Customer engagement can make or break your business.
Seasoned marketers know this and ensure that they are interacting constantly with their customers.
They pay attention to complaints and view them as areas that they could improve. Smart marketers are also making use of technology like video to create a more human connection with their audience.
They also interact with customers on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.
“The more you engage with customers the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing.” — John Russell
Let me share a few tips today:
1. Listen with Empathy
The first ten minutes of a conversation is the most important. Whether the client is praising you, seeking help or complaining about the service, it is vital to listen with empathy.
As you listen with respect, interest and understanding to your clients’ concerns, you will build trust and respect with your clients.
Often listening with empathy can turn a negative customer experience into customer loyalty if you respond correctly.
Empathetic listening inspired a level of commitment to clients. It also encourages better customer service. It sends the message that what you say matters to our company.
As your clients discover that you are open to listening to them, they will share with you their suggestions.
Many will not take the time to write and email with a full description of their complaints, but if you have a listening ear, you’ll discover ways to improve your business.
Communicating with them over the phone or chat is one of the best ways to do that. Many times their comments will not be positive, but once you know about a problem, you can fix it.
It is possible to turn the negative into a positive with some minor changes.
2. Encourage Your Customers to Participate in Reviews
Reviews are an excellent way to give a shout out to your best staff, gain exposure and be used for marketing.
Let your customers know that their reviews are important. You can encourage customer reviews through loyalty rewards points or bonuses.
This can motivate them to take the time to write about a positive experience they have had with your business.
Reviews can be used in landing pages, on community boards, or even on your website. You can put a reviews board where customers walk in to see a shout out to their favorite staff member.
This will improve morale. You can put a customer rating link at the end of each email to measure satisfaction with the interaction customers have with your business.
3. Promote Engagement by Asking Questions
Questions can help you to discover your customer concerns and opinions. You can easily question your customers through online polls.
For brick and mortar businesses, you can create a short paper survey for them to fill out during their visit. You could inquire about what type of content they like to read.
Do they enjoy it or is there something new in the industry that they’d like to learn about?
You can survey your newsletter subscribers to find out how often they want to hear from you, their favorite topics, and what products they are like.
Instagram is a great place to ask questions and ask for comments.
Follow a consistent and specific format when requesting feedback. This will allow your users to easily identify where the questions are. You can locate them at the end of captions or posts.
As you create content, they will know where to look for the questions. For example, many YouTubers will ask a question at the end of their video and request that you put the comments in the comment section below.
Respond to these questions and keep conversation and engagement going.
4. Connect with Live Video
As we move to a more technological world, the personal connection tends to get lost. However, video helps customers to feel a strong connection with people.
Video is important for local businesses. Businesses can humanize their brand with video.
Live video on YouTube or Facebook allows you to interact directly with customers and answer questions in real time. Utilizing live video is becoming more and more widespread.
YouTube can provide you with great opportunities to promote your brand. You can connect with your audience by doing a question and answer type of video.
However, you can promote your brand through simply wearing your merchandise or using your products in the videos.
5. Use Social Media For a Constant Flow of Customer Interaction
Customer engagement is extremely important for businesses. 7 in 10 Gen Xers are more likely to make a purchase from brands they are following on social media.
Consumers care less about promotional emails, messages and content. However, they do care about personalized service.
It is essential that businesses take time to pay attention to and give them some time.
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube can all be used to aid in customer engagement. There are currently over 50 million businesses using a Facebook Business Page to connect with their customers.
Brands leverage Twitter as a customer support and interaction tool on a regular basis. As a brand’s engagement and customer interaction grows, their reach and following tends to increase.
This improves brand awareness. This will not only keep a constant flow of interaction between brands and customers, but also grows their traffic and sales.
As you start to become more and more involved with social media there are some best practices to keep in mind. You want to engage with other people, don’t simply use social media as a place to put out your latest blog post.
Master the art of small talk online. Ask questions from your customers. This will encourage engagement, make you seem more friendly and approachable.
Remember, people are seeking a connection.
They don’t want to be sold a product or service. Use every possible channel to connect with your audience.
As you build their trust, they’ll become loyal customers.