Brand success depends a lot on the customer happiness and customers prefer the brand which solves their problem and makes them happy, irrespective of its competitors. Developing new strategies to bring on new customers shall not be the only target as holding on to the current customer base is also very important for business success.
Here we are listing 6 such proven strategies to get new customers and boost customer engagement.
1. Reward your Customers
It is very natural for a user to expect something in return when they are using your product daily. A small discount surprise, coupons or free gift hampers on the purchase of a certain amount is a good idea to keep the customers engaged with the brand.
Offering free goods, discounts and special buying opportunities to regular customers shows them that you value their custom and keeps them coming through your door.
a. Offer cumulative discounts on selected lines.
Offer discounts to customers when they reach specified spending targets – for example, 10% off their next purchase if they spend £100. Limited time offers can encourage prompt purchases, but you must make sure you publicise the scheme.
b. Create a loyalty card scheme.
If you sell a high-volume, low-value item (drinks, for example), give customers a card to be stamped with every purchase. Once they reach the target number, they qualify for a free one. If you sell a range of items, a plastic swipe card storing points that translate into discounts is a better option.
Give away free items with multiple purchases. Buy one, get one free is a tried and tested method of encouraging short-term repeat sales. Don’t overuse this tactic, though, or people might start to question the quality of the goods.
c. Team up with an associated business to offer reciprocal discounts.
A classic example is a sports clothing shop that offers discounted membership at the local gym for purchases above a certain value. In return, the gym offers members discount vouchers for the store and access to special promotions.
d. Invite customers to trial developing products and services for free.
Asking trusted customers to give you feedback on a new offer before you launch will give them a sense of ownership over the product which is likely to result in sales later on and good word-of-mouth recommendation.
e. Hold a preview evening.
If you’re launching a new offer, invite your best customers to a preview evening where they can buy first. Make sure the event has an exclusive feel, that you provide good refreshments and your customers have time for networking.
f. Take your best customers for a day out.
Many firms entertain high-value customers at Christmas with an expensive dinner. But what about an annual day out for a handful of your top customers – a trip to the races, for example? It could become a fun fixture that customers look forward to.
g. Offer preferential service terms.
A few big customers may be responsible for a large proportion of your profits, so it’s important to provide them with a special level of service. This might be anything from waiving minimum order quantities to offering an out-of-hours service.
h. Offer additional products and services at a discount.
This works particularly well if the products or services are associated – for example, safety equipment to go with machinery. If the order is particularly large, include these extras for nothing.
i. Reward introductions and referrals.
Give customers a reason to recommend you to friends by offering them discounts and free gifts in return for every new customer they introduce to your business.
2. Share Customer Reviews
Customers feel more motivated to buy the product when they hear it from a happy customer itself. The review can be shared on the social media websites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. People will buy the product more if they see positive reactions from their family and friends. Brand messaging is not always enough, the customers feel more connected to the product if they know someone has been benefitted from it.
Sharing real-time experience of your buyers on your website, blogs, social media accounts, etc. will show how you deliver on your brand promise in the real world. A positive customer review might bring to you what other marketing efforts just can’t.
a. Leverage customer reviews to build a reputation
Proudly feature your best-unedited reviews at a prominent spot on your website – bold and upfront. This is nothing but word of mouth publicity and will lure your visitors to buy your product or hire your services.
Adding the name and photo of a customer will make the review even more authentic and credible. But make sure you take permission from the customers first, before publishing their name or picture on your site. It can be done on your homepage or on all web pages.
You can also set up an entire page dedicated to your glowing testimonials or create a series of reviews on your blog. Apart from adding credibility to the site, customer reviews answer visitor’s questions about product quality and, of course, encourage users to check brand’s social accounts.
b. Respond to reviews quickly
Show to your customers that you care! And this is for both positive and negative reviews. Take notice of the reviews and respond quickly.Publicly ask your customers to contact you directly so that you can discuss the problem. Show them that you are willing to do all you can to rectify the problem. This will build your customers trust and often sets you apart from your competitors. Even if someone else comes across the review, it will be noted that you had tried to resolve the problem the earliest.
c. Make it easy for customers to review
Try to make the process of reviewing your product or service as easy and quick as possible, so that your products and services receive more ratings and attract more reviews.
