Customer Engagement Strategies that will Give your Business a Competitive Advantage
It doesn’t matter if you own a local brick-and-mortar store or a worldwide famous ecommerce site, your customers are the backbone of your business. And, to retain them, you first need to engage them and inspire them to stay loyal to you.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, check out this list of customer engagement strategies every business should have in mind.
Keep the Conversation Flowing
Today, your customers expect you to be available to them 24/7. And, that’s exactly what you need to give them in order to stay relevant. In other words, you need to adopt this “always on” approach and make sure you have a consistent dialogue with your target audience.
Of course, it all starts with your customer support team. To make the most of it, hire highly competent and empathetic people that will understand your customers’ problems and provide them with actionable tips when they need them.
But, in today’s era of hyperconnectivity, you shouldn’t rely on your phone calls solely. To provide exceptional customer services and boost user experience, you should also:
- Invest in a responsive site that will guide your customers through the different stages of your sales funnel. This means optimizing your site for both desktop and mobile searchers. You should also implement catchy CTAs, have a map, update your NAP information regularly, make your forms easy to fill out, and speed up your site.
- Answer your emails regularly and revamp your email marketing strategy. Instead of sending boring newsletters and promotions, offer them something unique and truly engaging. Include live shopping carts to help them complete the purchase without having to go back to your site. Accordion menus, photos, and fun memes could also be a great choice.
- Add chatbots to your social networks and your site to provide instant customer support.
- Publish content on social media regularly. Apart from your promotional content, focus on organic and entertaining content, too. Post photos from the office, short videos, and live stories to humanize your brand and build stronger relationships with your customers. Don’t forget to answer their questions regularly. You could use social media listening tools to provide real-time feedback.
Listen to your Customers
To connect with your customers, you need to understand their needs, expectations, and preferences. You need to know what keeps them up at night and find a way to solve these problems effectively. And, one of the most effective ways to do so is to collect their feedback regularly.
Of course, there are different strategies you could use.
Start with social media listening. The idea behind all this is simple- you start tracking your product and brand mentions on all major social networks to see what your target audience thinks of you. And, the most beautiful thing about all this is that you don’t have to track these discussions manually. With the help of social media monitoring tools like Topsy, Buzzsumo, and Social Mention, you can automate your social listening efforts and always stay on top of your customers’ conversations.
You should also ask your customers directly how they feel about you and what they would change about your brand and products. For starters, you could collect their feedback by setting up paid surveys. Many people choose to take these surveys on numerous platforms to earn extra cash. This is an arrangement both sides benefit from. Your examinees get paid for completing the survey and you will get honest answers that really bring value.
Always Bring Value
To set yourself apart from your competitors, you shouldn’t focus on self-serving content only. You need to go the extra mile in bringing true value to your customers and proving them that choosing you over your competitors is the most logical choice.
Quality, industry-specific, and authentic content will help you position yourself as a trusted and authoritative source of information. And, once people see your value, they will start coming back for more, as well as share and link to your posts regularly. In other words, content marketing is a powerful way to boost your brand reputation, drive new customers to your site, and boost engagement and conversion rates significantly.
To make your content more interactive, you could experiment with different types of content, such as videos, quizzes, gifs, infographics, podcasts- anything that works for your readers.
Validate your relevance
People rely on online reviews as much as on their friends’ recommendations. So, to hook their attention, you need to show them that people similar to them are buying from you. This is called social proof and it is the backbone of your customer engagement plan.
Here are a few strategies that will help you build trust among your potential customers:
- Publish customer testimonials on your site.
- Share user-generated content on your Facebook and Instagram.
- Connect with micro-influencers to endorse you.
- Share your company’s major milestones regularly.
- Get your customers to review you on all major social networks and business review platforms.
- Add trust seals to your site.
Reward them for being Loyal
Your customers expect you to recognize their loyalty and reward them for it. Namely, an average consumer in the U.S. is involved in more than 14 different rewards programs. Precisely because of this, you need to make a powerful and strategic customer loyalty plan.
Logically, the types of rewards vary, depending on your niche and your target audience’s expectations. For example, this could be huge discounts, free access to your exclusive content, gift cards, or even a massive giveaway.
If a giveaway is too easy for you, you could spice things up by organizing. It will make your target audience more involved and interested in what you have to offer. A contest means that they need to keep following you on social networks, post user-generated content, share your posts, and leave comments consistently. This makes your brand more visible to even those people who have never heard of it before and inspires them to participate actively to get awesome rewards.
Improving customer engagement is actually about building and nourishing strong relationships with your customers.
Make sure you understand your customers, show that you care about them, and that you appreciate their loyalty.
Go above and beyond to build a solid brand image and prove your relevance through content marketing and sharing social proof.
Most importantly, foster natural communication with your target audience, listen to them, and be there for them 24/7.