There are many different factors that contribute to business success or failure, including, of course, the strength and application of your ideas. And then there’s the matter of your customers. If you can successfully engage with your customers, then you’ll find that it’s much easier to build long-term success. After all, if you have people who feel close to your business, then they’ll be more likely to use your service again in the future. It’s always worth remembering that it’s much easier to retain the support of your current customers, rather than continually having to win new customers.
In this blog, we’re going to take a look at a few ways that you can engage with your customers on a deeper level.
Do It For Them
You’ll have started your business because it’s something that you wanted to do for yourself, but once you’ve got things started and have begun to find some success, then you’ll want to change your approach. You won’t be doing it for yourself; you’ll be doing it for your customers. Having this type of mindset can help you when it comes to making the decisions you need to make for your business. While there will, of course, be space to do what you want to do for your company (you can’t follow your customers’ lead all the time), this approach will help you to see things from your customers’ perspective.
Create a Pleasant Experience
While your primary offering will be the products and services that you provide for your customers, those things shouldn’t be the only thing that you give your customers. You’ll also want to ensure that they have a positive overall experience. This benefits your business and your customers on multiple levels. First, it just makes everything smoother for them — and this will help them to enjoy their interaction with your business. Second, it shows that you care about their experience. Knowing that a person or company genuinely wants you to have a positive experience can make a big difference.
Limit Annoying Aspects
One of the issues that many businesses face is that, well, while they can do a lot of positive things, customers seem to remember the negative aspects more. It seems like you can do plenty of things well, yet still annoy your customers. So what’s the solution for this? It’s simple — limit the annoying aspects. There are a few things that frustrate customers, especially when it comes to your digital presence. For example, if you have a website that has too many pop-ups or you have autoplay videos with sound, then you can’t be too surprised if your customers become a little annoyed with you.
Ask For Feedback
Some companies think that they should just shout whatever they want into the world, and hope that the customers pick up the message. But this is the wrong approach. It’s a two-way relationship; it should be a conversation. If you haven’t yet asked your customers for feedback, then now’s the time. It’s a simple enough process, yet it can have a profoundly positive impact on the relationship with your customers. This is for two reasons. First, people just generally like to be asked for their opinion, and especially so if the person acts on their opinion. Second, it’ll help to create an even more positive experience for your customers moving forward. After all, it’s much easier to create a positive experience for your customers if you know exactly what they want.
It’s all about trust. If that doesn’t exist, then there’s not all that much you can expect from customer engagement: it just won’t exist. While there are plenty of things you can do to create trust with your customers when things are going well, the real test will occur when there’s a problem. As much as you’d like to think that you’ll never make mistakes, that’s just not realistic. Things will go wrong, and that’s not a big problem — the important thing is how you respond to these mistakes. If you do everything within your power to correct an issue and make sure your customer is happy, then you’ll keep the close relationship with your customers intact.
Treat Them Well
If there’s one thing that annoys customers, it’s seeing that the company treats potential customers better than they do their loyal customers. And it’s not hard to see why. Wouldn’t it annoy you if you saw a friend behave much nicer to someone they’d just met than they did to you, who they’ve known for years? While you will, of course, want to work to bring new customers on board, remember that it’s much easier (and cheaper) to retain the support of your existing customers.
So make sure that you’re treating them well. There are many ways that you can do this. The first is to offer them exclusive discounts and other promotions, and also to include them in any promotions that you’re offering to new customers. Another good method is to have a loyalty rewards program so that your customers can receive discounts if they continue to purchase. Get some cards printed and send them to your repeat customers. It’ll show that you care about the relationship that you’re building with them, and that you’re happy to reward them for their continued loyalty.
Make Yourself Available
As we said, most companies only reach out to their customers when they have something to offer or sell. That’s the terms of the conversation that the business wants. However, the customer wants something else — they want to be able to get in contact with your company when they need to chat with you. One of the best ways to improve your engagement with your customers is to make yourself available. You can do this by listing your phone number, email address, and social media channels on your website. And of course, you’ll also need to monitor them too. There really is something satisfying about knowing that you can call up a company and actually get through to someone at the first time of asking.
Continue Moving Forward
Your customer’s trust isn’t something that you can define once and then enjoy for years on end. It’s something that has to be continually proven. One of the best ways to do this is to continue moving forward. That is to say, you should carry on innovating and improving your products and services. Your customers may feel close to you, but they won’t stick around for that reason alone. They’ll need to know that you’re still at the top of your game. Make sure you don’t rest on your laurels!
Hosting Events and Competitions
Most interactions you have with your customers will be brief. Indeed, the interaction may be entirely digital. You’ll communicate with them, sure, but in a distant way. One way to increase the closeness between you and your customers is to look at hosting an event. The type of event this will be will depend on various factors, such as what type of business you have, but the general theme will be the same: it’s a fun way to get to know your customers better (and to show them a good time). As well as events, you can consider competitions, which are also fun. This can be something like rewarding one of your social media followers with a prize.
Want to go the extra mile when it comes to customer engagement? Then look at reaching out even when you have nothing specific to offer. In most cases, you’ll only hear from a company when they have something to sell you, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you provide your customers with a service or a product, you can reach out periodically to ensure that they’re still happy with what they’ve bought. It’s immensely refreshing to hear from a business without them wanting to sell you something else. It’ll show that you really care about the customer experience.
Finally, remember that there’s one thing that’s crucial when it comes to customer engagement, and that’s sincerity. It’s easy to act in a non-genuine way for a while, but at some point, your customers will see through you. On the other hand, if you’re genuine in what you do and have passion for your business, then that’s something that your customers will continue to notice as they get closer to your business. It’ll allow them to appreciate your company on a deeper level. This isn’t something that you can fake; it has to come from within.
There are many benefits to connecting and engaging with your customers. Indeed, it’s something that benefits everyone, both your business and your customers. It’s not something that can happen overnight, however. You’ll need to take a slow and concentrated approach towards building this relationship. But it’s worthwhile doing so. Years down the line, you’ll find that you have a loyal crop of customers who form the backbone of your success.