You can use an online review platform that sends automated review request emails when customers buy from you. Your customers should feel that you are interested in their feedback and want to ensure that they’re satisfied with your products. You could also go for a short survey on your website or a quick poll on Facebook to know about your customers.
d. Turn customers into brand ambassadors
With the content overload on the web, it is difficult to regularly create content that will engage and entertain people equally. This is where it pays to make your customers your brand ambassadors.
By having a group of customers as your brand ambassadors, you can easily break through with an authentic voice because it will sound different, genuine and most importantly real. With the ever-growing competition on the web, it’s important to make your customer’s in-charge of your brand. There can be customers who run an entire blog on your site, or one or more customers could be in charge of tweeting and posting stories relevant to your product.
e. Keep a regular check on review sites
Review sites are basically local directories that allow people to share their experience with various businesses and brands. On searching a particular name of a business or product, visitors get reviews and ratings along with the listing.
It is an easy way for customers to know what other people think about your brand and business. There are several popular review sites such as Sulekha, Just Dial, and Glassdoor. So, create an account on all these sites and use it to make you look better. You can also consider advertising on these sites.
f. Share reviews in promotional emails
According to a research, over 294 billion emails are sent each day. An average person receives 72 emails per day and spends up to 30% of their working day checking out their inboxes.
Now, this is unarguably a huge number. So, it’s important that your customers love your emails. Including customer feedback in your promotional emails may encourage your customers to make a purchase on your site.
g. Share customer reviews on social media
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are popular places for customers to talk about and leave feedback or reviews for a specific product or business. Collect and leverage positive customer reviews by sharing them on your company’s Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter pages.
Adding a customer picture or video will add credibility to your business by showing them why people like you.
3. Answers your customers using social media channels
Always remember, the more customers are connected with each other, the more they will feel they are connected with the brand. There should be an open forum for various questions that customers would like to answer based on their real experience. Social proofs have become very important these days.
4. Create Surveys to conclude a solution
This is a very traditional method for consumer engagement. It is a way of acquiring data both externally and internally. Reason for this is to develop a solution for different tasks and issues. A poll can be created on the website and the customers can themselves come up with solutions after reading the surveys. It also makes the customer feel that they are strong enough to bring a change.
a. Create a Facebook Community
There are so many ways you can utilize Facebook to develop connections with social media users. While most businesses now have their own Facebook page on that social media platform, there are many other ways to build your online presence through the website. One such way is by developing a Facebook community for your social media followers and customers. It’s free for businesses to create Facebook groups and they can be secret, private, or public. The key to fostering a successful community on Facebook is by being active. Regularly post news and updates and the groups and open up the group for members of it to communicate as they please. It’s a great way for your customers to feel as though they are a part of something important and have a sense of community.
b. Maintain Discussions
When you use social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter and post an update on either one of the platforms, you are opening yourself up to responses from your followers. This not only allows you to get new insights on your followers, current consumers, and potential consumers, it presents the opportunity for you to have a dialogue with them. While it simply isn’t possible to respond to every single comment you receive on social media, you can make an effort to respond to the most pressing or engaging ones. Communication is a two-way street and you can establish a healthy, meaningful rapport through social media.
c. Don’t Make it All About Business
Businesses use social media to share updates about things happening within the business, information on products and services, and general news related to them and their customers. While this definitely is an important part of developing a social media presence, information about your business shouldn’t be the only thing you share online. In addition to business-related topics, get in the habit of sharing content that your target audience would enjoy reading or watching. This could include a funny meme or heart-warming video. It can be an inspirational article or informative blog posts. It’s not a bad idea to develop a content calendar to have a plan for what you will share on social media with your followers.
d. Show, Don’t Tell
Don’t just tell your social media followers about your products or services. That’s boring. Instead, show them. Utilize video content to capture details about your business and your products and services. Social media users are far more engaged when they are watching video content rather than reading something. Peak their interest and keep it by producing high quality, entertaining, and informative videos that will help them remember you and what you have to offer.
