Your customers are everything to your business, and obviously, without them, you would have no business. Seeing how customer service and satisfaction is essential, the importance of great customer engagement is also vital to your success.
What does engaging the customer mean?
Customer engagement is when a customer interacts directly with a brand; it’s the key to creating potential lasting customers. Some of these mediums might include:
- Social media, such as Facebook pages, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter – basically a page that has pertinent information regarding your product or service, including promotional campaigns, “Try it and see” coupons for new products, sales ads, product information, and/or detailed services
- In-store demonstrations that might include taster’s tables, a type of “Blue Light Special” that K-Mart used to do to bring customers to a particular department, whether it’s a ten-minute sale on a popular item or a discount on a new item
- Mobile devices – with the advent of apps, a company can target consumer’s IPhones, IPads, or other mobile devices for a more unique, personalized customer experience
- Targeted campaigns geared towards the customer’s location, number of visits online, previous buying experience, and customer feedback
- Direct interaction with the customer that includes, face-to-face contact, phone interaction, or Skype and IM (instant messaging).
Why should I engage the customer?
Having contact with your customer through the above venues is crucial to knowing what your customer wants, when they need it, and where they need it. The importance of great customer engagement can’t be emphasized enough, as it builds and fosters:
- Commitment to excellent service
- Better communication
- Healthy customer relationships
- Valuable customer knowledge
- Customer loyalty
Engaging the customer is also essential in the beginning of a company’s growth. Word of mouth spreads like wildfire when it comes to a customer’s experience. If there are concerns, questions or other issues, ensure your customers have a face in which to contact. If you’re online, have instant messaging so a customer is helped immediately.
Other ways to engage the customer
Besides the obvious strategic tools, you can engage your customers by doing some unique things, which might include a “Customer Appreciation Day,” where you take a day and serve your customers with a barbecue or potluck picnic, with employees providing the food; this allows your customers to meet directly with you. Another way the importance of great customer engagement comes into play is by a day of service. This is a great way for your community to get know you and to help out those in need.
Creating extra perks for loyal customers is another good way to engage your customers. A VIP card that can be used for discounts, sales, new product try-outs, or other services will go a long way to keeping customers engaged.