What is Customer Engagement?
Customer engagement is the strongest indicator of customers’ feelings about your brand. Customer engagement is the means by which a company creates a relationship with its customer base to foster brand loyalty and awareness. It is the process of actively building, nurturing, and managing relationships with customers.
Customer engagement is about encouraging your customers to interact and share in the experiences you create for them as a business and a brand. When executed well, a strong customer engagement strategy will foster brand growth and loyalty.
If people like your brand, they may come back to buy again. If people love your brand, they’ll definitely pick you over competitors. And if people can’t get enough of your brand, they’ll not only be dedicated to you but will spread the word to all their friends, too.
So, in short, engagement is our way of measuring customer sentiment in order to predict future loyalty.
Effective customer engagement strategies primarily consist of advocacy and involvement.
Here are 6 proven and most effective customer engagement strategies that you should be using for your startup
1. Keep in touch with your customers.
As Hartsock rightly said, “Companies must realize that the sales cycle never really ends”. Staying in touch with your customers is important to customer engagement. “If a couple of months go by after the sale and the customer does not know how to use a product, then the return on investment for that client is zero.” It’s not just good enough to acquire new customers, you have to keep in touch with them or you will lose them.
2. Pair requests with rewards to build a positive feedback loop
People like to get something back. Rewards and incentives like coupons or special offers can be paired with requests for reviews or other user-generated content to double the customer engagement impact.
Coupons are a great customer engagement strategy. Not only will customers return to your store to redeem their coupon, but they will also feel a better connection to your brand after leaving a review for it.
3. Give, Give and Give
As a startup the perception a customer gets from seeing you give back to your society and feeling your impact in their immediate environment is immeasurable. When customers know you are engaged in helping their community, they most often become loyal and in some cases feel the obligation to give back themselves, which is a win-win for you, your customers and your community.
4. Expect and work with negative feedbacks
Listen and listen well, in your startup journey, it is the least satisfied customers that matter the most. Look at it this way, when you get negative feedbacks and go back to work on them, you would have a near perfect business, because even the people that are hard to satisfy will be eventually. So, you don’t have to be excited that a customer thinks your business is all glorious, but you probably shouldn’t ignore the feedbacks, work on them like your business depended on those few customers — remember, it’s the customer first.
5. Share Customer Reviews on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin
When you think of engaging content, reviews may not be the first thing that comes to your mind.
But customer reviews are a powerful way to re-engage current customers while also increasing your eCommerce conversion rates from social and raising brand awareness.
Why do people like to interact with customer reviews? For one, people can relate to content written by real customers more than brand messaging. Honest reactions from their friends, family and social connections are more warmly received than generic branded content.
Additionally, adding customer reviews to social channels increases on-site engagement. Adding reviews to Facebook boosts customer’s time on your site by 9.9%. And adding reviews to Twitter boosts time on site by 35%.
6. Speak more often to your customers
If you find yourself an audience full of potential customers—like in a festival, a chamber of commerce meeting or even in rotary club—and you’re a good speaker, you may just be able to engage with your customers.
Speaking engagements are quite necessary and more impactful now more than ever, especially because humans are more disconnected now than ever, we have less and less direct contacts with each other.
Just being in front of a targeted audience as the expert is powerful. Share your company objectives, share insights, share powerful contents with customers that will enable you to engage them and eventually convert them even before they step out of the room.