This week starts a new series of articles for me, this time focused on the unique customer engagement strategies I’m using with clients, and how it’s making a difference to their retention, sales, and overall business.
If you’re looking to start your business or retain the customers you have, it’s often difficult to stand out in agriculture. The industry is crowded with all sizes and types of companies, from stalwart brands to bright-eyed startups.
How do you attract (and more importantly, keep) your customers?
I have three ways that we can use to make our businesses stand out in agriculture and agribusiness. These apply to all businesses at all levels.
You need to be inventive. We’re not necessarily talking about new products or new inventions, but the more abstract inventive.
To be inventive is to think outside where your business is right now.
In this market, you have to be willing to make changes and go where the customers are right now. That may require inventing some new processes, inventing new job titles, or inventing new ways to reach your customers between their orders.
Being an engaging brand, company, or operation can sound time-consuming, but “customer engagement” goes beyond looking at social media metrics or calling your customers to talk about their order for next year.
Engaging your customers can look like sending a follow-up thank you and 1-question survey automatically with every invoice. It can look like calling your customers when they receive an award (or get passed over for one). Engaging your customers isn’t direct selling, but it is investing in your sales relationship for the long term.
Of all the ways to stand out in this list, being trustworthy is something we have a handle on in agriculture. We’re known for being do-what-we-say people, and we own up to our mistakes to our customers.
Trustworthiness to your customer is just as important as the first two, so don’t lose sight of your history as you head into the future.
If you’ve lost the trust of your customers at some point, make a plan for how to reach them, talk through how you’ve improved, and ask for their business back.
The three ways to stand out in agriculture: be inventive, engaging, and trustworthy.
Join me next week for a further dive into engaging our customers.
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