Customers are the reason businesses exist and no business can last long if it doesn’t get the attention of potential customers and keep their attention by turning them into repeat customers. Building a long term relationship requires customer engagement and there are a number of paths to keep customers engaged. And all these paths follow a basic pattern. Here are five tips that will help you engage with customers.
1. Understand that all connections are basically emotional.
We may be able to reason ourselves into accepting certain ideas, but those connections won’t be all that strong unless they are made on an emotional level as well. No matter how practical and pragmatic it may be for a customer to patronize your company, it’s important to remember that customer loyalty is built on emotion. Your company must express the values held by your target customers. Now, many companies work out customer values through surveys and other forms of market analysis. However, you can make a good start just by treating customers with respect and making sure that their issues are addressed quickly and in a friendly manner. People tend to be loyal to those who treat them well.
2. Stay human
In this age of digital everything, it is very easy to turn customer management over, in large part, to digital technology. After all, it seems the economical and efficient thing to do. But, you should never sacrifice the personal touch for efficiency. People want to deal with people, not a machine or a faceless bureaucracy. The more personal you make your customer service, the more you will keep your customers engaged.
3. Use social media in a personal way
Social media shouldn’t just be for re-posting blog posts. It should be a way to demonstrate to your customers that you genuinely care about them and that you want to provide the best service possible. If a customer voices an issue on social media, then any reply one of your team makes should be accompanied by the image and name of that person. Remember that social media isn’t just for advertising.
4. Help your customer contribute
Let customers know that you are interested in what they say. If a customer has a suggestion for improving a product, bring them into the conversation. Hold idea and suggestion contests and post surveys online. This may be a bit disconcerting to traditional companies who tend to put customers at arm’s length. Even so, the Internet has changed the playing field. It has brought people together as never before and building online relationships is now an important part of marketing.
5. Be valuable
The more valuable you are to a customer, the less likely it is that a customer will go somewhere else. You can present value in a number of ways, through quality products or services, through helpful interaction with the customer and by providing content that customers find useful on you website or blog.
So, have you spotted the pattern? Remember, we said that all these tips followed the same pattern. That pattern is open and strong communication. Lines of communication should be established and kept strong through outstanding customer service. Ultimately, communication and quality service are the best ways to keep customers engaged.