Connecting with Your Customers

Connecting with Your Customers

Young male dentist looking at X-ray report while using cellphone in clinic

The adage, “Out of sight, out of mind,” is more true today than ever. It is nearly impossible to avoid the barrage of messages, communication, and people who are vying for our time and attention. The same is true of your customers and prospective customers. If you are not regularly communicating with your customers, you will be forgotten. Competitors are soliciting even your existing customers, and it may not be enough to count on your work to speak for itself.

There are several actions you can take to counter these conditions and build your presence, which in turn can help make your business.

Mailings

A consistent mailing campaign can be expensive but can also be a critical part of your overall communications campaign. Oversized Postcards can be a way to gain some top-of-mind awareness. At the same time, there was a time when you could expect a few calls from a postcard mailing effort, today that is less likely to occur. However, even if someone throws away your postcard, it still has a strong awareness effort. You will have wasted your mailing effort if you leave it there, but the following steps can have a powerful additive effect.

Plan to mail your postcards to the same potential customers three times. Yes, this is expensive, but you will be amazed at the multiplying power of repeat exposure to your name and message. Mail the second postcard one week after the first has been mailed, and even before they arrive, begin calling these customers and reference your mailing. Leave a voicemail because they will hear it and will have just viewed or will soon see your postcard. After you have been through your list once, only mail the third card to those, who were not an immediate no. Your goal with the call is to secure an appointment to speak with the doctor.

We recommend including at least one mailer a year that is NOT connected to your invoicing for existing customers. A personal letter giving them a bit of news about your business and thanking them for their business can go a long way toward building loyalty and connecting your existing customers to your business.

Email Newsletters

While these can be a lot of work, they can also be a powerful way to stay connected to your existing customers. We recommend at least four times a year, with some businesses having the ability to do this monthly. The best email newsletters include valuable information your customers can use. Industry information, links to new technology, even a coupon can help connect your customers to you. Coupons or special promotions can help generate readership. If you refer to the newsletter promotion, it will give people an incentive to read the next one you send.

Social Media

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and many others can be powerful platforms for communicating your message. Be honest with yourself about this, though; some people are good at being pithy, others not so much. Do not look for the quick hit here. It is unnecessary to have everyone and their brother see your postings, musings, pictures, and jokes. You are trying to reach the One Person who you have targeted. When you do, all your critical prospects and customers will likely begin to find you.

Sponsoring Community Events

You might think this does not match our One Person idea. Many of your customers and prospective customers may not even know about your sponsorship…unless you tell them. You might feel funny about bragging about sponsoring the local minor league team or soccer club or about being a sponsor at the annual town corn roast. Still, if you think these organizations are essential to your One Person, they will want to know about your involvement in helping build the local community. Again, the value of this messaging is building awareness and connecting your business with your customers. On the flip side, it is essential to give back to the community. If you sponsor this team or event and fail to announce it, then you better really like it because no one else will know about it.

That’s all for now. Check back for more communication tips soon.

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AmericaSmiles® was founded more than a decade ago after Keith Crittenden began sharing with dental industry colleagues his ideas for helping dentists improve their business as a means of growing his own dental lab business. Soon after, the AmericaSmiles® Network was launched and our mission has been supporting dental labs ever since.