An Unconventional Reminder of How To Connect with Customers

Unconventional Reminder of How to Connect with eCommerce Customers

I came across an unexpected, but inspirational TEDx talk from Amanda Palmer on the Art of Asking, where she examines the relationship between artists and their fans. Amanda Palmer is a musician and blogger who has risen in popularity due to her unorthodox social and grassroots efforts whereby she asks for help and donations. In return, she provides music (and other content) for free. Her success stems from her willingness to cultivate relationship with her fans –  her customers.

What’s the lesson for e-commerce? Communication.

Her talk may have been centered around music, but at the end of the day she is an entrepreneur, just like us, selling performances instead of products. Amanda connects with her fans by constantly communicating and fostering interactions. As a result, she has inspired mass amounts of followers willing to give her money, a place to stay, advice on where to eat – whatever she asks for. She doesn’t abuse the privilege. And in doing so, builds trust.

When we communicate with our customers, whether it be for marketing or customer service, we connect with them. And, if we do it right, we promote brand loyalty and repeat buyers.

As online sellers, we’re often reluctant to reach out to our customers because we don’t want to get overwhelmed with messages. Some even find a reactive support strategy easier than a proactive one. Some sellers simply respond only because they’re required to by Amazon or eBay. Not good.

Having your customers talk to you is a good thing!

Embrace that interaction. Make the effort to reach out to customers. Ask for feedback, encourage engagement and, above all, show gratitude.

Watch the video. You’ll be glad you did.

Jodi Gaines Pereira

Jodi Gaines Pereira is the co-founder of ReplyManager, a web-based tool designed to help online sellers manage their incoming customer communications. She served as CEO and blog editor until it's sale to XSellco. She is also a founding partner of iguanafarmGroup, a product development and engineering company. Jodi is a frequent contributor to online publications such as Tamebay and WebRetailer and often speaks about customer experience and marketing within the eCommerce community and is an accomplished singer / songwriter.

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