One of the many challenges small business owners face is getting customers to interact with their businesses. Many business owners feel like they’re out of touch with their customers, but the good news is that sometimes simple tweaks can make a big difference in customer engagement. We’ve compiled 7 strategies to help you improve customer engagement for your business.
What is Customer Engagement?
Customer engagement is the interaction between a customer and a business. When done correctly, engaging with customers has many benefits, including positive online reviews, customer evangelism, and increased sales.
Effective Customer Engagement Strategies
Many business owners don’t know where to start when it comes to engaging customers. It can be intimidating to know that your communication sets the tone for your whole business. But customer engagement doesn’t have to be intimidating. After all, you probably engage with customers all the time! Here are 7 strategies for you to increase customer engagement today.
1. Communicate Industry Information
A proven method for increasing customer engagement for your business is by consistently discussing news, updates, and information in your industry. Customers who are interested in businesses like yours may appreciate being kept in the know about information as it relates to them. By sharing news and updates, you are establishing yourself as a thought leader for information. When customers need help or have questions, they’ll know who to turn to.
You know your customers well—think of the types of information that will be relevant to them. For example, if you work in IT, share information about good passwords rather than complex knowledge. This is the type of information that customers will appreciate. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes—would this information help them out or confuse them more? Share the information that you think is helpful. Customers love to be in-the-loop, so giving them inside access to your business and your industry can persuade them to engage with your business.
2. Provide Useful Content
Some ways you can communicate this information to your customers are by writing useful content for your business blog, creating tutorial videos for frequently asked questions, and sharing your content through your email newsletters and social media accounts. For example, a catering business can provide tips on creating your own appetizers and post videos on Facebook on how to make your most popular dish. This can instantly help increase customer engagement. A fitness studio or personal trainer can write blog posts and share videos on proper form to help clients prevent injury. The benefit of a blog is that the option on what to write on your business’s blog are endless.
3. Host an Event
Another way to increase customer engagement is through events. Host a customer appreciation event or an event encouraging current customers and clients to bring someone new. This will not only engage customers, but it will also extend the reach of your business.
Don’t just host any event—get creative! Partner up with another business for a fun event that’s more than just cheese and crackers. Think of how you can tap into your market by giving people an opportunity to go behind the scenes or do something new. Promote your event through social media, email, and through Facebook events.
4. Reward Customer Loyalty
A benefit of increased customer engagement is customer loyalty. The more you engage and get to know your customers, the more loyal they will be to you. Take things a step further by rewarding loyal customers.
Your loyal customers are the ones who are continually spending money on your business and promoting your brand to their social circles, so why not reward them for their loyalty? Give your best customers a discount for the next time they buy from your business or let them check out your new products before they are open to the public. If you have power referrers, who are people that consistently refer others to your business, reward them with a free gift and thank them for their referrals. It doesn’t take much to make customers feel appreciated, but this engagement with customers can make them fiercely loyal to your business.
5. Ask for Customer Feedback
The easiest way to understand what customers want from your business is to simply ask them. Customers like being heard, so ask them what you can help them with, events they’d like to attend, or the type of content they’d like to read or watch from your business.
For example, if you have a local gym and notice that classes aren’t as full as they used to be, find out why. The best way to start finding out why your classes aren’t full is to ask your customers. This could be because customers want classes later in the evening or on the weekends, or it could be because they want different types of classes. By asking your clients what they’re looking for and giving them what they want, you can gain more customers for your business.
6. Engage with Your Customers
Engaging with customers and responding to their concerns is another way to build customer engagement. If your clients don’t think you are even going to look at their messages, there is a high chance they don’t even bother sending them to you. However, if you consistently respond to every message you receive (both good and bad), customers will feel like they are actually being heard. This means being present on social media and monitoring what people are saying about you. Messaging customers who post opinions of your business on social media and commenting on posts you are tagged in are both great examples of client engagement strategies.
7. Manage Online Reviews
Keep tabs on what customers are saying about your business by managing your reviews on sites such as Yelp and Google. If you don’t have a lot of positive reviews on these sites, work to increase the number of reviews that you have. If you have reviews but they’re not all good, don’t just ignore them. Learn how to deal with negative reviews on Yelp and Google to show customers that you’re listening to them.
These 7 engagement strategies can help you get customers to interact with your business. Customer engagement done correctly can lead to customers sharing their positive experiences, which can bring in a whole new wave of new customers. Do you have any other strategies that you use to increase customer engagement for your business? Let us know in the comments below!