Ever wonder how your dental hygienist remembered to ask you about your vacation to Utah or your new puppy? While they may have a vault-like mind, chances are they add notes to your patient file after (or maybe even during) each visit. But don’t let this taint the personal experience you have during your checkup.
Though they likely can’t remember the names of your three children, the fact that your hygienist made a note to ask about Jimmy, John, and Joanna shows they care. And it creates an all-around better experience for you both. So why don’t more of us take a hint and use this successful tactic with our customers?
Working in Community means we meet a lot of people. That’s our reality. But like our dental hygienist, we need a little help remembering information about our customers.
So let’s start giving ourselves a hand and take some notes. Jotting down information gathered during virtual meetups and out-of-office messages is a strategic way to build stronger, more meaningful relationships with community members.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Write Down Important Relationships
If a customer shares the name of their partner, child, or pet, take note.
These relationships are vital to them, so they’ll appreciate it when you remember to ask how Sam, Sally, or Spike are doing. Perhaps this sparks a deeper conversation about your own kiddo or furry friend!
Document Important Dates and Milestones
Knowing when important things happen in a customer’s life allows community managers to be present when it means the most. We suggest keeping track of dates in two main categories:
These dates correlate with something that ties them to your organization (think customer anniversaries) or signify notable times with their work (an upcoming product launch or annual conference).
These are occasions like birthdays and wedding anniversaries, and knowing and recognizing those dates make people feel seen and appreciated. And while a card in the mail is fantastic, a LinkedIn message also makes an impact.
In short – do what you can. If you have a large community and cannot scale snail mail, that’s OK.
Work with your Marketing or Customer Success colleagues and set up a campaign to automatically recognize customer anniversaries, birthdays, etc. And don’t underestimate the significant impact a small touch can have.
Take Note of Customers’ Likes and Dislikes
Customers often talk about their interests during a casual conversation (ahem, virtual meetups!).
If you pay attention, you could learn they love the Green Bay Packers (because who doesn’t?!?) or that they play flute in the city orchestra. In the same vein, they’re likely to divulge what they dislike (maybe huge crowds or sauerkraut).
Either way, make a note. You can use this information to personalize a customer’s anniversary, holiday, or congratulatory gift.
Does making notes about community members feel odd? Perhaps. But jotting down reminders will ultimately help you create a better overall customer experience.
Remembering important dates and names of their loved ones shows your commitment to the customer, which builds trust. Customers who trust you will be loyal and more likely to forgive any possible future hiccups.
And remember the fuzzy feeling you get when someone asks about your new baby or recent promotion? With the help of a few notes, you can create that same feeling for your customers over and over again.
So pay attention, write things down, and enjoy deeper, more human relationships with your community.
Shannon Howard is the customer marketing manager at PeopleGrove, a community enthusiast, and a lifelong learner who’s dedicated to moving the customer marketing industry forward by sharing best practices and tales from the trenches.