Getting customers is important for businesses, and there are many ways they can go about getting them. But once a business has found customers, they need to do something to keep them interested, and one way they can do this is to practice “customer engagement”.
Customer engagement is a method becoming rather popular recently whereby a business looks at all the interactions they have with their customers before, during and after using a product or service, and the effects those interactions have had on the customer. This is not to be confused with the “customer experience”, which is also important.
Customers are more likely to spend money on a business they feel emotionally attached to, and will give more to a business they feel they will get more out of. So engaging with them, interacting with them, making them feel important and giving them ways to become emotionally attached is vitally important to winning customers over. It’s a great way to build brand relationships and personalise your service.
There are a variety of ways a business can interact and engage with their customers. Some great ways to boost engagement are:
1. Social media
Having presence on social media is a great way to find and interact with customers and potential customers. If offers easy ways for you to share news and products, offer calls to action, and also to talk with your customers, to get to know them better. You can reply to comments and answer questions quickly. You can run contests to give your customers fun things to do online and also help your posts to become viral in the process.
Increase engagement as well by not only posting about your business but sharing about other related things – share blog posts, industry news, articles on people you admire, cross-promote influential people, events you are attending. Make your posts more visual by including images and videos. Always include a call to action, even if it’s just asking for a like or a share of the post. Keep personal promotion to a minimum, as over-promotion can turn people off. Find other people in your industry to network and cross-promote with. Create online communities, too, to help them stay engaged with not only you but other customers as well.
More and more people are using their mobile phones for internet searching and shopping, as well as social media sharing. Take advantage of this to find ways to engage with your customers. Offer them apps to make shopping easier. Make use of apps like SnapChat to send quick little personalised ads and offers. Use text messaging to send customers special discount, or alert them when you have a new sale or product they’d be interested in. There are many ways to take advantage of mobile phones.
Don’t be afraid of analytics. They can help you figure out who your audience and customers are, allowing you to better personalise engagement to them. They can assist in the process of finding out customer-specific needs. They can help you to set behavioural triggers and predict behavioural patterns, and allow you to set up behavioural-triggered, personalised email campaigns. They enable you to have better, ongoing conversations with your customers, helping you gain better feedback.
4. Other ways
There are other ways you can keep customers engaged, such as asking them to be brand ambassadors by offering freebies or other rewards for customer referrals. You can provide incentives for reviews or feedback and make the process easy, and create a fun experience that a group of people can enjoy and also make you look good, such as a sponsored fun run, a costume contest or other charity event.
Do you encourage customer engagement? Do you have any tips for our community? We’d love to hear from you! Please share your tips and thoughts in our comments box below!