By Mark Kakkuri
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:
In an age of mass communication, maintaining a personal connection with readers is critical.
The irony: Usually it takes a “mass communication” like a published, online review of your product or service to create a personal connection. And that personal connection can take many forms. A reader may respond to a review with a posted, public comment, or an email to your customer service department or even a phone call.
When a personal communication comes in to you or your business, think for a minute about how you handle it. Do you regard it as an important and legitimate inquiry from a potential customer? You should until you prove it otherwise. Do you try to quickly handle the communication in hopes of getting it out of the way so you can get back to the “real” work of getting product out the door? Or, do you at times regard it as a nuisance or an interruption?
“It may be ironic that it takes mass communication
to create personal connections, but your investment
in customer communications will likely turn readers into buyers.”
Incoming personal communications from anyone outside your business can of course take many forms and some are truly not adding any value to anything. Just keep in mind the goal of your mass communications — your efforts in marketing, advertising, and getting publicity via online articles in Handgunner or GUNS — is to create personal communications and connections.
Sure, it’s great when a reader takes in an article about your product and immediately clicks over to your website or goes to a store to become an instant buyer with no questions asked. But there’s usually an additional information-seeking effort or an attempt at validation before a reader actually becomes a buyer. That reader’s post, comment, email or call might be an attempt to get over the last hurdle in his or her path. And so your job is not to miss the opportunity, no matter how mundane or lacking in value it may seem at the time.
Make sure you take the long view when it comes to these personal communications, too. It might take more than one interaction with a reader or potential customer before they commit to buy. So answer their questions and respond to their posts. The time you spend now is an investment with returns that may not show up until way down the road. Along the way, others may see and hear about how you interact with customers, how you answer questions, and come to appreciate you taking the time to respond — personally and professionally. Which could win them over as a customer as well.
If you’re looking for a boost in personal communications and new connections with potential customers, give them a value-creating mass communication such as an online review of your product or service on Handgunner or GUNS online. That’s where I come in, of course, and I’d love to help make this happen. When an online review is added to the web, watch closely for responses, questions, and feedback from readers and then respond personally with additional value for them. It may be ironic that it takes mass communication to create personal connections, but your investment in customer communications will likely turn readers into buyers.
Let’s discuss some mass communication to create some personal connections: firstname.lastname@example.org.