For any business the rules of customer engagement should be clear. While traditional businesses gravitated much of their customer services operations online over time, those firms that sit solely on the World Wide Web have a more natural approach to digital engagement.
Yet it’s easy to be complacent. Too many businesses think it’s good enough to merely have a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account for customers to follow but it’s not.
All platforms are only as good as the content put on them. Here’s five tips on how businesses should be going beyond the basic to deliver a rich and varied strategy that keeps customers engaged and happy…
The worst strategies ignore the ‘social’ in ‘social media’. Any business, whatever its size, must endeavor to respond to queries from customers. Customers that get a swift and professional response from a brand will stay loyal and feel valued. It’s your chance to show, in public, that you are professional, caring and efficient organization – all things that customers value. If and when a customer offers you insightful feedback, tell them so.
It’s much easier to engage with customers if you show them your human side. Why not turn your website’s staff biographies into proper ‘life stories’? This can ensure you have good, fun content on your site at the same time as letting customers see the ‘person behind the voice’. Engagement is a two-way process, make sure you fulfill your side of the bargain.
Make sure you’ve got a blog in your website and update it regularly. Write about all aspects of your business including charity events you’re involved in. Keep this content fresh and readable and try to include an interactive element to involve your customers. Customers like to feel informed, don’t miss the opportunity to deliver. Vary your output and don’t make your social media feed too commercial. Involving your customers in debates and conversations and encouraging them to share pictures and stories will have a long-term effect on your relationship if not a short-term one.
Talking to your customers requires two things: knowing who they are and what they like. The more effort you put in to finding out as much as possible on both of these points, the better your customer interactions will be. The whole customer experience should involve getting a thorough insight into them and then using this data smartly. Find the right tone of voice and tailor your messages accordingly – sending information on products and services and offers that suit someone’s buying history and preferences. Customers who can see that a brand understands their tastes will be engaged and loyal.
Not one size fits all
Don’t get fooled into thinking that the same things work on every platform. The sort of material to post on Twitter, Facebook or your blog, for example, should vary to reflect the strengths of each. Replicate the success of posts and material that does work – and avoid things that are of little or no value.
Ben is an accomplished and experienced freelance writer who has featured in a number of high profile publications and websites. If he’s not reading the financial times you’ll find him listening to live music or at the coast surfing.