Have you ever been concerned about the lack of customer engagement at your organization or declining sales due to the misunderstanding or miscommunication with your end users? If you’ve answered any of those questions with a “yes,” then it’s high time you thought of boosting your customer satisfaction, working on your customer engagement strategy, and training your employees to answer your customers’ concerns promptly and on a case by case basis. The tips outlined below will help you do just that.
What is customer engagement?
Customer engagement is encouraging your customers to interact with your company, share their experience about doing business with you, commenting on your blog posts, and spreading the word about your company within their communities or networks. A strong customer engagement strategy always guarantees increased customer loyalty, brand awareness, and, ultimately, stable business growth. Companies that are specifically concentrated on customer engagement are often concerned with the value they create for their consumers rather than about extracting revenue from them. The point here is that by boosting up your customer satisfaction and engagement, you’ll eventually end up with soaring profits, so it’s a win-win situation that you really should start caring about.
Differences between user engagement and customer engagement
Many people use customer and user engagement interchangeably, and, in fact, these are almost similar definitions bearing largely the same meaning. However, there are subtle differences between the two.
Customer engagement is more often used when speaking of the high-touch relationship model, whereas user engagement is often referred to as the low-touch relationship. In fact, it’s believed that the latter is more applicable for online or remote business when the actual face-to-face interaction with a customer is often implausible. Conversely, when communication with a customer is not hindered by geographical borders and there are ample opportunities for direct interaction and in-person contact and conversation, that’s customer engagement we’re talking.
Teams, who are essentially trained for customer engagement, are therefore often focused on in-person communication, whereas teams trained for user-engagement receive more of a product training, so they can easily help customers online and solve all of their product concerns.
5 tips to boost your customer engagement
Tip # 1 Provide excellent customer service: personalize the customer experience
Make customer experience your absolute priority. It all starts with your company culture and educating your employees about the importance of your customers’ satisfaction. Make all communications personal, treat every single customer as an individual. Start a conversation by referring to a customer by name, having checked their previous communication history, experience with a company, credit history (whatever’s applicable to your business), in as short a time as possible. If you think that all customer questions can be answered within the five minutes, then probably you’re doing it wrong. More often than not, it takes much more than five minutes to get the customer to be fully satisfied and aware that they were taken appropriate care of. One customer can cost you dozens of other customers. Imagine you’re serving a guy who has a bunch of family members who are all ready to subscribe to your service. Making one happy will end up making dozens of new consumers for your business. That’s especially important if you have a small localized business dependent on your locational surroundings.
Tip # 2 Become active on social media
Moreover, it’s important to get active on social media. Your brand has to become recognizable and associated with either laid-back or traditional culture depending on your primary target market. Establish a personal voice on all of your social platforms, so people can easily recognize if you’ve been copied, plagiarized or reposted. Give your copywriters a place to grow and humanize your brand, adding personal, unique voices to their writing. Allow your staff to make video content, engage your end users in speaking and blogging opportunities.
Tip # 3 Start a blog
Content is important. If you’re in the financial business, start a financial blog, covering the latest governmental regulations that might affect the end user, but try to keep a conversational tone throughout your writing, unless your target audience is extremely narrow, say, executive, whom you don’t have to explain the intricacies of a tax code. Otherwise, try to be on par with your readers, so they understand the subject matter in question. Otherwise, it doesn’t make much sense to write for the end user, who is going to be oblivious to much of the stuff you’re covering. Also, be relevant, sassy, and timeless. Embrace memes, if you have to, and if that suits your line of business; follow up the steps of the internet culture and always try to stay ahead of your target audience, so they will look forward to your new blog posts, anticipate the discussion, and engage in commenting.
Tip # 4 Be quick and apt answering customer’s concerns
Train your customer representatives to be on your customer concerns 24/7, even if it means more overhead and other related expenditures. Customers are your major priority, because, let’s be honest, your business would not have existed if not for your customers. Remember when you’re ten or fifteen minutes late answering customers’ concerns or questions, especially if you’re doing business online, you can be almost 99% sure, you’ve lost a sale. So be quick and apt to respond to customers’ concerns. Moreover, if the customer needs something urgently, like an invoice, make sure you make it your top priority and ensure your customer is getting cared of in as little time as possible. If you think that’s not possible then you’re mistaken. I personally have been treated like I’m the best client (although I’m pretty much far from being that) by one of the investment banks, and I felt really grateful for how they handled my request, in as much as recommending their services to pretty much all of my friend, half of whom finally subscribed to it. The lesson here is to never disregard a single person because they can land you half as much.
Tip # 5 Involve your customers
When thinking about your blog, try to come up with engaging content. Think of contests that can attract new consumers or feedback appreciation days, when customers share their experiences and receive perks for their comments. Come up with tests, competitions that will allow your consumers to show their both artistic and mathematical (if need be) potential. By making a few of those, you’ll learn so much more about your customers that you have not been able to in years. Listen closely and make polls to see what your users are mostly up to. Promote engagement by asking questions, engaging in consumer conversations via text messages, humanize your brand via live videos or webinars, and keep on it, keep on a constant flow of interaction between you and your end customer.
Whatever customer engagement strategy you’re going to choose, try to make it as personal as you can: treat each of your consumers as individuals, addressing them by name, knowing their history and learning from their previous interactions with your representatives. That way, you’re much more likely to land a successful sale than by doing impersonal communication that won’t lead your company anywhere. By being concerned about customer service and customer experience, you’re almost certainly building up a bright future for your business. Try to implement the five tips discussed above and you’ll see how your customer engagement is going to soar, probably, after years of stagnation. Even if you are pretty successful in your business, it still doesn’t hurt to start caring for your consumers: that way you’ll improve your business results, just take it some time, and it’s going to be finally possible.