e. Support Something
If you are a large company, support a charitable organization. If you are a small business known locally, you can still support a charitable organization or you could consider other means of being supportive on a local scale. Sponsor a walk or a little league team. Volunteer in your community. Do something that gets your brand out there as a business with a humanitarian side. And don’t forget to be vocal about it. This certainly doesn’t mean that you should hop on Facebook and start bragging about what a great business you are and how you should be rewarded for helping an organization or the community. There is no quicker way to hurt your image. Instead, take photos of you and your employees volunteering somewhere and upload them on Instagram of Facebook.
f. Open Up Multiple Communication Avenues
More and more businesses are discovering what a pertinent role social media now plays in communication. Gone are the days when a client would pick up the phone and call a small business or customer support. And fewer people are relying on email to get support or to their questions answered. Now, social media users and customers can turn to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms to get their answers. In order to maintain these connections, it is important that you develop several ways customers can contact you through social media. Secondly, you must be able to respond to them swiftly.
g. Give Them The Inside Scoop
Giving your customers a behind-the-scenes look at the action within your company is a great way to build trust and a strong connection. People love feeling included and this is easily done when you share videos of your team creating your latest project or photos of something no one else in the public can see. This gives your company a face behind the brand and a way for your customers to learn even more about you and your team.
5. Use negative feedback as your weapon
Anticipate negative feedback’s as well and handle them smartly, no matter how aggressive the customer sounds, always reply ASAP and with a polite reply. This will give the customer a chance to re-think their reactions and will also give a good impression because of the well-mannered response.
a. Listen carefully
The best way to receive negative feedback is to listen and actually hear what’s being said.
There’s no question that not interrupting and listening carefully is the right thing to do when you’re getting negative feedback.
Distinguish the accuracy of the feedback from the quality of its presentation. Few people are skilled at presenting criticism in a way that makes the recipient feel comfortable accepting what’s being said as worthwhile information and learning from it.
b. Distancing your emotional self
Don’t take negative feedback as a personal attack. Don’t get defensive.
It’s human nature to react when we get negative feedback. The key is distancing your emotional self and taking the remarks as you would listen to a doctor’s advice that you eat less salt. Next, accept the negative feedback with openness and gratitude.
c. Don’t try to prove someone is wrong
Try to prove someone wrong and we become close-minded to the useful information that may be hidden in the poorly presented feedback.
When your criticizer is factually wrong, the response “You’re wrong!” won’t ever be helpful. Not even if you can prove it. The key is to listen to the other person without planning your reply. Simply nodding until the other person has completely finished will make sure that your counterpart has said everything intended.
d. Ask questions
A question can help the other individual communicate clearly whatever his or her core message may be
Asking questions helps eliminate the appearance of defensiveness and keeps us from immediately jumping in to justify our actions. If you don’t ask the right questions, you don’t get the right answers. A question asked in the right way often points to its own answer. Asking questions is the ABC of diagnosis.
e. Putting yourself in the shoes of a customer
You can’t always deliver solutions, but you can always deliver empathy.
By putting yourself in the shoes of a customer, you also get the context that helps you do your job. Try to understand what your customer is going through and the impact the problem is having on their day. Convey that you deeply understand how the customer feels. Use phrases like “I’d be frustrated, too.”
f. Ask for time
Take time to collect your thoughts. Think carefully about what you plan to say and what impact it will have.
While it is essential to respond quickly, it is equally important not to react defensively and to allow just a little time to respond appropriately. Don’t wait days, but do wait until you have absorbed what has been said and determined how fair the criticism is. If you are answering negative feedback telephonically or via email, your comments will be relatively private. If you are responding via social media be aware that other people will see your comments and this may lead to further negative comment.
Even if you didn’t do whatever made them upset, you can still genuinely be apologetic for the way your customer feels.
Don’t over-apologize. Apologize once if necessary, sincerely and maturely. Remember that criticism and negative feedback are a fact of life. Learn from your mistakes, and move on.
h. Resolve the issue quickly & fix the process
Get to the bottom of why the mistake occurred, without blaming anyone; focus on fixing the process so that it doesn’t happen again.
6. Stay connected with customers
It is an ongoing trend to arrange a workshop, lecture or seminar that is broadcasted on the web using video conferencing applications. It helps the people to know more about the brand and also it is a great way to improve connections and make new ones since it is easier to attend a workshop online than taking out lots of time to go somewhere and attend it.