Customer engagement helps in understanding how your customers are feeling and thinking about your brand. If they are engaged then mostly they will end up buying it too.
For business, customers play an important role and without them, there will be no sales. And if no sales, then your business will fail too.
Customer engagement is not just about the interactions but it focuses on building an emotional connection and to encourage the customers to buy. Also continues to foster the emotions for the future too,
The main target of customer engagement is to create value instead of generating revenue. If your customer is loyal to your brand, there will be growth in sales and money flow.
5 Steps For Creating Customer Engagement Strategy To Boost Your Small Business
Company goals depend on what you are aiming for. Do you want brand loyalty? Better brand awareness? Or generate more revenue?
Well where it depends on your aim and customer base, a small business should focus on increasing their customer engagement and for that here are the 5 important steps to follow-
Step 1 – Collect Information & Data
The very first step and important one is to have data about your customers. Get more information and analyze every single thing.
The more you know, the better you can make the customer engagement strategy.
Get information and analyze to know how to interact and improve the engagement. This will help you in getting more insight into what your customers like, dislike, or look for.
By collecting data, you can make your strategy in a better way. Also, it can help you in deciding what to offer and how to make your customer satisfied
Collecting data from any interaction is helpful for small businesses. You can get information from emails, customer services, advertising, social media, and point of purchase system.
According to research, 21% of customers are likely to buy from companies that can connect via social media.
Step 2 – Establish Your Connection
Engaging your customer is one way but connecting with them helps you in making it stronger and loyal to you.
Genuinely engaged customers are good for business as they are interested in buying and doing promotions for you.
Such customers are engaged on an emotional level with the brand. Thus they stay for a longer period and are forgiving in nature.
To establish your connection with your customers on an emotional level which can be meaningful, you are going to need more than a price and products.
To follow how you can establish such a connection, here are some points for you –
Determine your goals and core, keep these points as firm as it can be. Stick with your values as customers attract to align with such values.
It also helps the customer to have something on which they can feel the product.
Keep it authentic as your customer can tell when you are just staying and when you truly believe. Give a clear message about what your value is about without any confusion and hesitance.
For some, maybe your values are something they dislike but some will agree and stand by your side. It gives you more engaged and emotionally connected customers.
You can also keep your beliefs political and controversial, It depends, or you can keep it lighthearted. Keep it fun and something that your customers can connect with.
Step 3- Get The Best From Your Social Media
In today’s marketing industry, social media is a great advantage especially if it’s about small businesses. It’s a powerful tool for getting more customer engagement.
Ons social media, you can get lots of opportunities and options for connecting with your customers and brand.
It’s a straightforward, hassle-free, and clear way of getting your customers engaged. According to a report submitted by Sprout Social, social media is used by more than 45% of consumers in case of questions, queries, or doubts.
Social media whereas give you a platform to connect but also lets you personalize your message depending on your customers.
With the data collections, you can get an idea about what your customer’s habits are and how you can connect with them for more customer engagement.
To choose the right social media, you need to understand which one your customer prefers and suitable for your brand. When you choose it, start making content based on that.
Step 4- Focus On Prioritizing The Customer Services
97% of customers change their buying patterns if they are not satisfied with the customer services.
It means no matter how amazing the product you are selling if your customer service is poor you can end up losing your audience as well as image in the market.
Having friendly and helpful customer services boost the numbers inc customer engagement. The customer feels satisfied with their experience too.
Focus on improving communication along with the staff. Keep connecting with you hassle-free, no matter what medium you are using. It can be via emails, calls, messages, etc.
Show the human side of your brand. Help your customer to believe that you are more than just a company selling its product. It will keep the interaction positive as well.
Step 5- Show Your Sincerity & Be Authentic
When it comes to whom brand to support, 86% of customers look for authenticity and sincerity of the company. More than 90% of millennials prefer genuine brands over anything.
To show your brand is authentic, you first need to discover the original voice of yours. Create the persona your brand is all about and keep it as authentic and genuine you can.
Try to add the values that you believe and be honest with what you are looking for. The company should be clear about the reason why they exist.
Keep your process transparent and honest. The customers need the reasons to believe you are not the same as other brands who are just looking for a way to earn profits.
Follow The Best Strategies For Boosting Customer Engagement
Running a small business mostly focuses on bringing new customers. Well, it’s important but you also need to hold onto the customers you have with you.
