How to Ramp up Customer Engagement to Boost Business
Staying connected and actively communicating is intrinsic to human nature — now more than ever before.
Ever since COVID-19 has gripped the world, the need, value and essence of being connected and actively communicating have grown manifolds. Be it in our personal or professional life, people and businesses across the globe are ramping up communication through multiple customer engagement channels, and across platforms.
While some brands have come up with inspiring communication styles, others are still working on it. But what remains common across all, is the understanding that this is the need of the hour.
But, the question is, why stop here?
Great customer engagement is the foundation for building long term relationships, that is fostered by trust, reliability, brand familiarity and open communication.
These unusual times call for extensive communication plans with customers and clients, but why stop this healthy communication even when normalcy restores? Take this as a learning phase, a time to reassess your business’s communication strategies and work towards ramping up customer engagement — now, and from now on!
The Need To Boost Customer Engagement
If you find yourself asking, “Why do I need to put time, effort, and resources to build customer engagement?”, think about this:
While reaching out to your customers on need-basis, is important, it’s surely not enough. You may send an email to confirm orders, give shipment details, notify about ongoing promotions, or notify about change in business operations. This communication does not classify as engaging with your customers. These are mechanical, dry, and often automated communications that evoke no human connection or inspire healthy communication.
Customer engagement, on the other hand, aims at showing the human side of your business. The side that cares for the customer’s opinions, needs, expectations and wants to hear from them. Healthy customer engagement inspires a two-way dialogue. The benefits of customer engagement include:
- Customers stay updated about your business
- Your business receives first-hand information, opinions, and thoughts of customers
- Allows you to know needs, demands, expectations of customers, and work on them
- Customers know you’re listening, thus build more trust and loyalty for your business
In a nutshell, customer engagement is a two-way street that benefits both you and your customers. You can deliver customer excellence, while customers can rely on you for a delightful experience of doing business with you.
It simply translates to:
More Customer Engagement = More Business for you
How to Ramp Up Customer Engagement
Now that we’ve understood the need to boost customer engagement, let’s dive deeper into how you can ramp it up. Looking at how customers look for, engage with and interact with businesses today, there are two customer engagement channels you need to invest your time, money and resources in:
- Social Media Platforms
Your customer’s inbox is buzzing with emails, and you need to make an impact and stand out in the crowd. Sending out personalized email communication, that is relevant to your customers will get noticed, and keep your brand email top-of-mind. This includes promotional emails that notify customers about ongoing sales and offers, as well as tailor-made communication that engages and interacts with them.
Note: Never buy email lists, or you’ll risk being marked as spam. Always work towards organically building your email list to gain maximum benefits.
Social Media Platforms:
Social media platforms have become the go-to place for customers to look for new businesses, interact with businesses, refer businesses, and engage with businesses. Depending on your business, choose the platforms that work best for you, and create a healthy strategy that allows people to engage with you, and gives them a chance to connect with you.
Plan. Innovate. Create
Alright, we’re all set to start building a plan to boost customer engagement, and in turn, your business. Now that we know that Emails and Social Media Platforms are the most effective customer engagement channels to build this plan, let’s look at what are the different types of communications we can build.
- Customer Stories
Highlight and talk about your business’s most valued asset — your customers. Customer Stories are a great way to showcase that your business values customers and at the same time encourage other customers to share their stories with you. Depending on the nature of your business, you could showcase how your customers are benefitting from your business.
For example, if a customer buys a domain name from BigRock, and their online presence helps them do more business, they become a success story to share. This will inspire others to buy their domain names and build their web presence. You can share customer stories via both email and social media.
- Feedback and Surveys
Getting first-hand information from your customers is the best way to make your business strategies stronger. Create feedback and survey forms, and request your customers to take them. First, decide what information you are seeking, and accordingly build your forms. This also allows you to understand pain points, demands and expectations of your customers. However, the most important thing to remember is to not only receive feedback and survey results but also take the result into consideration, so your customers know you value their opinion.
For example, if you are an ice cream store, and planning a special summer menu, you could build a survey form to ask your customers what flavours they would want to see on the menu. Once you have the results, you can call it the ‘Customer Special Flavor’ and thank your customers for their opinion.
- Customer Contributions
Encourage your customers to submit valuable content. You can create an email and social media post, asking customers to share their stories. This could be in the form of blogs, pictures, testimonials, stories, designs or other ways that work for your business. This gives your customers a platform to display your work, and also builds your credibility amongst existing as well as potential customers.
For example, say you have a business that offers interior designing services. You could ask customers to share their interior designing skills through pictures of their own homes, share stories about their interior design journeys, or even share DIY design ideas.
Who doesn’t love a fun contest? Your customers will! Whether or not there is a reward at the end of the contest, you can create contests to boost brand engagement and present a fun and interactive side of your business. Adding a reward at the end will certainly boost participation, however, you can create a healthy mix of contents with and without rewards.
For example, let’s assume you run a photography business. Create a contest that invites people to participate in a photo-sharing contest. You can then create a poll for people to choose the best submissions. The reward could be as simple as featuring the winner’s picture on your social media platform or extending a free photography class to the winner. You could give a theme like ‘nature’, ‘abstract’, ‘black and white’, or let people pick their themes.
- Product Updates and Promotions
Use emails and social media platforms to boost brand engagement by notifying customers about upcoming and ongoing sales and promotions. You can also communicate about product updates, upcoming events, or even new products that you may soon be launching. It helps build excitement, grabs customer attention, and promises a better response for your business.
For example, say you’re adding a new line of men’s fashion wear to your apparels e-commerce store. Send out notifications to let your customers know about the upcoming line, what’s it all about, and what they can expect.
- Discussions and Forums
To boost customer engagement, sometimes all you need to do is provide a platform that allows customers to talk to one another, while you can listen and learn more about what they have to say. Social media platforms allow you to create discussion boards and forums where people can come and share their expectations, thoughts and opinions. You can get deeper insight from these to better build and grow your business.
For example, if you’re a business that offers web designing services, create a forum encouraging people to share the problems they face with their web design, and what solutions they are looking for. This will help you offer better services that solve common problems faced by existing and potential customers.
Connect, Communicate & Grow
While COVID-19 has forced us to constantly keep communicating and staying connected with our customers, keep up the efforts even after this pandemic ends. Engaging with your customers helps you grow your business while ensuring complete customer satisfaction.
Using customer engagement channels for effective communication, like email and social media, allows you to connect to your customers at a personal level and let them know that you’re listening, and taking the right measures to offer excellence. Get creative with your communication!
Stop, reassess and reinvent your customer engagement strategies to build a flourishing network of customers that rely on you, recognize your brand, and trust you to deliver the best.
Do you have questions or suggestions? Please share in the comments. Let’s keep the conversation going!
Read more Learning and Resources blogs that help you boost brand engagement and grow your business.