The ability to engage with customers in new and innovative ways is perhaps more important now than it’s ever been. With the pandemic creating all kinds of new customer behaviors that make brand loyalty vulnerable, you have a chance to step up and stand out with the right approach.
In the following article, we’re going to talk about eight innovative ways that you can be engaging with your customers to grow your business. Before we go there, however, let’s deal with some of the most common roadblocks to customer engagement that are holding you back.
Not Enough Person Power
Filling orders can be frustrating. So can uncontrollable dips in your supply chain (a big concern amid the pandemic). That can set you on a course toward “weathering the storm” instead of doubling down on innovation.
If you feel pressed to the max, it’s easy to think you just don’t have the people to get the job done. That can lead you to pushing people away from their talents and toward where you think they’re most needed. Big mistake!
Customer engagement takes resources! You might not feel like you have the resource to commit to an innovative engagement strategy. Identify these limiting schools of thought even if the resources you have available aren’t clicking how they need to be.
Perhaps you’ve bought into the falsehood that you’re incapable of creative solutions. Don’t be a defeatist! If you believe creative ways of engaging your customers isn’t your strong suit, then at least surround yourself with people who are creative about doing it.
Failing Your Existing Customers
Oftentimes, your existing customers can give you great ideas for how to engage with them and grow your following. Failing to please these customers will shut down any kind of potential progress. So whatever you do, make sure you’re keeping those current customers happy.
Now that you know the things that are most likely to hold you back, it’s time to start thinking innovatively. As you build your campaign, make sure you’re following these eight best practices!
1. Start A Social Network Breakout Group
Building a customer experience doesn’t happen with just one approach. You have to drill down to the many different aspects of the user experience. As you do, you’ll find some great opportunities to communicate in a laser-targeted fashion.
Harness the power of your social networks to create breakout groups where people interested in one or multiple facets of your business can congregate to have their questions answered or supply helpful tips to one another while connecting with you in a more intimate manner.
2. Find Your Beta Group
Customer engagement also relies on input from your customers. As you roll out new products and services, isolate some of your “super” fans, and make them a part of an exclusive beta group to help you test new rollouts.
This will accomplish two much-needed goals. It will help you iron out any kinks or unforeseen challenges, and it will give your customers buy-in to your company. They will feel more like an active part of your company rather than a faceless financial supporter.
3. Celebrate Milestones Together
Another of our favorite innovative customer engagement strategies is to create a “team” mindset. You can do this by celebrating new milestones together. Those milestones can either be yours or the people who support you.
Think about special discounts for all Facebook followers, for example, whenever you reach 1,000 or 5,000 or 10,000. The crazier the promotion the better!
4. Do The Hard Work On Customer Service
Among the best ways to engage customers is in how you respond to the issues that your customers bring to your door. Identify unhappy or frustrated customers, do whatever it takes to fix their problems, even if it means losing money in the process.
Furthermore, commit to total customer satisfaction by empowering your employees to handle issues. Making this a priority can turn angry customers into your biggest supporters.
5. Motivate Your Employees
Interacting with customers is much easier when your employees feel empowered (see No. 4) and possess some sense of ownership in the company. Incentivize at every level.
Make your frontline workers feel they are part of a team. Give them opportunities to increase their rewards through additional pay or time off.
Celebrate their accomplishments publicly. When you commit to an employee motivation strategy, they will take care of positive and innovative customer engagement for you.
6. Create An Experience For Your Customers
Experience is everything for certain brands. For example, how do fragrance brands help their customers through olfactory fatigue to properly market and sell a variety of scent-related products? Some have put coffee beans to use as a sort of smell palate cleanser.
Does your industry have similar challenges to get your customers engaged in certain products? Think of how you can build and implement a similar experience or lifestyle around your product.
7. Bring Communication Back To Online Communication
Having a Facebook or Twitter presence isn’t enough. Who cares about follower counts and likes when you’re not actually interacting with anyone?
The best thing you can do to bring communication back to the table is to publicly take questions, comments, and concerns. Show that you are responsive and unafraid of addressing challenges, and your customers will love you for it (and engage with you more).
8. Be Exclusive
It can seem counterintuitive excluding customers from your product or service, especially during dark economic times. However, that sense of exclusion is still effective in creating a sense of value around your brand.
Don’t make it your mission to want everyone to buy your product. In fact, sit down and make an imaginary list that describes the customers you don’t want. This will help a clearer image of your ideal customers to emerge.
There Are No Limits When You Creatively Engage With Customers
The ability to engage with customers in an innovative way will be the difference-makers in your business. They’ll help establish you, grow, and create opportunities no matter what.
Best of luck as you pursue these innovative attacks. For more business and marketing posts, we encourage you to check out some of our additional posts!