Customer engagement isn’t just good for your immediate profits; it’s also key for customer loyalty and your long-term revenue growth.
Engaged customers are easier to communicate with and sell to. They drive more referrals to your business and become brand advocates, helping spread the word about your company and products.
However, engaging with customers today is different compared to in the past. Cold calling a customer is just as likely to annoy them as to result in a positive response.
In light of this here are multiple strategies you can use today to drive better customer engagement:
Improve the Customer Experience
Whether customers shop in-store, online, or through their mobile device, you have the opportunity to create a customer experience that boosts engagement and spotlights your brand. This all starts with gathering feedback from customers, so it’s important to get your customer survey program in order.
Once you have that customer insight, you can start the customer experience improvement process, beginning with the channels that are most popular with customers. In particular, focus on alleviating the biggest pain points. Then, create a consistent brand experience across every channel. Remember: customer complaints are an opportunity to improve the customer experience. Don’t shy away from gathering customer feedback at every touchpoint.
Be a Good Listener
To be a good listener in the information age, you need to go where your customers are. This means both traditional and online channels. Wherever your customers are talking about your brand, your brand should be ready to join the conversation.
Be proactive about interaction. It’s great if your customer service team is responding to customer complaints on social media, but don’t stop there. Listen in on conversations around your industry, market, products and services, and offer genuine discussion. Solve problems, listen to ideas and propagate praise. Open and honest dialogue will go a long way to fostering trust between your audience and your company.
Don’t Just Market to Customers, Enable Them
Cold calling is over. Yellow Pages directories have been digitized. Customers gather their own information, and they determine where and when they will communicate with brands.
Solely targeting customers with broad marketing campaigns won’t get you very far. Instead of broadcasting your message, give customers the information and tools they need to accomplish what they want to do:
_ Answer their questions with a thorough FAQ section on your website
_ Provide content marketing assets that inform, educate and entertain
_ Simplify the process of getting technical help
_ Make it easy to leave product reviews
_ Have a broad enough web presence that customers can find you wherever they happen to be online
Most importantly, let the customer begin the conversation. Enable them to find you, and then let them come to you. Give them control and they’ll respond with better engagement.
Collapse the Silos
Customer engagement is not just the responsibility of your customer service department. Every part of your company has a part to play. In this sense, keeping customer feedback data in silos isn’t very productive.
New cloud, mobile, and social technologies can give all your employees access to customer data and feedback. This allows them to better prepare for, and respond to, customer interactions. Access to broader data also helps you identify emerging trends and uncover new opportunities to improve customer engagement.
Don’t Be Afraid to Get Personal
If your customer feedback program relies on anonymous data, it’s not as effective as it could be.
Don’t just make assumptions about who your customers are, where they spend time, or what they need and want. Invest the time to gather more detailed customer data so you can paint a more accurate picture of the people you are trying to engage with. Identify their pain points, figure out where they are being held up by roadblocks on the customer journey, ask for their opinions — essentially build up a deep knowledge of their behavior and needs.
The more your customers feel that you know them, the more they will engage with your brand.
The Common Thread: Customer Experience
Customer experience is the common thread running through all of the strategies discussed in this post, and knowing what aspects of your customer experience to improve starts by getting customer feedback.
Before you create a plan to improve your customer engagement, make sure your customer feedback program is up and running and optimized for your specific market. Then, each of these engagement strategies will be much easier to implement.
Looking to use customer insight to improve your customer experience? Talk to Questback to find out how our technology can help.