing to your client base. Open communication goes a long way in establishing trust.
Strike a balance
As with any marketing campaign, the appeal of boosting SEO rankings can overshadow the need to be real with your clients. In other words, you can get so caught up in attempts to secure a higher search engine ranking — figuring out Google algorithms, for instance — that you risk losing touch with your audience.
A blog can help you achieve a level of intimacy that you normally would gain in a face-to-face encounter. The way you come across in a blog, especially if you’re conversational, can help build trust. It can build brand loyalty that could ultimately help you survive difficult times similar to that of Netflix.
Here are 3 tips for developing a tone that will gain you fans.
- Be authentic. Who are you? What’s your personality type? Are you a joker? Are you blunt? Reveal that part of your personality in your blogs. When writing in a professional setting, we can be tempted to write in a style that is measured, careful and bland. Be willing to allow your audience to connect to you.
- Share “insider” news. Give your audience an inside look at your operations. For instance, if you just rolled out a new initiative to motivate employees, share it with your customers, including reactions, etc. Don’t be afraid to share secrets that have made your company a success.
- Accept and address complaints. There’s not a company in existence that hasn’t had to deal with customer complaints. It’s the nature of the business. Be willing to accept complaints online and be quick to offer solutions on how you plan to fix them.