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Five ways to build community with your customers

Humans are tribal. We love feeling a sense of belonging.

Your customers have many choices on where they can spend their money. Creating a community with them helps them turn to you, instead of another business.

Here are five ways to build community with your customer base:

1. Call them by a group name. Whether it's "besties," "friends, or "cool cats & kittens," a team name gives them a group to identify with.

2. Speak to them as if they are your best friends or family. Yes, you definitely should always be professional, but I find that occasionally using informal grammar or a loving salutation brings in a familial feeling.

3. Greet them with an enthusiastic smile when you're f2f. It feels great when someone is happy to see us. We feel recognized and visible. Customers should never feel unwanted or like they are bothering you.

4. Give customers a chance to interact with each other. This could be an exclusive facebook group, a Q&A section on your blog, or a virtual happy hour.

5. Offer branded merch. Not only will a tshirt with your company logo on it allow the wearer to feel like they're in your club, it's free advertising for you!

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