Customer engagement is something that’s often overlooked, but a crucial variable that impacts the success of any business. However, do you know what customer engagement is?
If not, you may be at a disadvantage. Put simply, customer engagement has a direct impact on customer satisfaction. It is a part of the customer experience your customers have. If you increase engagement, you can deliver a better customer experience, which will result in more satisfied customers.
By 2020, customer experience is going to outpace product price and quality as a main brand differentiator.
How can you increase your customer engagement and grow your business? If you are facing this quandary, keep reading. Here you can learn several best practices and tips that will help you take control of your customer engagement efforts now and in the future.
1. USE EMPATHY WHEN LISTENING TO CUSTOMERS
In the field of medicine, there is something that is referred to as the “Golden Hour.” It is the initial hour after a traumatic injury has occurred and considered the most important for treatment.
This concept can be adapted to business. The result can be called “The Golden 10 Minutes.” This is the first and the most important aspect of a face-to-face or phone conversation. When you first begin speaking with a customer or potential customer, take the first 10 minutes (minimum) to engage in empathic listening.
When you listen with interest, respect, and understanding to your customer’s experience, it is going to increase engagement. Doing this will also create a level of commitment with your customers and a feeling like they belong.
When you give your clients the means and methods to communicate with your business and offer their suggestions, they will. But they aren’t going to spend their time writing an email with an entire description of their suggestions and complaints. You must listen and talk to them to find out.
2. IMPLEMENT THE RIGHT SOFTWARE
If you want to engage your customers effectively, you need to implement the proper automation tools that will streamline the processes. This will also let you focus on your customers and less on the day-to-day administrative tasks.
A key software element among these is a CCM – customer communications management – solution. With this, you can store your customer data in one place. This also allows you to personalize the experience while increasing engagement.
Today, more businesses are choosing an all-in-one CCM because it offers customer service, sales enablement, and marketing automation all on the same platform.
When you use marketing automation, you can not only communicate with customers but also engage them. Also, when you have a customer service help desk module, the team you have in place providing customer support can begin to automate the processes and spend additional time engaging customers.
3. ENCOURAGE CUSTOMERS TO LEAVE REVIEWS
You can engage your customers by giving them ways to “shout out” and brag about the best of the best you offer. Let your customers know that every online review that mentions their favorite staff members will earn that person an award.
You can also put up a “kudos board” where your customers can come in and leave a note about a positive experience they had. Make sure you also put a customer rating link at the end of each email you send to gauge customer satisfaction.
It’s also a good idea to give your customers something for providing feedback. This is going to encourage them to leave their opinion.
4. REPLY TO COMMENTS LEFT ON SOCIAL MEDIA
There’s no question that social media is one of the best digital customer engagement platforms. With millennials overtaking the baby boomer generation, this is by far, the largest consumer demographic. As a result, there is going to be a continued increase in social media use.
When someone has taken the time to comment on one of your posts, it is important that you respond in an encouraging, polite manner, as fast as possible. Make sure to thank them for this and offer a compliment. Take some time to stroke their ego and they will keep coming back and continue to engage with your brand.
If you ignore them, they will leave.
You can even use various social listing tools to know when someone has mentioned your business or brand or when a comment is made on one of your posts. Be sure to leverage the available tools to ensure that you engage your audience every chance you have.
5. USE LIVE VIDEO TO HUMANIZE YOUR BRAND
It’s important to optimize across all communication channels for both mobile and desktop, including display, social, search and video. This is key for all local businesses.
Particularly, businesses need to find a way to humanize their brand. Video offers this. Since most social platforms offer live video options, it is growing in popularity and becoming more accessible.
IMPROVING CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT IS UP TO YOU
If you want to improve customer engagement for your business, there are more than a few things you need to do. Get started by using the tips and information found here.
If you aren’t sure how to handle this engagement process on your own, reach out to the professionals for help. Our team can help ensure you achieve the level of customer engagement desired and that your customers have a positive experience with your brand. If you want to learn more, contact us.
In 2020, and beyond, these are all going to be factors that you have to keep in mind and implement in your own business plan.