13 Steps to Keep Your Customer Base Engaged Online
Running a business can be challenging because of the many aspects that go with making it successful. It is no longer enough to have top-notch products. Today, you need to engage with your customers and potential clientele. It has become especially challenging to engage with customers with evolving technologies, market needs, and industry trends.
Online Versus Offline Customer Engagement
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Customer engagement is one of the ways to increase customer base for your business. It an act of building an authentic relationship with the customer. It is the relationship a business has with its customer base, which is possible by fostering brand loyalty and awareness through marketing campaigns.
Engagement involves using all types of communication to make a successful sale. If done right, an engaged customer becomes a repeat customer. There are many ways to engage with customers whether through online or offline methods.
Offline customer engagement is more traditional in the sense that businesses deal with customers face-to-face in the form of salespeople. Sales personnel are present in the physical store and can cater to the customers’ needs, answer their queries, and provide immediate assistance.
On the other hand, online customer engagement has no human interaction because everything is done online or through the internet. Online customer engagement uses technology such as bots to deal with customers. Minus the face-to-face interaction, responses to customers’ queries and complaints could take a long time.
With the transformation to online and all things digital, e-commerce, digital automation, social media, and analytics have become essential tools for businesses to engage audiences and gain customer loyalty.
Customer Engagement Strategies
The pandemic has forced businesses to do everything online or digitally. It can be overwhelming, but there are ways to engage with current and potential customers.
- Make an online communityBefore social media, people interacted with each other through forums and group chats. But now that people are all over social media, it is best to use them to your advantage by creating online groups and communities where customers can interact and engage with you and your business.
- Host a webinar
The pandemic has made it impossible for people to get together and be in the same room, forcing businesses to hold online seminars or webinars. Webinars can be effective when it comes to engaging customers because they allow your business to reach a larger target audience compared to holding face-to-face seminars.In addition, webinars are more interactive than traditional seminars because it allows all of your customers to participate by sending comments and questions and have the answers they need sooner.
- Celebrate milestones
In social media, milestones can be anything including reaching a certain number of followers. Like any milestone, these need to be celebrated. One of the ways to celebrate these is to offer discounts or promos to customers. It gives people a reason to engage with your business more.
- Respond to feedback
When using digital platforms, such as social media and live chat customer support, it is important to take the time and effort to respond to your customers’ feedback. Their insights are important for you and your business to grow and be better. Ensure that you have an active online presence to connect with your customers for them to feel important.
- Use multiple channels
When engaging with customers and responding to their feedback, it is important to use more than one channel. Although many people are using social media, not everyone uses the same platform. Use social media to your advantage and every other available platform. Just be consistent with the messaging, make follow-throughs, and ensure timeliness on all the channels you use.
Customer Retention Strategies
Social media is a good tool to engage with customers, but it can also be used to retain their loyalty to your business. Today, it is easier for customers to switch to another brand or to bring their business to the competition after just only one experience. To avoid situations such as these, one has to adopt customer retention strategies for their business.
- Actively listen to your customers
From the point of view of the customer, it can get very frustrating when you want to have the best experience from a certain business but feel that you are not being appreciated.One of the ways to address this is to conduct surveys and to use these to further improve your products and services. Surveys make it easy for businesses to pinpoint problem areas and how to address them.
- Keep customers interested in your businessIt is no longer enough to have a good product because several other businesses may be offering the same product. To stand out from the competition, offer something that they don’t, including online content on how to fully utilize your product, promos and discounts, and better services.
- Reach out to customersSpeaking of better services, the advantage of social media is that it helps businesses connect with their customers. But social media is a two-way street. Aside from getting critiques and reviews from customers, it can also be used to reach out to customers. This can be done through personalized emails, newsletters, art cards, and promos that would make them return and try your product or service again.
- Offer special promos
Special offers are a great way to retain customer loyalty, but more so when the offer is exclusive. Offering exclusive promos makes a customer feel special and valued.
- Communicate using the right channel
As previously mentioned, it pays to have more than one channel to communicate with your customers. But it has to be the right channel.Find out where your customers are most active or where your business receives the most interactions. Some customers respond positively with text messages while some with social media posts. Each customer is different, so using the right channel to communicate with them is key to earn their loyalty and continuing business.
- Reward your best customers
It is only smart to offer a rewards program for customers who keep giving you business. A rewards program could be anything from offering free items to offering exclusive discounts and promos. Incentivize all transactions, including a referral program. When customers recommend your business to other people, you can grow your customer base and business.
- Personalize the customer experience
Hire professionals who are looking for customer service jobs to deliver quality services. Customers hate receiving generic messages. Remember, they want to feel that they are valued, appreciated, and heard. One way of personalizing messages for customers is to greet them on their birthday and offering them something special. This gives the personalized touch that they are looking for in a brand or company. Personalizing your messages or your services makes the whole experience of being your customer even more enjoyable for them.
- Improve on the information given
When it comes to your products, it is not enough to just tell your customers what it is. It also pays to show them how to use your products correctly and how they can fully utilize the said product. When writing about it is not enough, you can produce a video, animation, or graphics about the product and its uses.Some products improve their specs over time, so it is best to upgrade and improve the information you are giving your customers. Do not leave customers in the dark when it comes to product upgrades or uses. Share new information with your customers to add another layer of good customer service.
Technology has always been a great tool to making your business run as smoothly as possible. It offers numerous ways to interact and engage with customers. What’s great about using online tools is that there are free tools and resources available, which can be a big help if you are just starting. Plus, you can use these to your advantage and devise a plan on how to better engage and interact with your customers.
Just remember that not all businesses are the same, so choose a plan that will work best with the kind of business that you have, the products and services you are offering, and the kind of people your customers and target audience you want to reach. Knowing what your customer wants and needs takes time—around the same time it needs to build a strategy that will work best for everyone involved.