And here is when you require customer engagement to build a relationship and connect with them.
Follow these strategies to make sure you are taking the right steps toward the goal you are aiming for.
Run a‘ Tag A Friend’ Contest
Social media is one of the strange ways of engaging with your audience. Well, these days lots of companies are opting for running a contest for their customers.
One of the famous contests is the ‘ Tag A Friend’ post where you can ask your customers to tag anyone they know for giveaways or offers.
You can simply post a photo on Instagram or Facebook with the prize you are distributing at the end.
You can use the most popular product so the customers get to buy again and again. Ask the visitors to tag their friends in the comment section for entering the contest and winning a prize.
Make sure you are clear about the contest rules, time, and date.
Pro Tip– Get a goal for what number you are planning to run the contest. Also, give yourself a deadline of a week or days. Keep the content fresh and not be over-ambitious.
Shout Out For Reviews
Use the good reviews you received on google or yelp. Screenshot it and share it on your social media. Send a thank you message and tag the person for sharing the kind review.
With this, you are interacting with the customers but also you are encouraging more customers to share their reviews.
Shout out to the people who are encouraging you with their words. Share with others so the person feels good about leaving a review. It will increase the chances of getting more good reviews in the future too.
Go With Crowdsourcing
For customer engagement, crowdsourcing is one of the traditional and effective ways.
Crowdsourcing is a way of getting more data about your visitors through different platforms. It can be externally, internally, or both. The idea behind this is to get solutions for solving and doing tasks to increase customer engagement.
To do that, you can arrange voting on your site. Ask your customers or visitors to participate and vote according to their experience.
You can add surveys based on visitors’ interests. You can share your product development strategies and ask your visitors to share their opinions, tips, and ideas.
Keep the length of the process a little bit more than for weeks, months, and quarters. It will help your customer feel confident, strong, and smart.
You can invite them to the sales funnel, send them an email subscription, and sign up. It can help get customer engagement on your sites.
Check On Old & Disconnected Customers
Not all customers are vocal about their thoughts. Some of them can feel shy and that’s why you are disconnected from them.
Send them text or emails thanking them for their contribution and staying with your brand. Also, ask if they require any kind of change or want to share opinions with you.
Approach them if they are not approaching you. Make sure you are not forcing so they don’t simply leave the brand.
Try with a simple text for thanking them or you can email. You can encourage them for the future and also share the feedback for helping the business to make better services for them.
Focus On Building Your Reputation
For sales and getting more conversion, your brand reputation is important. When it comes to customers related to B2C and B2B, they are usually skeptical.
People think that for a business, the customer is nothing more than a way of gaining profit. The company just want to sell their products.
But some companies like Apple & Microsoft have a different image in the market. The point is, they built and worked years to create the reputations so people believe them.
Small businesses can take an impression from these brands to build their image in the market too. When you have a reputation, your customer looks forward to knowing what you are doing.
To know what your customers think about your brand, you can use social media and get feedback on how your customer is reacting.
Share about you with your customers. Tell them why you started the company, what inspires you, and how the brand formed. People connect with emotion, inspiring, and genuine stories.
Make sure you are not just networking but also helping your customers and people. Share what you know and help more people so you can build trust.
Not always pitch for purchase, answer the questions of others with genuine benefits that they can get from your services.
For any brand, the reputation can be a drastic change depending on how well the company will do. If you successfully build a reputation and trust, your customers will feel more loyal and it will boost customer engagement too.
Reward The Engaged Audience
If you are not paying attention to what you have, chances you end up losing that too. So don’t just focus on building engagement with the people.
Pay your attention to those who are already engaged with the brand. Reward them with small gifts, offers, or deals exclusively. This will make your customer feel happy and encouraged.
With that, your customers will market your brand on your behalf. These days people share their thoughts even if it’s about parsing some company for their good work. It will boost customer engagement.
Get More Channels For Engagement
Being agile is the best way to keep your customer’s engagement boost up every time. Reaching to different options and trying more channels where you can get connected with your customers offers more opportunities for better customer engagement.
Be responsive, ready to assist as well as gracious, it will keep you connected with customers. However, the process is time-consuming but the results are in your favor.
Get tools for responding to emails, messages, or phone calls. The better ways you are offering and the more channels you are getting for increasing customer engagement.
