“We don’t just want to talk at people. We want to have a customer-centric attitude of people serving people. We want to go further and be extraordinary.” – Scott Monty, Head of Global Social Media, FORD Motors
So what are ways you can ensure that you are following the necessary steps to keeping customers engaged and invested?
Create a Mission Statement.
Help your customers understand what makes your business unique by creating a Mission Statement. A well crafted mission statement will not only provide purpose for your brand, but will ultimately set you apart from competition and help you create a culture that your customers can appreciate and relate to on a personal level.
More than 8 out of 10 consumers say it’s important that small businesses are ‘personal, intimate, human’. So get to know your customers. From the first interaction on your website, to your onboarding process, these steps to gather information connect users to more tailored experience that supports their preferences.
Asking customers to share their feedback with you is an invaluable experience. Today there are many online tools and ways you can automate this within your website or app. Make sure to ask relevant and timely questions that help you identify customer issues.
Listen & Care.
It seems fairly simple, but often times brands collect feedback and are on their way. Remember to lean in what your customer’s needs are, respond to what they are requesting, and listen make sure to let them know you care. In doing so you can tie back upcoming products, initiatives and rollouts directly to your customer demand, which provides a unique opportunity to reach out in a meaningful way.
Create a Values-Driven Culture.
It’s important to provide a consistent experience for customers. Each customer interaction with your brand is a chance to make a lasting impression. 89% of consumers began doing business with a competitor after a negative experience. And with the rising cost of acquiring new customers you can’t afford to lose someone over poor communication. Make sure to train your customer service teams to serve the each person in a way that aligns with your values as an organization.
Stay in Touch.
Letting customers know about new products, promotions, locations, events and more will help keep your business top of mind. By connecting with customers through email and even in app messaging you can incentivize people to re-engage with you. Connecting the dots from your website to transactional emails will enable you to automate outreach.
Celebrate the Customer.
There are many special occasions that offer a way for you to connect to the customer. Perhaps you identify their birthday through collecting information online, recognize their loyalty through sending them a love note or maybe you can simply take an opportunity to wish them a happy holiday. Brands can take advantage of meaningful moments to remind your customers that they matter.
The benefits of promoting your business and engaging with customers via social media are exponential. It’s a modern day search and discovery tool, a word-of-mouth marketing facilitator and a way to strengthen your relationship with inspiration and relevance. As a channel for customer engagement it is important to make sure that brand identity, messaging and experience are aligned with your overall company mission and website.
The vision you create for your business will be reflected in products, culture and
customer service every day. It’s also important to be authentic and stay true to who you are as a business. For example, setting the right expectations with customers, providing honest updates, solving problems immediately and taking accountability are ways that you can ensure you are fostering stronger relationships with customers, and building trust. Today’s consumers require radical transparency. 94% of consumers are likely to be loyal to a transparent brand, and 73% say they would pay more for a product that offers complete transparency.
These days you don’t have to explain what a ‘Loyalty Program’ is to your customers, you just have to introduce them to yours. Most consumers will tell you that they ‘feel’ more loyal to businesses that reward their frequency. On the flip side, it will also help you gain insight into your most valuable customers. Connecting each customer data point from first interaction, to purchase history and preferences will allow you to tailor incentivize for your audience, driving them back to your site.