It is vital to bring in customers. It is crucial to keep those customers. Customer engagement is key.
Engagement is about building genuine relationships with your target audience. Engagement includes all communications you use during the pre-and post-purchase processes. This can lead to confusion if messages are not being delivered in the right way or the tone is misaligned across all channels.
You need to create a customer engagement strategy.
What is customer engagement?
A customer engagement strategy is similar to your growth strategy. It aims to improve customer satisfaction and increase conversions. Engaging customers at their level is the best way to succeed. It’s important to communicate with your customers through the channels that they most use and to reach out proactively.
It is more important than ever to communicate digitally.
7 Online customer engagement strategies
Online communication can present both challenges and benefits. While it is easier to track engagement success, digital communication can be confusing and frustrating. Here are seven strategies that you could use to connect with your audience.
1. Create a group or community
To better interact with customers and build relationships online, there are many great options. Forums have been around for years and are still widely used to connect with customers and allow customers to interact with one another. While forums will probably continue to be popular in the future, many companies now find it more beneficial to use social networks.
These social networks are used by customers every day. Instead of waiting for customers to visit your forum to engage and interact with you, why don’t they join the conversation on the social networks of their choice?
LinkedIn Groups and Facebook Groups are two examples of social networking sites that enable individuals and businesses to create topic or brand communities.
2. Host a webinar
Another innovative and powerful way to engage with customers is via webinars. You can reach large audiences on a platform that’s user-friendly and interactive. A webinar is visually appealing because it features live video, slides, and graphics.
You can also make personal connections with potential and current customers through webinars. The webinar presenter can be passionate, entertaining, or engaging, which is something you won’t be able to do by simply writing a blog post or e-book.
Pro Tip: It’s a great way for your audience to interact with you by allowing them to tweet or email questions and comments during the webinar.
Are you planning to launch an e-book or redesign your website? Reach out to your customers and offer their suggestions or help to co-create something.
Although this is not advisable in every situation, it can help to build a stronger relationship with your customers. Your customers will be proud to have been part of the process and effort that led to your product’s improvement.
Encourage customer participation in a project and reward those who contributed ideas or input. Make it a contest to recognize those who contributed. While you can award the key contributors with a prize or recognition, sometimes just acknowledging their contribution is enough.
4. Celebrate together
Did you just hit 5,000 users? Did your site attract 25,000 visitors last month? Celebrate milestones with your customers when your company achieves them. Let them know that they are a part of your success.
People are passionate about sports because they feel like they are part of their favorite team. They win when the team wins. They win. Instead of saying “The Cowboys won a great match last night,” a true Cowboys fan will say, “We won a great match last night.”
5. Offer exclusive content
You can create content that isn’t available to the public. Content that is so exclusive and special that only members can see it. This area should require users to log in. Although you don’t have to charge users for access, it is a good idea to require them to register to access the content. They will feel valued and part of your exclusive club.
This group may be eligible for special pricing and discounts. You can also create a members-only forum for industry-related topics that allows registered users to discuss these topics. This is a great way of engaging your customers and building unity.
6. Respond to feedback
Engaging with customers successfully means taking the time to listen. You can’t just have a conversation with your customers, you must show them that you value their ideas. This is particularly important when communicating online. Other customers will see the beginning of most of your interactions.
You must ensure that your online presence is maintained and that you respond to negative and positive feedback. You can respond to everything, from reviews and social comments to emails and direct messages. If you make any changes to the site based on customer feedback please mention the person who submitted it.
This is a great way of showing that you are listening to more than the person you are responding to. This idea is further strengthened by acknowledging any changes you make.
7. Multichannel engagement
Flexibility is key when working online with customers. Flexibility doesn’t mean more channels for engagement, but also allowing conversations to flow between them.
Let’s take, for example, a customer question that you post as a comment to your Facebook post. After reviewing the post, you realize you will need to ask for sensitive information to find a solution. Instead of continuing the conversation publicly, send a direct email.
You can also list a phone number or email address to provide customer support. It is important to keep your messaging consistent across platforms. It is important to keep your messaging, follow-up, and timeline consistent across platforms.
This flexibility can be interpreted as positive engagement as long as it doesn’t distract from your conversations.
It takes time to find the right strategy for engagement
There are so many ways that technology today allows you to engage and interact with your customers online. Make the most of all available tools and resources today to help you better interact with customers.
It might take time to find the right strategy and channels for your customers. You must set goals for success and be open to changing when engagement isn’t clicking.
Disclaimer. The opinions and views expressed in this article are the authors Andrew Napolitano.