Keep Your Post Edgy
Social Media is a great platform to attract customers and keep them engaged. Posting your post can help in getting more likes and shares.
Well, the correct way of presenting your post can create more traffic. But to keep the conversation rate high, you need to keep it edgy for your customers.
Keep your post title something that can be interesting and attractive. Don’t choose generic titles that will make your custom bored before they even try.
To attract eyes, use more images that are relatable and catchy. People stop even for seconds when they see something interesting.
Make sure your landing page has a short and easy to visit URL. Your audience won’t have much time to wait until the page fully gets loaded for them.
Also to attract more people, use different platforms on social media. Customize your content depending on where you are posting it and keeping those users in mind.
Get Your Fan Club
You may have fans who are always excited and happy about your products and brands. Give them a platform where they can come together so they can create this happy environment as well as an image for your brand.
Get more ways to add people and in convincing them as brand ambassadors. You can also create a VIP customer club for sharing your thankful message. Appreciate their efforts and support.
With the VIP customer club, they can get early access to the products or services you are about to introduce. It can help you in flattering them and making them vocal about sharing good opinions about you.
Attend Feedbacks Instead of Ignoring Them
Feedbacks are the one way to get how your customers are reacting to your services or product. Without feedback, you might not know how and where to improve.
Since the feedbacks are important for your small business then why not act on it. It will make your customer feel valued and make your company a good listener.
Listening is one of the best ways for getting more engagement along with improving your brand. It will build trust and people will share more of their opinions.
Start the surveys and polls. It will help you in getting more engagement along with feedback. Once you are taken action, make sure to share it with your audience.
Also if it’s possible, tag the person who shared the feedback. It will help your image to look good in the market and your audience would like to connect more with you.
Offer Real-Time Benefits To Your Customers
To keep your customers in a loop, offer something to them every time. Don’t let them go empty-handed.
A customer coming back to your website to enter the sales funnel is crucial but the conversion rate of the average landing page is 2.35%.
To get the best out of your conversion rate, you make sure that the customer is completely satisfied and everyone is getting something when they decide to leave the page.
Some of the ideas you can add are –
- Use the navigation to help your customer to track the contents according to that.
- Use Pop-ups for thanking them and asking for a visit again.
- Offer tips, ebooks, checklist, etc to make the visit worth it,
Take Help From Gamification
Gamification is one of the options that you can use for motivating your audience. It can help you in influencing your customer and boost engagement for your brand.
The aim of using gamification for your small business is to make your customer loyalty program interesting and fun. The more fun is to participate, the better customer will feel about joining.
It’s a process of embedding games in the business to attract more people as well as to increase customer engagement.
The games are designed for data-driven techniques so the players can stay engaged. It also applied for nongamers for taking the real scenario to get more ideas about products.
The best way to use gamification is right after your audience signed up. Once they do, use it as a refer and host a contest for grabbing more attention.
Gamification is not just about creating games and it doesn’t add anything new.
The use of a tool is to modify the already existing process to make it better in understanding and deeper in terms of customer satisfaction, sales, and ROI.
How To Track Your Customer Engagement For Small Business?
After applying the strategies, you also need to track if it’s working or not. To get the record of how your customer engagement is going, track it to get the final result.
However it can be tricky but you can do it, follow these points to track your customer engagement
More Positive Reviews
One of the ways of tracking if your customers are engaged or not is to check the reviews. Engagement customers due to your fast response, good product, and brand. They likely share their views on review sites.
If they are giving more positive reviews, you can get an idea about how engaged they are with your brand. Keep an eye on the rates in postie reviews.
Check the sites where they can share the reviews. It can include Facebook, Yelp, and Google.
More Social Interactions
Well if your customers are engaged, they will be following you and your every move that you are doing on social media.
One of the tracking methods is to see how they are reacting to your social media post and pages. If they are picking what you are offering, it means you have their attention.
Also, you can track the comments, likes, and shares on social media to know how well they are responding. Get the tracking of pages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
More Satisfied Customers
Satisfied Customers are surely the engaged customers but how are you going to measure them?
That’s where you need customer surveys. With short and simple surveys, you can get if they are engaged or not. You can be sent once or twice in a year, make sure not to overdo it.
Ask about how much satisfied with your customer services and overall performance. Keep one question similar to your all surveys. Add why they would like to recommend it to you.
