A new brand comes to life every minute. New ideas, innovative technologies and ingenious solutions are introduced to the market every second, making the competition tougher than it was prior. Add to that the large corporations that have all the resources they need to buy out or dismantle the competition, and it can feel as though there is little room for your business to thrive.
No matter the kind of products offered, the marketing tactics deployed or the advantages other businesses seemingly have over your own, you are all still fighting for one thing – the customer’s wallet.
With so many players in the market, how can you secure customer loyalty to your brand? How can you survive the competition and even expand your business simultaneously? The answer lies in proper and effective customer engagement.
What is Customer Engagement?
Customer engagement is the process by which a business develops its customer relationships with the purpose of generating brand awareness and increasing brand loyalty. There are several methods to accomplish this, including marketing campaigns, social media interaction and posting new content on your website’s blog.
Customer engagement allows you to see behavioral patterns you can use to gauge consumer perspectives. By consistently interacting with website visitors and replying to customer queries, you will be able to know more about what they like and dislike. Then, you will have the opportunity to fill gaps in your service and avoid further escalation of issues.
Why Should You Get Customers Engaged?
There are a handful of reasons you must spend time brainstorming customer engagement strategies to grow your business, including:
1. It is more cost effective to retain existing customers.
According to a recent study, it costs businesses more to acquire a new customer than to retain the interest of an existing one. It is also easier to sell to an existing patron than to someone new who doesn’t have any experience interacting with your brand.
Looking for new customers is also a vital component for business growth. However, you shouldn’t disregard the needs of your existing customers simply because you feel like you can have their business anytime you want.
2. You can regularly act on feedback.
Feedback is important to improve your business. It’s what you need to adapt to market trends and survive in an ever-changing environment. In addition, it helps strengthen your relationship and builds trust with your customers in the process.
Engaged customers feel more confident providing their feedback because they feel that their voices are heard and their opinions are appreciated. If they know they’re valued by your company, they’ll be more willing to participate when you ask for reviews. They might even throw in useful ideas that can fuel development and further improve your products and services.
3. You can benefit from customer referrals.
Having reinforced your relationship with existing customers, they’ll be delighted to share memorable experiences with friends and family. Customers are more likely to act on the referrals their friends have given them, as it’s easier to trust brands someone they know also trusts.
Without much marketing effort, referrals can give you free advertisement through word-of-mouth promotions. This means the more engaged customers you have, the better your chances are of reaching potential leads.
4. It provides the opportunity to maintain a positive online presence.
With how easy it is to share things online through various social media platforms, positive reviews can bring in new customers. Nonetheless, negative feedback shared online has a bigger impact on your business than positive ones do.
By incorporating effective and timely communication processes in your customer engagement strategy, you’ll be able to regularly obtain customer feedback and improve user satisfaction.
Growing Your Business Through Customer Engagement
Eighty-nine percent (80%) of consumers look for offers from competing businesses when a brand fails to give them a satisfactory customer experience. This statistic indicates the importance of listening and responding to your customers’ needs. Ignore them, and you’ll be more focused on simply surviving – not thriving – in the competitive market.
Incorporate these tips into your customer engagement strategy to avoid this pitfall:
1. Maximize the power of social media.
Social media continues to play a major role for both advertisement and communication. Your business should be easily reached through social media, email and phone lines.
Customers should be able to contact you without any hassle. Fifty percent (50%) of consumers only give brands a week to respond to their questions and concerns before they stop doing business with that brand altogether. Taking hours or days before replying will only hurt your reputation. Consider using a chatbot with advanced AI capabilities in order to fill the gap when your employees are not in the office or are working with another client.
Providing valuable information through social media channels can strengthen your customer engagement even more. It’s the most popular communications platform, so you might as well use it to tell them about new offers and promotions, as well as the benefits of choosing your brand over your competitors.
2. Provide incentives.
One of the most powerful ways to get customers involved is by incentivizing their participation in your campaigns.
Offering discounts or freebies for every successful referral is one method to consider. Rewarding them for reviews, answering feedback forms and sharing content are also effective ways to keep customers engaged.
3. Build an active community.
If you have a brick-and-mortar shop, spend time interacting with them in person. You can also have your employees be more proactive when they are around customers. Make sure your online company page is a safe place where customers can speak freely without any judgment from you or any of the members.
Involve the community in your new projects. Ask for their help and suggestions on how you can better promote your brand or a product you’re about to launch. For example, you can make a poll on possible names or taglines. These tactics encourage conversation and strengthen the relationship between your business and consumers.
4. Hire people invested in your goals.
Hiring the right people and investing in them should be part of your customer engagement strategy.
You’ll have a hard time building a strong community if your staff is not interested in it. Having a good reputation is not enough to maintain customer loyalty. Seventy-three percent (73%) of consumers stick to a brand that has friendly service representatives and employees they can talk to, so you should look for people who are natural conversationalists and who believe in your company’s mission and vision.
Improving customer engagement strategies should be a priority, especially for startups and small businesses looking to increase market share and expand their companies. Established organizations shouldn’t feel too relaxed either, though, as customers expect even more quality and service from them.
Ensuring customers remain engaged is the key to maintaining your brand’s presence in the market. You don’t necessarily have to increase your budget on marketing campaigns to improve customer conversion rates. By encouraging them to engage with your business, you foster trust, develop loyalty and provide an excellent service that exceeds their expectations.
SeeLevel HX is a mystery shopping and market research agency that can help you develop a customer engagement strategy. Just give us a call if you want our expertise on the matter.