Any business owner will agree that the customer is the most important part of a business. A happy and satisfied customer will yield your business high returns and this can be done by incorporating great customer engagement activities. This essentially means engaging or involving the customers in some of the affairs of the company or business making them feel appreciated and apart of the business. Business owners need to strategize so as to achieve the main goal of making the customer feel like a member of the family without necessary being abhorrent by sending them endless adverts, or sending them numerous questionnaires to give their opinion about various products. It is important for the business owner to put themselves in the shoes of the customer and think like one. If something annoys you or if you find something problematic, the customer will probably feel the same. Seminars and conferences have been held around the world giving some complex and fool proof plans on how to make customers feel more involved but unfortunately the practicality of some of these ideas especially in small businesses is in question.
Below are some simple and practical ideas that a business owner could incorporate to make the engaging process between the customer and the business more interesting and effective.
Customer Engagement Activities and Tips
Availability and Patience
One of the main problem that most professionals or experts have is that they assume that the knowledge they have is common to everyone. This means that they may get irritated at time when clients ask some questions that they assume are too obvious, at times the just ignore them. Business owners may also lack the patience to explain a concept in details especially if several people ask the same question. It is important for business owners to mention in their websites that they are always ready to take any questions from the customers for further clarification and for any other kind of assistance. After doing this if any customer writes to the business proprietor, responding to the mail personally makes a lot of difference than just posting a general answer on the website. The customer feels valued that the owner took time to respond to their personal problem. This kind of availability builds a foundation for a better work relationship between the two. This also makes the customer feel special and recognized and he or she will be more than willing to participate in any of the company’s activities.
Making the Most Out of Social Media
Ever since the onset of the digital age, almost everything is found online. Online shops, online services, online marketing; whatever anyone can think of can be found online. This means that most of the customers can also be found on some of this social media platforms. Therefore it is important for a business to have a good online presence. It provides an extremely easy and convenient means of interacting and also incorporating the customers into various activities that the company undertakes. The question is, how one can use their social media presence to interact with their customers or potential customers. One way of doing so without using much effort or resources for that matter is by recognizing some loyal customers who are always sharing the company’s post, commenting and such stuff. Recognizing them as the ‘fan of the week’ can really boast their morale and is one of the simplest customer engagement activities you can conduct. Another way of using the social media to engage customers is by giving them a platform to express their opinions on various products and also giving them the opportunity to state what changes they feel the company needs to make. Most people fear this mode of interaction because some of the comments can be quite brutal but the main aim is to make the customers feel more involved in the business activities.
Your Customers Help Grow Your Business
It is not possible to know each customer at a personal level but it is important to interact with the customers and get to know some of the basic information. This entails things such as what they do for a living and where they reside. Sometime when the customer visits a shop for instance he or she may engage in some small talk with the business proprietor and probably exchange business cards by the end of the transactions. Chances are that once in a while the business proprietor will encounter someone who requires the services that the customer offers. In such a situation referring that person to that customer or making some essential introductions serves as a great compliment to the customer and goes a long way in strengthening the business relationship. In the world of business this does not only translate into a simple act of kindness but rather what it means is that if you put money into the pocket of your customer they will keep on replenishing your account. The relationship move from a mere customer-seller relationship and the two become business acquaintances.
Give Your Customers the Spotlight
In most cases when business organizes some corporate events they hardly invite their clientele, they mainly send the invitations to big business associates or potential investors. In the rare instances, where regular customers are invited, they are given subordinate treatment. It is important for a business owner to realize that some of this regular and consistent customers are priceless and are more valuable than some of the major investors who are here today and gone tomorrow. In such events, recognizing such people, giving them elite treatment and ensuring that their pictures also appear in the company’s magazine makes the customer feel appreciated. Putting the spotlight on the customers markets them as well. If people see the pictures in the magazine they will be interested to know who they are and what they do.
These are just a few ideas of how a business owner can engage the clientele more to make the business thrive. The list goes on and on. One should not let resources limit them some of the most successful activities do not necessarily have to use a lot of money. What every business owner should know and bear in mind before deciding on the activities to incorporate is that the chief goal is to make the customer happy and keep them coming back. Bottom line is that the list of customer engagement activities is endless, but the most important thing is to find those that work for you.