It will help you in knowing the overall measurement of your engaged customers. Keep track of their response.
Your customer is taking some time out from their schedule to fill the surveys, this is the best way to know that they are engaged with the brand.
A customer engaged can also provide you good deals and more business. If you are getting both, then you are having a good customer engagement too.
More engaged customers mean they would share your business and this word of mouth can get you more referees which leads to better business.
Mistakes That Can Affect Your Customer Engagement & How To Avoid Them?
Having customer engagement means you have the attention of the people who are willing to try your products and are satisfied with the services so far.
But do you know, you can lose the engagement if you don’t pay attention? Customer engagement requires lots of attention and the right strategies
Well, customer engagement is not that complicated. You just need to keep them interacting with your brand and add value to their relationship to keep it strong.
To make sure you are going in the right direction, here are some major mistakes that you should be avoided for better customer engagement.
You Are Not Connecting With Your Guest Personally
Not knowing your audience gives a cold and distant feeling to your buyers. Imagine going to a store and the person greets you with your name. The warm feeling of being acknowledged makes a big difference in how your customer will think about you.
Every customer wants to feel like they are important. People don’t just look for the products and services, they also pay attention to how the company is behaving towards them.
If they are treated properly they would like to visit the store more and most of the time they let small mistakes slide.
Not connecting with your guest personally can give you a huge disadvantage of not letting your audience engage with you as well.
To connect with them, you can send personal welcome emails and offer discounts for first buying. Also, you can use their name so you can give good and warm feelings to your customer.
Use the CRM for knowing what your audience likes and dislikes. With this, you can recommend things according to that.
Connecting To You And Staff Is Not Easy
Customers hate when they can’t communicate with customer services. No one wants to wait and even if there is some issue, you should notify them. Never left them hanging and waiting for your response back.
It’s frustrating and for lots of customers disrespecting too. Your customer service should be focused on helping your customers. Attend them quickly as soon it’s possible. Give them humans to talk to and show them you care about their worries too.
There is a technology like chatbots etc but attend your customer queries as fast you can. They look for a company that can share feelings like sincerity, empathy, and reassurance.
You Are Not Paying Attention To Feedbacks
For a small business, feedback is the best way to know how they are working and what customers are thinking about them.
If you are not gathering those important feedbacks and responses, you might be losing the chance of improving yourself. Especially it will show the impact on your customer engagement.
Don’t just ask about their shopping experiences, ask about where you need to improve, and what else they would like to see in your services as well as products.
According to studies, 65% of customers are devoted to a brand. So the feedback won’t help that much in this case.
You can include points like –
- Employee Engagement
- Loyalty & Retentions
- Customer Satisfaction
- Operations & Overall Experience
You Are Not Improving The Emotional Connection
The personal touch helps in improving the connection between your brand and companies. Apart from this, having a personal connection allows you to understand what your customer wants.
It helps in building a loyal customer base to promote your brand and improve the growth as well. It will help in engaging more customers as well.
Customers which have more motions connected to your brand will likely buy more products. With that, they will help you in promoting as well.
Your Customer Is Working Too Hard
Customers don’t support working too much for buying what they want. If you are offering them the service with ease, they will like to buy it from you again and again.
Also visiting your site in connection with customer staff, if they have to wait and follow too many procedures, they will likely drop the whole idea of shopping with you.
Instead of that make them feel at ease and offer services so they can have a smooth customer experience.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)
Customer engagement means your customer is connecting with a brand on an emotional level which leads to more purchase, promotion, and loyalty.
Every small business needs strong customer engagement to get more sales. And also for growth and brand establishment, customer engagement is crucial.
To keep your customer engaged, build a community, and keep the conversation going. Offer what your customer is looking for and keep them inspired. Add the entertainment value to keep them coming back to your brand.
According to Gallap’s analysis, highly engaged customers are profitable and loyal as compared to others. They promote what they are buying and also generate more leads to the brand.
To engage more customers, ask questions, and provide educational content. Offer human connection, personalize the experiences, and keep the customers in a loop.
For business, customers play an important role and without them, there will be no sales. And if no sales, then your business will fail too.
Customer engagement is not just about the interactions but it focuses on building an emotional connection and to encourage the customers to buy. Also continues to foster the emotions for the future too,The main target of customer engagement is to create value instead of generating revenue.
If your customer is loyal to your brand, there will be growth in sales and money flow.