7 tips to better engage your customers

Karly Edwards's picture
21, Aug, 2014 by Karly Edwards

7 tips to better engage your customers

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As times have shifted over recent years the need to be a more engaged and social business has become a necessity. Companies can no longer get away with being the dictator by broadcasting their messages in a one-way conversation. Your customer's behaviour demands interaction, and deeper insights into who they're dealing with.

It's all about engaging! You need to be seen as the most trustworthy and credible leader in your industry, and you do this by speaking directly to the people who matter...your customers.

I've compiled some best marketing practices that are proven to increase engagement and ultimately boost sales.

A two-way conversation through social media

If you're not using social media to promote your business - you should be. Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ all allow you to connect and engage real-time with potentially millions of customers worldwide.

Building your own online community of people who support and love what you do, will increase brand awareness and get people talking about your company. You can interact with your loyal following, ask and provide answers to their questions so you can be seen as a business who looks after their needs.

You want to be at the very top of your customer's mind when they're considering buying the product or service you offer, and by initiating conversations and helping your fan base, you will craft a loyal group of advocates who would be happy to promote your company to their friends and family.

Be approachable

You need to present yourself as a business who can be easily approached if your customer wants to engage with you in some way. Display your brand as a friendly group of people who are able to interact across a variety of platforms whenever your customer may need you.

People want to work with people, so it pays to give your brand personality and add a more personal touch through all of your marketing efforts. Something as simple as including a "meet the team" page to your website with photos and a little bio will help the customer relate and connect with you.

The key here is to open all routes of communication and let your customers know you are always there to assist in a friendly but professional manner.

Provide useful information

If you want to be seen as an authority in your industry and open the channels of communication further, you need to form a structured content marketing plan to help you do so.

Millions of your potential customers are looking for answers to their questions through search engines on a daily basis. You can answer those questions and be seen as an expert by publishing useful content in response. This is where you need to think about those topic ideas that go viral and publish your content regularly and through different formats. You could address a particular topic through a blog post, infographic, video, audio, ebook or any other format you can think of.

When you provide useful information, your customers issue a certain amount of trust in your company, and we all know the value of trust is priceless! Your content provides a gateway for conversation and a platform for gentle persuasion without directly selling.

Email campaigns

Many people may believe email is dead. I am personally one of those people who certainly do not, and I can happily say email campaigns have helped me reel in business on a number of occasions.

Email campaigns come in many different forms to help you keep connected with your customers. You can offer a simple introductory email to introduce you and your business with a clear solution to the problem they may be facing; this may be through email addresses you've gained through a third party. Alternatively, you can email your subscriber list with a newsletter or a link to content you've produced that they may find useful.

Whichever way you choose to connect with potential customers, you need to engage on a regular basis with something that will benefit them and serve as a constant reminder of your expertise and how you can help them with their needs.

Face-to-face networking

It's no use hiding behind your computer everyday, you need to get out there and show your face! It's much easier to feel a connection with someone in person rather than through your computer screen or over the phone.

Whether you set up a meeting with a customer already in the sales process or you attend a networking event to meet new potentials, showing you have the time to spend with that personand giving them an insight into your own personality will go a long way.

Take an interest in your customer

When you take a genuine interest into your customer's thoughts, it lets them know they truly matter to you. If you want to find out if the information you're providing is actually of value to your customer, why not ask them. Reach out to your social media followers and ask them questions. You may find they offer some gold dust information you never thought of.

If they do have any problems with the product or service you offer, this can be quickly rectified; leaving you with another happy customer and the reputation of a company who goes out of their way to meet the customer's needs.

Make a social website

Invite people to interact with your website on a deeper level. You could hold a page devoted to your business's advocates. If you're a restaurant, why not provide a weekly recipe and encourage your audience to upload images of their creations for a chance to win a meal for two. If you're a beauty salon you could provide your latest tips and encourage people to upload the results to enter a prize draw.

This will also allow your customers to interact with each other while providing a fun and interesting platform for people to discuss their ideas and share advice.

Here are just a few ideas to help you better engage with prospects and drive sales. How do you engage with your audience in your industry? If you have any suggestions feel free to comment below, it's all about sharing and engaging remember! ;-)