Customer engagement is the nerve center of your small business’ success, as it drives more repeat purchases, greater brand awareness, and customer retention. Moreover, businesses with a solid omnichannel customer engagement strategy retain almost 90% of customers, as opposed to 33% of businesses with a poor customer engagement strategy.
Here are five simple ways that will help you engage your customers and inspire their loyalty.
Seek Customer Feedback Continuously
To build strong relationships with your customers, you first need to know what they feel about your brand. What are their needs and expectations? What are the most common problems they face when using your products or services?
And, to do so, you need to gather their feedback regularly.
For starters, register on all major social networks and business directories and encourage your customers to rate and review your business. Still, remember that not everyone will mention your brand when talking about it. It order to stay on top of indirect brand mentions, you should invest in a solid social media monitoring tools like Topsy, Buzzsumo, or Social Mention. To track your mentions across the web, use Google Alerts or some of its alternatives. These tools let you set a list of your crucial keywords and will let you know when someone mentions them.
You could also ask for feedback directly, by sending out a customer satisfaction survey. For example, you could send the survey directly in an email or simply send a link to it. SMS surveys are also highly effective, given that SMS open rates beat email 5 times over. Always make sure your survey is written in a simple language, visually appealing, and highly user-friendly. You can perform A/B tests to see what channels and practices work best for you and stick to them.
Build a Vibrant Online Community
An online community is a group that connects people with similar preferences, problems, and worries. Most importantly, those are people that trust your brand. Precisely because of that, the purpose of an online community is not to promote your branded content and offers. You should be a community builder – someone who will build and nurture strong relationships between the members of your group. Encourage people to ask relevant questions and help each other.
Most importantly, mind where you will build your online community. Choose the networks your customers use. For example, LinkedIn is an ideal solution for building professional relationships. Building a group on Facebook brings numerous benefits to your brand. For example, there are no limitations to the number of group members. There is also the amazing recent Watch Party feature that allows community members to watch videos together and discuss them in real-time. Finally, many brands choose to build their communities on Slack because it is increasingly popular and lets them personalize customer interactions.
Reward their Loyalty to your Brand
Did you know that 80% of your future profits come from 20% of your existing customers? That’s not surprising at all, given that loyal customers spend 67% more than new ones.
However, your customers expect you to recognize their loyalty and reward it. For example, you could create a loyalty program. Namely, there are numerous forms of customer loyalty programs and you need to choose the one that resonates with your target audience. For example, this could be a tier system, VIP benefits, point system, or giveaways.
You could also consider gamifying your loyalty program. For example, instead of choosing giveaway winners automatically, you could also inspire them to compete actively. Encourage them to write something beautiful, take a unique photo of your product, or design your packaging.
Provide 24/7 Customer Support
Today, your customers use multiple devices, channels, and apps to connect with your brand. Namely, 98% of online consumers use more than one device daily, while 73% of them make purchases using multiple channels. And, to increase their satisfaction, you need to provide multi-channels customer support.
- Make sure your website is responsive. It should load fast and maintain content quality, irrespective of the device a user has.
- Boost social response times. Even though an average social media user expects brands to get back to them within 30 minutes, the average response time is still 157 minutes. With the use of the above-mentioned tools and chatbots, this is easily achievable.
Have a detailed FAQ page. 40% of tech-savvy customers don’t want to connect with brands when seeking help. Instead, they prefer self-service, such as finding answers on your blog or FAQ page.
Personalize User Experiences
The recent research study shows that 62% of online consumers expect brands to provide highly targeted content. They are even eager to provide their personal information and pay more for such offers.
There are numerous ways to personalize user experiences.
For example, analyze your customers’ previous purchasing habits and history and use them as the foundation for your further interactions. You could recommend products based on what they’ve already bought or segment your customers into smaller groups and send customized emails to each audience segment.
You could also create highly engaging, customer-oriented website content. Your blog is the backbone of your online presence. It’s a great opportunity to teach your customers something new, help them solve specific problems, and build emotional relationships with them. That’s why you shouldn’t focus on traditional, keyword-stuffed articles only. Use videos, infographics, quizzes, animations, podcasts, and similar content that keep your audience interested and inspire them to visit your site again and again.
Chatbots are also one of the most powerful customer engagement tactics. They let you humanize your brand through interactive conversations. Just look at Sephora’s chatbot that sends out a brief quiz for each customer and, based on these answers, it provides highly relevant tips and product suggestions.
Over to You
Keeping your customers engaged is not easy. Still, when strategized properly, it is possible.
Listen to your customers continuously.
Build a solid online group, where you and other group members will publish relevant content and help each other.
Incentivize people that buy from you regularly.
Offer 24/7 customer support.
Humanize and personalize your customer interactions.
Is there anything you would like to add? Let us know in the comments!