If you are running a business, chances are you’ve heard about customer engagement. Customer engagement is the connection between your brand and your audience, both offline and online, which is crucial to the success of your business. Everyone is plugged in these days, so they expect their favorite brands to be as well. The more engaged you are with your audience, the more connected they will feel and the more likely they are to become loyal customers. A fully engaged customer represents 23% more revenue than average. If you find yourself struggling with your connection or you just want to improve your customer’s experience, follow these six proven customer engagement strategies.
What is a customer engagement strategy?
A customer engagement strategy is a plan to increase customer satisfaction by having more positive interactions with them. Customer engagement is the process of interacting with customers through various channels to strengthen your relationships. Different channels used to communicate and engage with customers include social media, websites, email, print marketing materials and more.
Humanize your brand
When it comes to the relationship you have with your customers, trust is imperative. You may have the most sought after product or offer an appealing service, but if your customers can’t connect with you on a personal level, they won’t put their complete trust in you. People trust people more than they trust a faceless brand, but you can still form a more personal connection with your customers by giving your brand some human characteristics. Come up with things such as a favorite food or color or develop a specific personality for your brand. If your brand allows for it, give it a sense of humor. People respond well to humor, as proven by Wendy’s interaction with their customers on social media. In six months, Wendy’s saw not only an increase in sales, but an increase in followers on social media, going from 2.1 million to over 2.4 million.
Take advantage of social media
Social media plays a crucial role in your customer engagement strategy. An estimated 3.6 billion people use social media these days, making it an extremely effective tool to reach your audience. If you are not on social media yet, finish reading this article and then go make your business an account!
Let’s take a look at JetBlue’s customer service success using Twitter. JetBlue has three teams that tweet from the JetBlue twitter account: the marketing team, the corporate communications team and the customer commitment team. Depending on the size of your business, you may not be able to dedicate three teams to running your social media, but you may not have to. Having one person who knows what they are doing when it comes to social media should be enough to get the ball rolling. What works so well for JetBlue is that they don’t just respond to every single tweet to them blindly. Instead, they take the time to engage in a smart and natural way where they can contribute value.
Make your customer experience a priority
Providing a positive customer support experience encourages long-term relationships with current customers and is appealing to potential customers. You don’t want the only time your customers reach out to you to be when they have an issue. Encourage your customers to interact with you in more positive ways such as hosting giveaways or offering a free trial. If you make it a priority to offer the best experience possible to your customers, you will notice a difference in the way that they engage with you. You want your customers and potential customers to feel happy after they have interacted with you. After all, a happy customer is a returning customer.
Make it personal
People love to be personally acknowledged, it makes them feel special and noticed. There are many ways to personalize content, from sending birthday greetings or acknowledgement on social media, to utilizing more complex technology to provide content suggestions you know they will like based on their behavior. The next time someone tweets a review or photo of your product, ask if you can share it on your own channels. Most people love to be retweeted or “regrammed.” You should of course provide appropriate credit if given permission. Even if you just respond to their comment, making your customers feel seen and heard will go a long way.
Part of what makes Netflix so great is their personalized content. After you watch and rate a few shows or movies, Netflix can start providing personalized recommendations of what they think you may enjoy next based off of what you have recently watched. Netflix’s recommendations system looks at information such as your viewing history, how you rated different titles, other members with similar taste, and so on.
All of this information is used to provide helpful recommendations to their users on what they may be interested in watching next. I know I have personally found this feature helpful many times. Netflix offers so much content it can be hard to choose what to watch next. If you can gather even a little bit of information from your customers, you can start delivering personalized content. Start with the basics such as their email address, name and date of birth to send personalized birthday greetings and special offers and build off of that.
Create valuable custom content
Custom content is a great strategy for maintaining relationships and engagement with existing customers and building relationships with new ones. Your customers will always have questions, and chances are they will often have the same or similar ones. Create content that will specifically address these questions and concerns, such as an FAQ page. The key to custom content is providing valuable information that you know your customers are looking for. This can go beyond just an FAQ page, consider posting tutorials on how to use your product or posts that highlight upcoming events. Take the time to find out exactly what information your customers are looking for and give it to them. Custom content is an extremely effective customer engagement strategy.
Listen to your customers
Your customers are what drive your business, so if they are less than satisfied with your company, you’ll want to change that. Respond to their feedback and work to resolve any issues. If you are open to what your customers have to say, you can easily change the situation for the better. Use social media and the ability to be connected 24/7 to your advantage to address any customer service issues in a timely manner. Twitter is a great platform to connect with customers in real time and they often reach out there to connect as it is a public forum. No one loves to receive negative feedback, but ultimately, it will help you grow into a better business that caters to their customers needs. Show your customers that you do care by engaging with them, even when it’s negative feedback you are receiving.
Your customer engagement strategy should be an ever-changing and evolving plan that helps keep you connected and in tune with your customers. The goal is to create long term relationships and a better bond that will in turn increase customer loyalty and revenue.