One of the most critical aspects of business is keeping your customers engaged and satisfied. Sure it’s important to get new customers on-board, but keeping your existing customers happy and invested will foster loyalty and brand growth.
However, engaging your customers is easier said than done. The rise of the internet and social media has made customer engagement a multi-faceted endeavor that involves more than just call center representatives addressing client questions and your in-store staff assisting shoppers.
So how do you keep the modern customer engaged? Here are a few tips.
Listen to Feedback
Customers feel important when you listen to them, particularly when you take action based on their feedback. This is especially true when you receive complaints – for example if a product did not meet certain expectations or your website crashed during critical business hours. However, there is much to be gained from honest (albeit negative) feedback. You can gain insight about what your customers want and expect from you, as well as what does and doesn’t work in your current customer service programs and policies. You can use this knowledge to drive positive change in your business.
When it comes to positive feedback, one of the simplest but most effective things you can do is acknowledge them and express your thanks. You can also use it as a platform to get suggestions from customers about what you can do to further improve your products and services.
Use Relevant, Meaningful Data
It’s easy to drown in a sea of data. There are numbers that may seem interesting but may not actually be relevant to your business goals. For example, 150,000 app downloads in a month is a big deal but it’s not nearly as important as, say, the 5,000 people who actively use the app per month. That’s the audience that you need to cultivate — the people who see the app to be something worth using.
Meanwhile, there might be some helpful data hiding behind bigger numbers. For example, if you’re running a business with franchises or branches all over the world, don’t just look at sales figures. Check your global POS system and see if there are certain products that do well in one country but aren’t as popular in another. You can then start offering the right products to the right market, instead of making everything available. Not only will your customers love you for giving them what they want, you’ll also save on operational costs.
The bottomline is that there is a huge chunk of data that may not be as useful as you think it is. Once you determine what is relevant, you will be able to address customer engagement in a more holistic manner.
Personalize the Experience
There’s nothing more impersonal than receiving an email that says “Dear Customer.” . However, personalization goes beyond just calling your customers by name. For example, using data as a tool, you can customize product recommendations from your online catalog based on the customer’s browsing history on your website. You can even use surveys packaged as quizzes to add fun to the process. Ultimately, personalization should make the customer feel that the brand knows them but not to the point where they feel like they are being stalked.
Create Helpful Content
Relevant, helpful content will not only contribute to your positive search engine rankings, they are also important drivers of user satisfaction. In fact, a study from Google found that almost 50 percent of smartphone users are likely to purchase something from a company that has useful content like videos in its website.
Apart from videos, you can also create how-to articles, infographics, and blog posts. In relation to the previous point, try to customize the content you serve based on a customer’s purchase habits or browsing history for a more personalized experience.
It’s important to make yourself available to your customers to receive their feedback, questions and other concerns. If you can’t be online 24/7 (which, admittedly, some customers expect from businesses these days), then at the very least you should give them a variety of ways to contact you. Nowadays, email, customer service hotlines and mobile numbers, social media pages and messaging apps are among the most common ways to contact a brand. There are also some companies that offer on-site live chat functions — you might want to consider this especially if your website gets more traffic than your social media pages.
Make sure that there’s someone to accommodate your customers during the times that these communication lines are open. If you say there’s someone they can talk to 24/7, then you need to provide just that. And as mentioned earlier, try to make things as personal as you can. You don’t want to sound robotic, especially if the customer has an urgent concern.
Taking care of your customers is tantamount to taking care of your business. It’s not an easy task, especially since there isn’t a template that you can use to ensure you need the needs of all your customers. But hopefully, these tips can help you craft a sound customer engagement strategy that will cultivate your relationship with them.