Image

Because customers are a business owner’s most valuable resource, he or she must find a way to engage with them. After all, where would business owners be if they had no way to know how customers are evaluating their product? Businesses often get caught up in the bottom line, but forget to take into consideration what — who — keeps them in the black. Current marketing strategies make it easier than ever to engage with your customers, providing invaluable feedback. Customers will grow to love your brand and become loyal to it if they feel like you care enough to communicate with them. They'll talk about your product and suggest it to friends; word-of-mouth marketing can be more effective than paid advertising. Increase customer engagement by:

Knowing Your Customers

To effectively communicate with your customers you must first learn who they are and about their online behaviors. What are their interests? What are their priorities? What motivates them? Not knowing your customers well enough could promote the use of inappropriate or annoying communication techniques, potentially driving them away. So, what is customer service? It’s primarily a matter of communication.

Having a Consistent Voice

Consider the type of people you want to and expect to attract when developing your brand’s tone of voice. Be consistent with the tone and personality throughout each line of communication, whether it’s an advertisement, social media post, email or direct message.

Producing Valuable Content

Content marketing is a valuable way of attracting and retaining customers. There are many types of content to accommodate the features of your brand. Blog posts, social media posts, videos and infographics are just a few ways of engaging current customers, attracting new customers and growing your business.

Being Available

It’s important to be available when your customers are most likely to communicate with you. Consider how your customers’ typical schedules run. Also, think about the type of contact that they’re most likely to prefer and give them multiple ways to contact you. Phone, email, chat, social media and direct messaging give your customers a variety of ways to contact you. If you can’t be available in real-time, 24/7, let them know how long it’ll be before they can expect a reply.

Listening

Social media is a great way to interact with your customers. It’s an informal method of giving them real-time updates, while “hearing” what they have to say. People who love a brand enjoy sharing their opinion and bantering with others who share the same interests. Try to keep up with and respond to every social media message, especially if there’s a complaint. Other people will see that you respond and it’ll give them confidence that you’re listening and care about them as people, not just customers.

Make sure that your employees don’t rush through their contact with customers. People want to feel that they’re being heard, particularly if they have a negative experience. Ignoring them, rushing through a call or sending a form letter response will push them away. Offer help to resolve the issue or offer an incentive for giving your business another try. Most importantly, treat them like people. 

Internet searches for business reviews are common when looking for a particular product or service. Allowing customers to leave feedback is a great way to drum up business for free. It’ll also keep you and your staff accountable. Thank them for their review and if they leave a negative comment reply with a solution. This will increase faith in the business for current and potential customers.

Devising a Loyalty Program

A loyalty program can greatly increase repeat business and engagement. A simple points-based system works well for customers to gain free or discounted items or services. You can also charge an upfront fee for your customers to gain VIP benefits. 

Happy and loyal customers will keep your business thriving. A little extra time to engage them in your business’s goings-on will quickly pay off.