The economic climate changed drastically at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. For a lot of businesses, it meant reshuffling their priorities or temporarily closing to stop incurring costs. If you’re among the many companies that are struggling to stay afloat in the new normal, then your focus should be on one thing: customer engagement.
How well you manage your customer relationships in these difficult times can determine whether you survive the coronavirus era or not. Now more than ever, customers want to feel heard and content from the first contact with vendors to finalizing their purchase. Successfully meeting their needs gives you the advantage of turning them into patrons and securing regular profit. That’s not to mention the word-of-mouth marketing that’ll introduce new customers to your brand.
If you’re not sure exactly where to begin in giving your customer engagement a boost, here are three ideas you can try.
Humanize Your Brand
It’s easier to connect with customers when they see the people behind the social media posts, sassy emails, and awesome product packaging. There’s no better way to humanize your brand than to let them know there are real people striving to give them the service they deserve. After all, it’s easier to trust and build a relationship with someone when you know what they look like, right? This is the reason you’ll see more and more companies posting photos of their team on the About Us page of their websites. Social media accounts also include “behind-the-scenes” of product shoots, events, and other business-related activities.
It’s a really simple but truly effective means of giving your customers something to connect with on a deeper level, even if they never interact with all your employees. That said, just because you include these photos and videos doesn’t mean they’ll create the impact you desire. One of the most common mistakes companies make today is using stock photos. The only thing worse than not posting pictures of your team is using free photos downloaded from popular websites. If you don’t have the budget for a professional photographer, then find someone in your team who has an SLR camera or at least a quality phone camera that you can use. Nearly everyone today has become amateur photographers with one or two tricks up their sleeves to make anyone and anything look flattering behind the lens. Take advantage of your combined skill sets to humanize your brand.
Understand the Art of Giveaways
Starting an online conversation is a must if you want to improve your customer engagement. Nothing quite beats social media giveaways in sparking people’s interest and getting them to message you. After all, who would skip on the opportunity to get freebies?
Regardless of your brand, industry, and marketing goals, your freebies should be something relevant, interesting, and not so easy to acquire. If you need to spice up your regular product giveaway, reach out to other brands who would like to participate in exchange for exposure. You can pair your elegant purse giveaway with a ticket to a theater show in Sight and Sound like “Jesus”, a popular production that could interest your Christian market or lovers of stage productions. Market it by telling customers that your limited edition purse is perfect for the screening of this spectacular show. If you sell apparel for athletes, partner with energy drinks or exercise equipment suppliers. The sky is the limit when coming up with enticing giveaways.
What do your customers want more than freebies? A vendor that listens. Social media has made it easier for people to reach out to brands and air their complaints. It doesn’t matter how well you deliver your products and services. There will always be the occasional dissatisfied customer who wants you and everybody else to know that they’re unhappy.
What do you do? Practice social-listening. Dedicate employees who will monitor your social media accounts for these opportunities and learn to maximize them. Aim to respond to them ASAP and create customer resolution guidelines. There are specific benefits of doing this. First, potential customers will know that you’re responsive and that immediately improves your reputation. Second, honest feedback is the best way to determine what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong in a business.
Be prepared and be consistent in social-listening. You’ll be surprised at the positive impact this will have on your customer engagement.
Make Improvements Slowly
There’s no single way to effectively engage with all kinds of demographics, but there are basic principles that will lead you to the method that works best for you. Humanize your brand, master the art of giveaways, and make social-listening a priority. Build on these skills slowly as you study how your target demographic is faring during the pandemic. Soon, you’ll be able to determine the right approach that will help you propel your business forward through customer engagement.