What Is Customer Engagement?
Customer engagement is a sweeping term describing every element of a relationship built between a customer and a business, including everything from email and phone calls to your social media, eCommerce and marketing strategy. Great customer engagement requires dedication to a proven customer engagement strategy, something you build through careful analysis of your target audience, their preferences and their needs.
Does My Small Business Need a Customer Engagement Strategy?
Customer engagement doesn’t need to cost a thing! It’s all about how you reach out to customers, and the options you give them to interact with you and your product in a positive way. Sure, hiring a reputable marketing firm or professional social media influencer will often deliver results, but the small business often doesn’t have the budget to launch these, sometimes pricey, strategies. Let’s explore a few ways small businesses are creating solid customer engagement strategies, with little or no initial cost!
How to Build a Solid Customer Engagement Strategy
1. Making Customers Happy
Giving customers rewards and incentives is a great way to engage customers with positive motivators and feel-good perks. Rewarding engagement by running a “tag a friend” social media campaign, highlighting positive customer reviews in your marketing material, and following up on all customer feedback, negative and positive, are fast and easy ways to show your customers that they matter, and they are heard. Consider creating a reward system based on both spending and engagement, to show existing customers gratitude for patronizing your business, and show new customers the level of service and appreciation they can expect if they work with your small business.
2. Engage With Customers Via Mobile Apps
Optimizing your site and applications for mobile use is an important element of customer engagement. Of the 7.9 billion people across the globe, a full 6.4 billion, or over 80% of them own and use a smartphone. With mobile saturation and usage expected to surpass 7.5 billion by 2026, it’s important to meet your customers where they feel the most comfortable. If your business hasn’t developed an app yet, consider creating one including your customers most valued functions and elements, and ensure your website is optimized for mobile use.
3. Provide Real-Time Customer Benefits
Human bodies are proven to release a hit of dopamine when they encounter things like “likes” and “shares” on social media. We all love feeling that we are appreciated, and the best way to show customers your appreciation for their loyalty, is to offer real-time benefits. Offering benefits can be as simple as making your shipping costs transparent using tools like a USPS Shipping Calculator. Every step of the purchase process should be intuitive and free of ambiguity, including the final important step of shipping and receiving the product.
4. Engage Customers with In-Product Messaging
Communication with customers before or after a purchase is fantastic, but imagine the benefit of offering the opportunity to ask questions and get tailor-made answers in real-time with in-product messaging. Many small businesses employ an email, mobile or social media strategy to notify customers of any new products, functions or company offerings. Implementing an AI-powered chatbot is another easy way to ensure 24/7 customer engagement, and answer frequently asked questions fast. Today’s chatbots are becoming increasingly more natural and can be programmed (depending on the quality of your platform) to both provide essential information and guide the customer through the purchase process quickly and easily. There is chatbot software for every budget, and more are being created daily. Take a look at the market and simply choose the right software and functions for your budget!
5. Offer Personalization
Personalization is proven to be both engaging and exciting and engaging for customers, and it doesn’t need to cost a cent! Personalization can be as easy as using a customer’s first name in email marketing communication or running a local or location-based ad. For those with a bigger budget, consider deploying machine learning or AI-assisted to offer personalized ads to a local area. For example, if a sporting supply company wants to reach customers in a cold region or country with a large concentration of outdoor sports enthusiasts, market warmer clothing and cold weather gear to only this concentrated area while running ads for more warm-weather products in warmer areas.
Customer engagement is both personally and professionally rewarding, allowing you to get up-close and personal with customers you may never meet in person. Employing a great customer service strategy in 2021 will be one of the most important steps you take toward reaching new markets, engaging new customers and building a business based on longevity and mutual respect. Implement these customer engagement strategies today, and watch your profits soar!