Customer engagement has long been the edge small business owners held over their larger competitors, but thanks to technology, that edge seems to be disappearing. Large companies know how to reach customers through tech tools such as live chat, customized emails and responding to social media quickly and efficiently. To make sure your business stays in the game, follow these customer engagement basics:
- Think about who you’re engaging: According to Gallup research, brand-sponsored social media initiatives have very little impact on consumer decision making. The number one influencers are spouses and children. Think about that when you’re forming your business’s social media campaign. Your obvious target customer may be the wrong person to market to.
- Make your social media social: Businesses’ response times on social media aren’t what they should be according to a report by Sprout Social. More and more customers are reaching out to brands for answers—but are waiting a long time to get answers. And then they take to social media to complain they’re not getting answers. The more responsive you are, the more your customers will engage with you—and quickly tell their friends, colleagues and social networks.
- Don’t just use data; get personal. Big data can tell you a lot about your target market, but nothing will give you more insight into your customer than getting on the front lines to meet and greet. Don’t hide in your office behind your computer. Get out and meet with clients face to face.
- Share your customer information with everyone in the company. Customer data is useless if not used. Share it with all employees so they can engage with customers and boost your business’s reputation.
- Use technology to enhance engagement. There are a number of CRM programs, mobile apps and ecommerce tools to improve customer engagement. Most have free trials so test them out and see what you think.
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