Customer engagement is a crucial part of any business. To take your business to the next level and achieve better growth rates, you need to work at engaging your customers and delivering a stellar customer experience.
Growth comes from returning customers — so if you can create and inspire a dedicated and loyal audience, you can guarantee future success.
Here are some of our top customer engagement tips and tricks to take your business to the next level.
1. Make customer engagement your number one priority
Your customers are the ones who determine whether your business succeeds or fails, so it’s vital you put them first.
Analyze everything from your business model to your company culture, and ensure every aspect is customer-centric.
Your customer support team must share your values when it comes to customer experience: during recruitment, look for employees who go the extra mile. Likewise, ensure your teams get enough training, so they’re able to deliver a customer-first service.
2. Guarantee a seamless experience across channels
You have more ways of communicating with your customers than ever before: email, social media, through your website, over the phone, text, post, chatbots, as well as in person.
While this accessibility means you can engage and help more people than ever, it also increases your chances of delivering poor service.
Companies with well-executed omni-channel customer engagement strategies retain many more customers than those with poor ones.
The huge difference is easy to explain: when a customer speaks to your company across a selection of different channels, it’s likely they’ll speak to multiple people. 89% of customers get frustrated as they have to repeat their situation to multiple representatives.
To avoid this, you need a strong omni-channel customer service strategy. It’ll ensure no matter what channel your customer chooses, you already know everything about their issues and previous communication.
3. Personalize your communications
With the amount of data and sophistication of analysis tools now available, personalization is easier and better than ever. It can be a highly profitable route to take too: 83% of retailers with a dedicated budget for personalization exceeded their revenue goals.
Personalized communications make the shopping experience easier for your customers.
From emails to offers, everything you send to them is more relevant, and therefore more likely to convert. When a customer knows you’re sending them useful information, there’s a higher chance they’ll read it.
There are plenty of ways to personalize your communications. It could be as simple as sending a one-off discount for their birthday or highlighting recommendations and deals that relate to their interests and previous purchases.
4. Offer great rewards
Offering rewards to customers who engage with your business is a great way to improve customer engagement.
When you ask customers to leave reviews or to create their own content, you can reward them with discounts and special offers. This doesn’t just improve the likelihood of them carrying out the action, but it also increases the chance of making another sale.
This positive feedback loop keeps your customers engaged.
It also ensures you have plenty of user-generated content and great testimonials, and it gives your customers an incentive to keep shopping and returning to you.
5. Share stories on social media
People want to see candid, real-life shots of your products – and even more so when it involves them. By sharing pictures of your customers, you can show your products in a new light, as well as build rapport.
User-generated content is 50% more trusted than other media; ads that use it get 4x higher click-through rates. Websites and campaigns that contain user-generated content get 29% higher web conversions than those without.
Social media is the best place to collect and share your customers’ stories.
You can build trust with potential customers by showing your products in real-life and highlighting great testimonials. You can also show your appreciation to existing customers by valuing their experiences.
Fashion retailer ASOS does a great job of this: they share photos of customers wearing their clothes, which then inspires others to create their own content.
6. Make your brand human
Let customers get to know you and your team. People are more likely to interact with people they know and like compared to faceless companies. If they know who you are and have built a relationship with you, they’ll come back to shop with you or use your services.
Humanizing your brand is quite simple. You don’t need to make huge changes to get results, which is definitely good news if you’re buying websites on Exchange and rejuvenating them. (If you’re rebranding or redesigning an existing site, then be sure to check out this White Lion post on things to consider when redesigning your website too.)
You just need to inspire trust and consider your audience. Be honest, but also tell them what they’d like to hear if you were in their shoes.
On your website, you can write about your employees using personal tidbits as well as industry experience. Open up on social media and post pictures of your team or around your office. As humans, we love stories — so tell the story of your company, detailing how you started it up and why. What inspired you?
7. Create valuable content
Give your customers useful content and helpful information, and you’ll enhance the customer experience and improve satisfaction.
If people know they can rely on you as somewhere to learn and educate themselves, you’ll be at the forefront of their minds when it comes to making a purchase or utilizing a service.
Use keyword research and data analytics to create your content, as well as listening to what your customers are saying in feedback and on social media. Not only is this useful content great for your customers, but it will also have a profound impact on your SEO.
8. Listen to what your customers say
It may sound obvious, but really listen to what your customers are telling you.
Head to social media and start using social listening tools to understand your audience.
Listening is a powerful tool: you can see what your customers like, but also what they’re unhappy about. And when you know what people don’t like, you can make changes and improve the overall experience.
Finding honest yet negative customer feedback is a useful – if hard to hear – strategy. It’s a great way to drive change in your business and pinpoint exactly where you’re letting customers down.
Engaging with your customers is an effective way to drive growth and take your business to the next level. Create a personality and show the people working behind the scenes to create better relationships with your customers. Ensure every interaction they have with you is seamless, regardless of whether they’re on Facebook or the phone. And in every strategy you implement, make sure they come first.
Patrick Foster is a writer and ecommerce expert from Ecommerce Tips — an industry-leading ecommerce blog that offers practical marketing advice and entrepreneurial insights from the sector. Check out the latest posts on Twitter @myecommercetips.