“Build it and they will come” only gets you so far. In order for people to know about your business, you have to tell them about it. Building and maintaining customer relationships is an essential element of successful ag retail. Just a little bit of time and effort can help your customers feel connected and valued in a big way. To help show your customers how much you care, we rounded up five resources that can help you go beyond the traditional phone call.
1. Social Media
We all know the feeling… taking a quick scroll break, then looking up to see two hours have passed. Social media continues to be a major force in communication and connection. At this point, it’s not a question of whether or not you have a social media presence, but what that presence looks like. Social media is a great tool to help you communicate with your customers as it’s where they spend a large portion of their time. Sharing customer testimonials and success stories, commenting on their posts, showing your support and keeping them informed of news in the industry and within your company are all great ways to utilize social media to stay connected with your current customers – and reach new ones too. For more info on the best social media plan for you, check out our How-To Guide for Seed Sales Social Media.
Even though it may not be the flashy new tech on the block anymore, email is here to stay. Regular updates about new developments in your business and new solutions you have to offer are a great way to utilize email to reach all of your customers at once. Bonus points if you throw in some valuable resources for them as well, including things like industry news articles or tips for that season. Platforms like MailChimp, Constant Contact and Flodesk have easy-to-use templates to help guide you through the email marketing process and make it simple to get started in this realm. You can even set up automated emails to send specific messages to individual customers as they make their way through the purchase process. Check out this helpful guide all about customer journey emails.
3. On the Farm
Digital communication is handy for reaching your customers anytime, anywhere, but the best conversations happen face-to-face. Take a field trip to your customers to get some quality one-on-one time with them and see how your products are performing for them—or what may need some additional help. It can take a good chunk of time to visit customers, but it’s well worth it, and it’s also fun. There’s no better way to show your customers you care than by giving them a personal visit.
4. On Someone Else’s Farm
One-on-one farm visits are great, but why limit the show-and-tell to just one customer? Organize field days throughout the year to tour a few customers’ land and show off the results you can provide for them. You’re able to get on-farm time with more of your customers at once this way, and you can make it into an educational experience that also helps build community among your customers. Bonus: Field days are always extra fun when you can include a test plot of something new and exciting.
5. In the Community
Your existing customers are great, but who doesn’t want a few more? A highly respected way of attracting new customers in rural areas is meeting them where they are: in the community. Becoming involved in your local community and surrounding areas provides ways for you to give back, help your community, become connected with new opportunities and, of course, the ability to spread the word. Whether seeing you take part in the morning meetings of the unofficial farmers’ union at the coffee shop down the road or reading a resource you provided to the local newspaper to print in this week’s edition, showing up in simple ways can make quite the splash. P.S. Invite the whole dang town to those field days! The more the merrier.
We love getting to know our customers, and we know you do, too. Try out these ideas and see how your relationships grow.