A business cannot thrive without customers. This is why it is not only important to keep them happy, but to engage with your customers to gauge the success of your product or service. Unhappy customers are less likely to refer your services or return to offer their business.
Social media has put a new spin on customer engagement — individuals can now comment, like or unfollow a service or brand. By asking questions and remaining curious as to what your customers’ needs are you can do your best job to cater to them and thus bring in continuous businesses and referrals. Additionally, engaging with clients on social media is the best way to find new clients. But a face-to-face conversation, and other old-school ways to engage with your customers, never go old. Here we offer you a mix of traditional and innovative ways to engage with your customers. It’s definitely worth it, and here are a few successful ways to accomplish it.
How to Engage with Your Customers to Boost Your Profits
1. Get to know your customers, and let them know you
The rule of thumb to engage with people –not only customers, is to get to know them. As simple as that. Show your concern to know what they like, what are their interests or hobbies, what motivates them and makes them excited. To better know your ideal customer, the first thing you can do is creating a customer profile: a basic, high-level description of your ideal customers.
Learn here how to build a customer’s profile
Once you have a profile of who your ideal customer is, it will be easier for you to find ways to motivate the real people who embody that profile. Ask for their opinion and feedback on your website or blog, send them “What can we do better to improve our service?” type of questionnaire. If you have a physical store, traditional tools like a book of visits or a suggestion box can do wonders. Interest yourself for those who visit your establishment and engage in informal conversations. You can get valuable information about who they are, and thus how you can improve your business and boost your sales.
The same goes all the way around: let them approach you and get to know you better. Build an emotional connection with your customers by showing them they are dealing with an actual person, not a “faceless” corporation. Who likes dealing with a machine when you call a business? So try to be more personal. On your website, include an “about us” section and tell your personal story. Include pictures of your upbringing. If you have a physical location, welcome your customers with a smile and show your best face. If they are new to your establishment, welcome them, introduce yourself and tell them about your business. Engage in short, friendly conversations. If you are proud of your roots, show it! Display pictures and mementos of your place of origin. Use personal knick-knacks: they can spark a conversation. But be careful: don’t do it in a way that can be tacky or offensive to customers. Leave your religious or political beliefs outside your work!
2. Use Social Media
Use your social media accounts wisely to engage with your customers. This means not only taking charge of your company’s image but engaging with your customers and encouraging them to engage with your business. Most of the time, you’ll find all the answers you need to improve or preserve the quality of your product or service from your very own customers. To learn more about one particular bulletproof way to engage with your customers online, visit how to use Snapchat for your business.
For example, if you own a beauty salon, ask your clients if you can take before and after images and post them on your social media accounts. If permitted, be sure to tag the client; by tagging the client, potential customers see real people behind your brand while simultaneously seeing your craft. Encourage your clients to repost the image for pure pleasure or offer them an incentive such as a giveaway.
3. Host a giveaway
Speaking of giveaways… host one! This is a really creative, interactive way to engage with your customers, get them excited about doing business with you and interacting with you on social media. Whether you have products or services to sell, there’s always something to giveaway — perhaps a 20-minute consultation, a small gift bag or a complimentary bottle of wine or dinner. Get creative! Encourage your customers to like, re-tweet, re-post and tag others under your giveaway posts, which will allow your social accounts to grow in visibility. Before you host an Instagram promotion it is important to acknowledge that the promotion isn’t sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Instagram.
Detailed below are two examples of simple social media giveaway ideas.
Photo contest: This one is especially fitting for businesses who have products to sell. For example, host a photo contest in which users post a photo of themselves using the product, or the product on its own, and have them tag your brand for a chance to win a full-sized product or set.
Tags: Have your followers tag a friend on your specific social posts and re-post the image for the opportunity to win. This will help your social media account garner new followers and it will get your brand’s image out to the public.
4. Provide answers
Respond to your online reviews if you want to engage with your customers. As you grow, this will become increasingly overwhelming, but having some sort of managerial customer service presence online will be beneficial to your business. Customers like to know their opinion matters and that they are being heard. Even if it’s an unfavorable comment or review, answer their request diplomatically and thank them for taking the time to leave a review, whether on Google, Yelp, Facebook or any other outlet. Of course, there will ideally be loads of positive comments and reviews. However, in case there are some negative ones, here are some examples of customizable responses you can give to negative reviews:
“Dear Name, I’m sorry to hear about your unfortunate experience. We truly appreciate your feedback and would love the opportunity to amend your distaste. Please allow us to offer you a complimentary dinner upon your to our restaurant.”
“Dear Name, I’m sorry to hear about your experience. We take your comment very seriously. Please allow us to compensate you for any inconvenience you may have experienced”
Learn here when and how to respond to Yelp reviews
5. Host an event
Whether you’re celebrating the anniversary of your business or would like to show off a new skill or product, events are a great way to get lots of people into one place at once. If you have an exciting product to launch, invite your customers for a product tour in which you dedicate time to walking the audience through some of the benefits and how-to’s of that specific product and, most importantly, how that product can help the customer. If you’re celebrating a milestone or business anniversary, host a small get together to simply let your customers know you appreciate their business. Be sure to include music, cocktails and some light bites — usually, once these are in place, the rest will take care of itself. Once you’re on the scene, take a few minutes to post photos and videos of the event on your business page. If the event took place at your business location, the images will spark the curiosity even among those who didn’t attend.
6. Start a YouTube channel
Boasting one million active users monthly — that’s one out of every two people on the internet — YouTube is one of the top websites for user engagement. YouTube is especially beneficial for business owners who have a service to provide and want to gain more likes. Invest in a video camera and brainstorm creative ideas to promote your service.
For example, if you own a beauty salon, show off difficult techniques on camera; if you have a team of consultants, tape a ‘getting to know our staff’ video where each person shares a most valuable piece of advice for the potential customer; if you own a car repair company, share tips on how to care for your car to prevent issues or to predict them before they happen.
Whatsoever your business may be, be sure to offer valuable advice to your viewers and potential customer. When thinking about posting anything on social media, always be sure to keep the client in mind. Ask: how will this benefit the client? What needs is this post fulfilling for them?
7. Build a community
Take advantage of social platforms: Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups, and Google+ Communities are now giving you the ability to create communities. The main advantage of these social networks is that you can directly engage with your customers by answering their questions, keeping them updated, and sharing useful information.
8. Share exclusive content or offers
Here you have a few ideas: offer coupons to those who subscribe to your newsletter. Release exclusive content or deals on your blog and remind your customers when that will be released through an email. Send n email to your subscribers letting them know first-hand the day you’ll have a sale in your store. Your unique business will determine the kind of promotions and content you can share. Be creative!
9. Provide entertainment
Customers like to be entertained: this is a huge opportunity for engagement marketing.
This is relatively easy to achieve if you have, let’s say, a restaurant business. You can hire a band to play on certain nights, or hold a stand-up comedy night.
But these days you don’t need a physical location to offer good-quality entertainment. Interactive online games and interactive websites are an excellent way to achieve this purpose (be aware of the extra cost, though). These features will make your business look more innovative, and will spark interest and curiosity.
10. Inspire and develop emotional connections
When your business is involved in community efforts and engaged in non-profit activities to help others, people feel inspired, moved, and are prone to visit your business again. Hold a pet-adoption day. Offer discounts for seniors or veterans. Collaborate with the local hospital and donate a portion of your sales. There’s nothing wrong to use the social media platforms to tell what you’re doing and ask for more collaboration. You’ll feel better and your customers will feel better.
Want more tips to creating meaning content and attracting customers? Investing in digital marketing can be the answer.