People want to be recognized and made to feel important in their daily lives. In today's world of instant gratification, how you make your customers feel can make or break your brand.
Incorporating customer engagement strategies into your marketing and customer experience practices will go a long way in building customer loyalty. It also boosts your brand affinity and name recognition within your industry.
You want to build a strong community for your customers, one that is centered on trust, transparency and where they consider you an expert in your industry.
Here are five proven tips to get your customers engaged:
1. Make Your Brand an Experience
In today's fast-paced society, being memorable is a task within itself. It's important to define who and what your targeted audience encompasses.
Once you determine who your service or product is targeted towards, build a community that gives people an experience they can't find elsewhere.
Experience can be anything from exceptional customer service to engaging audiences with compelling stories, offering new product trials, or even hosting a live Q&A with an influential company thought-leader.
2. Customer Co-creation Guides Your Customer Engagement Strategies
Customer engagement is the operative word.
Customer participation leads to a significant transformation that adds value to the customer experience. Co-creation allows you to build a partnership and collaboration with customers that give them a buy-in to your product or service.
The idea has been around for a while but seems to be gaining momentum as companies look for innovative ways to stay relevant in highly competitive, ever-changing markets. With the proliferation of social media and mobile technology playing an important role in our everyday lives, customer expectations have changed. Brand fans now expect a more direct, personal relationship with the companies they admire, and where they can also have an opportunity to collaborate on new product ideas, marketing campaigns, or even social causes.
In order to facilitate such collaborative innovation, co-creative communities are a popular option. They involve teams of co-creators that may include employees, customers, vendors, and other important stakeholders. The goal is to collect and refine insights and ideas to help the company build its future together in a fun and interactive environment.
As a form of crowdsourcing, it brings the engaging activities and the ideation of co-creativity workshops into the 24/7 digital era, leveraging the power of community and popular customer-centric innovation methodologies, such as design thinking.
3. Use Social Media to Your Advantage
Customer engagement strategies can be gained via your social media platforms.
Take some time to check out popular and emerging social sites, such as Instagram or Pinterest, to see which ones best suit your marketing plan. Engaging social media users across multiple platforms increases a brand's exposure.
Begin by understanding how your different social audiences are already interacting on different social platforms. Then find ways to join the conversation in an authentic manner, based on your customers interests as well as capitalizing on current trends and events.
This can be done via surveys, product contests, and promotional videos.
4. Build a Special Event Around Your Product or Service
Hosted events for valued customers speak volumes about your commitment to customer engagement. Imagine having top-tier industry leaders under one roof to share their expertise and unique experiences.
Customers get to travel to your city of operations and meet the employees they engage with for the service you provide.
Live events also give customers the opportunity to learn more about the industry, meet other passionate brand fans and even get a sneak peek, or experience new products before the general public does.
5. Hear What Customers Are Saying
One of the most important customer engagement strategies is responding to the customer.
Customers have a voice in your business. Their feedback, their testimonies, their stories and even their complaints are considered customer engagement.
Respond to your customers with honesty.
When customers believe they have been heard, they are more likely to become loyal to your success. They are also more likely to recommend you to others.
While there are various social listening tools available, having a more direct line of communication with your customers is crucial. Chat bots and social messaging tools such as Facebook Messenger are growing in popularity and provide a level of real-time engagement that feels more personal and responsive than email.
Similarly, many innovative brands are turning towards niche brand communities to better understand who their most valuable customers are. Smaller, niche communities provide a more focused gathering place for brand enthusiasts around their shared passion. They also provide a great opportunity to collect deeper customer insights, share community knowledge and understand important consumer sentiments and trends before anyone else.
Are You Feeling Engaged?
We hope these tips have you thinking about ways to engage your customers.
If you need a jump start, click here to request a demo to see how we can help improve your customer engagement strategies through collaborative innovation and customer co-creation.