WAYS TO INCREASE ENGAGEMENT
When a lot of business owners think about customer engagement, they dwell on strategies that encourage people to buy what they’re selling. That’s far from the whole story when it comes to creating a loyal fan base that raves about your company. Customer engagement should be a constant initiative, not something that only happens when customers are thinking about buying.
MAKE PROACTIVE CONTACT If you only engage with customers when they are looking to buy, you’re a pricing company. Once a customer is shopping around, they already know what they want. They’re just looking for the best deal. Conversely, if you reach out to your customers to follow up, provide them with information, or even just share something fun, you’ll build brand loyalty. CREATE A COMMUNITY Speaking to your customers is great, but giving them a way to speak to each other can be just as valuable. Savvy use of social media is a great way to achieve this goal. Give people a reason to share their experience with your business and a forum in which to share it. Even better, incentivize. Offer customers discounts on future purchases for posting about their experience on Facebook. The more creative you are, the more engagement you’ll see. Engaged customers are loyal customers. But it’s up to you to engage them. Don’t fall into the trap of focusing only on customers who will buy in the next 30 days.
Engaged customers won’t forget about you. When the time to buy comes around, yours will be the first name on their lips. Engagement also drives word-of-mouth marketing. According to a recent Nielsen study, consumers rely on referrals from trusted sources more than any other form of marketing. If you give your current customers a reason to rave, they’ll spread the word. Here are a couple of ways to ensure that your customers become fans. BE PERSONAL Treat your customers like a number, and they’ll think of you the same way. Treat them like real people, and they’ll love you forever. Remember details about your customers, address them by name, and go the extra mile to develop a real bond. Mindy Grossman, CEO of Weight Watchers, says, “Our ability to create that one-on-one engagement with a customer is a point of differentiation and strategic advantage for us.” No matter your industry, you can create that advantage for your business.
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