Committing to the Customer… Forever

Photo cred: Jose Téllez

How does your business view its relationships with customers?  It’s very easy, and common, to withdraw commitment to helping a customer once they make the purchase…but the relationship should be more than a sale.

Sometimes there’s a formal arrangement.  Sometimes the customer has to pay for any help after a purchase.

If a business is really there to help, however, they should view every purchase as a long term commitment to making that customer’s experience amazing.

Even if the customer has no intention of buying more products, you should provide them with as much help as possible (within reason, of course).

If I buy a camera from an electronics store and I have a question, I should feel confident in asking an employee for advice long after I bought the camera.  Because I bought that camera from them, the store should make sure that my overall experience with that camera, and their brand, is a great one.

Hell, even if I didn’t buy it from them, helping me out provides them with the opportunity to build trust and loyalty with a new customer.

Take it further and straight up ask your customers to come back for help.  Apple is a great example with their genius bar.  They want their customers to be happy with the product they bought, even if there’s no guarantee of future purchases.

Your relationship with a customer shouldn’t stop at the sale…the relationship shouldn’t stop at all.

The Long Tail Approach to Blog Outreach

Photo cred: Rob!
Photo cred: Rob!

The Long Tail is a concept that is used for a number of business practices.  In sales, wikipedia defines it as “selling small volumes of hard-to-find items to many customers, instead of only selling large volumes of a reduced number of popular items.”

When you have to reach out to bloggers, your first thought might be to search for the top bloggers in the category, and reach out to the “A-list”, hoping to hit it big.

The problem with this method is that so many others think the same thing.  This means that the bloggers you’re reaching out to have been contacted by countless others looking for the same thing and you get lost in the noise.

Instead of reaching out to a few of the “A-listers”, try reaching out to more bloggers that aren’t considered the top of their class, but have still built up a strong community of readers.  Look for the bloggers that will have the time to read your email, and write a post about your cause or message.

  1. You’ll get more content written about you.
  2. The content might be of better quality, as they’ll have more time to commit.
  3. If enough “B-list” bloggers write about you, an “A-lister” may find out about you anyway.
  4. A smaller blog might have a much tighter community, with more trust… which translates to more trust in your brand since they’re writing about you.
  5. You’ll be able to target niche audiences.

That’s not to say you should completely ignore any mainstream publications/”A-list” bloggers however it certainly shouldn’t be your only focus.

Hat tip to Arik Hanson for inspiring this post.