4 Ways to Engage Your Customers
In a modern business environment, finding ways to engage your customers across every touchpoint can make all the difference in business success.
Competition is fierce and digitally savvy consumers expect companies to be highly trusted leaders in their communities. Globally, more than 40% of consumers say they’ll spend $500 or more annually with a business they trust. However, 55% of consumers say they wouldn’t choose a brand again if trust is broken.
The best way to build and maintain that critical trust is by engaging your customers.
1. Start a conversation
Authentic conversations, whether in person or online, offer the chance to engage your customers and help them learn about your brand and products.
With 80% of consumers counting overall experience as important as products themselves when making purchasing decisions, a single conversation can be the positive catalyst toward a conversion. Start fostering conversations in digital environments via chat tools on websites and by responding to comments and direct messages on social media in a timely manner.
To encourage genuine in-person conversations:
• Ask open-ended questions. When chatting virtually or in person, avoid asking simple yes or no questions. Open-ended questions get people talking about themselves and their needs, providing more information you can use to help. Instead of asking, “Can I help you?” for example, ask, “What can I help you with?”
• Pay attention to nonverbal cues. Individuals in any type of customer service or sales role should learn to understand nonverbal cues like body language. Does someone look like they need help, or is the person you’re talking to ready to end the conversation and get on with their day? Accurately responding to these cues improves rapport and trust.
• Create friendly, welcoming environments. Make it easy for consumers to approach you or your staff to ask questions. This includes training staff to look approachable and laying out a store to create a welcoming ambiance.
2. Respond to positive and negative reviews
Reading online reviews is a great way to learn more about your customer base and what they expect from your business. Responding to all reviews is a way to engage your customers and help consumers get to know your business and your values.
Around 90% of consumers include reading reviews in their research before making a purchase. When those consumers see responses to reviews, it humanizes a brand and creates transparency that helps drive trust. It also demonstrates customer experience is a priority and allows owners to take steps to ensure it’s positive whenever possible. Whether consumers review on Google, Yelp or another site, consider responding to all reviews.
Here are some tips to start:
• Say thank you. Take a few seconds to say thanks when customers leave positive reviews. Express gratitude for their support and appreciation for being able to serve them.
• Tell your side of the story. Respond gracefully and with tact to negative comments that don’t tell the entire story and leave your business looking bad unnecessarily.
• Offer solutions when appropriate. No one — and no business — is perfect. Accountability is key. Admit when there was a mess up and offer a solution or compensation to the reviewer. Consumers will appreciate the honesty and willingness to make things right.
3. Get active on social media
More than 80% of people who use Instagram say they find new brands and products on the platform. Online product discovery through personal feeds and curated content have become common practice, so having an active social media presence is another way to engage your customers and understand their needs and desires.
As a business — especially a small business — it’s always better to have more ways for customers to communicate with you. Consumers may already be comfortable with the conventions and features of social media, making it more likely they’ll reach out or engage with you there.
Follow these tips to communicate with customers on social media:
• Create engaging content. Think about what questions customers might have and create content that addresses those needs. Consider creating educational posts, such as product information, company policies or FAQs to provide important information in a digestible form. The more relevant and helpful content is, the more likely followers will comment on it or share it.
• Respond to comments and messages. Foster community and two-way communication on pages by answering comments and messages quickly and with helpful, relevant responses.
• Run contests and surveys. Encourage others to get involved in conversations on these pages by running contests, hosting surveys or asking questions.
4. Host an event
Invite people to gatherings or other events to create community and opportunities for getting to know potential customers. Choose an event that caters to both consumer and business needs. Ensure the event provides value to the attendees. A prime example would be a networking event where community members are encouraged to learn more about businesses and what they have to offer them personally and in the community. The value provided can range from cash savings to entertainment.
Finding ways to support customer relationships
Engage your customers by getting to know them. By taking a more proactive approach in your customer interactions, you can best meet their needs and build consumer loyalty. You can also find ways to build customer relationships throughout the entire customer journey, even in the payments process.
1. 2022 Trust Report: Customer trust is earned or broken with every experience – Adobe
2. Mastering the art of customer conversations – Talkative
3. 7 Tips on Getting to Know Your Customers Better – Digital Marketing Institute
4. Why Small Businesses Need a Social Media Presence – Business.com
It's important to know how customer behavior affects the economy and look for ways to adjust strategies as needed.…
Competition is fierce and digitally savvy consumers expect companies to be highly trusted leaders in their communities. Globally, more…
PMS helps you manage patient records, appointments, billing, and more. But what if you could also use your PMS to…