Customer Engagement Becoming A Crucial Sales PointDavid Burgundy | 24 May 2017
No matter the size of the business or what it offers, there are a few golden tenets every entrepreneur needs to adhere to today, to be successful. Brand image is always a huge factor, and offering a unique and tempting product is also a must. However, when it comes to the acquisition of new customers, engaging with potential buyers and users has never been more important than it is at present. Even industry behemoths like Forbes and The Guardian have recognised the fact that, in essence, businesses no longer drive their own brand image and messaging – their patrons do.
Harnessing New Resources
From a casual way of interacting with friends and family, social media has grown into a massively valuable business tool for advertising, communicating and engaging with customers. Customers are more informed than they have ever been before, thanks to the massive amount of information available online – and even the advent of online shopping. This has made people very careful about where and how they spend their money, and this is why engaging with them on a personal level is the crucial step for any business who wishes to stand out and really make an impression.
Image has also become a big topic thanks to the rise of social media, and Millennials especially are selective about which brands they associate with in order to convey their image of choice through trendy Instagram pictures and Twitter posts. When it comes to younger generations, a business’s engagement is everything, and a company with fun, quirky or memorable posts and a constant, caring media presence has often been seen to ‘sell itself’, that is, to acquire new customers purely through clever use of engagement. Brands that utilise other forms of social engagement such as games that feature leaderboards, or competitions that require a level of involvement also enjoy a greater success, as they connect with their customers on a whole new interactive level.
Actively Engaging Firms Reap The Rewards
Actively engaging with and listening to customers creates a very important platform for businesses to punt their products and services: an emotional connection. Once customers feel emotionally attached to a brand, studies show that these buyers will stick with a firm in the long run, creating automatic customer retention. To do this, firms are being urged to engage their employees as well, as an empowered employee will be able to recognise and jump on any customer engagement opportunity they come by.
Word of mouth is also a hugely important platform in the age of digital media. A single good review posted on a Facebook or Twitter page can encourage thousands of other potential customers to try out a new brand, service or product, without the business having to advertise consistently or aggressively to achieve the same effect. A company that truly seems to care about the needs and desires of its fans is also far more likely to garner good reviews, which can boost sales both immediately and in the long-term as long as it continues to engage with the public.
Offering Personal Care Strengthens Brand Image
Communicating with customers over social media is also a great way to gather honest feedback – both positive and negative. While negative feedback is always something to be worked on urgently, a company that is seen to engage personally with a dissatisfied patron and offer an attractive and sensitive solution is far more likely to retain the customer in question than a firm that offers the usual email or auto-fill form complaint platforms.
Acknowledging a patron’s complaints and actively remedying them also leads people to think that a brand genuinely values their input and their opinions, one of the most powerful methods of indirect advertising a company can utilise. Unfortunately, the current statistics show that over 58% of customers who Tweet about a negative experience will not receive feedback from the company in question. However, this does pose a golden opportunity for the remaining 42% to strengthen their brands by offering customer service that truly connects with its targets.
Connecting with Customers
To conclude, while engagement with customers needs to be constant and consistent to see results, the advent of social and digital media has made this easier than ever for businesses to achieve. With regular effort, companies of every size have been able to massively boost their reputations using one of the most affordable, yet most effective methods of modern advertising, while firms that refuse to move with the times are rapidly being left behind.