I had written about the importance of customer engagement for online businesses in an earlier post (http://bit.ly/rpdqg4). There, I mentioned that customer engagement is not a goal to be achieved but an ongoing process. So, I thought why not share my views on it? Here are some pointers:
- Treat every single comment to a blog post, a query sent to your website, and any other online inquiry as a potential opportunity to engage with that particular sender. You might even build a relationship to the extent that the sender decides he/she 1s to purchase your product or service, provided your customer engagement strategies are geared to that goal. Get talking with the commenter and you already have a potential customer.
- Human nature is such, we like it when others take an interest in whatever it is that we are doing. Use your tweets, blog posts, and other social media accounts to ask for the opinions of your online audience. Positive customer engagement strategies are all about curiosity and interest.
- Carry forward the interest shown. If someone has asked a valid question regarding your products or services, chances are that the person is genuinely interested. Keep the conversation relevant. Offer nuggets of information that the customer might possibly find useful.
- Initially at least, keep all your marketing channels throbbing with customer engagement activity. The more varied those efforts, the better its reach is going to be. Later, you may choose to focus on a set of channels particularly suited to your audience.
- Personalize the information to the extent possible. If I am an engineering professional, and I receive e-mails that advertise junior-level engineering courses, that is a self-defeating promotion. That won’t be a problem if the courses are meant for engineering professionals. Your involvement with your audience should be reflected in your customer services.
- Researching for your blog posts and even your tweets is essential. It helps you find out what particular product or aspect of your business people are talking about at a given point in time. It will also help you keep your customer engagement relevant and to the point.
- Customer engagement requires application of the same people and social skills as those that you would practice personally – but much more. Your customer engagement strategies should take into account the audience’s preferences in a big way. Again, you need to take the time to research and apply the findings.
- All planning for your customer engagement strategies and the content that you use there should reflect your own belief in your products. The channels for customer engagement will be ignited when you truly believe in the products that you promote and their value to your customer. In a word, quality is contagious.
Do let me know if you have other ideas on customer engagement for your online business. Here’s wishing you all the best with your customer engagement strategies for the New Year!