7 Out-of-the-Box Ideas for Engaging Customers

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By now, you’re aware that holding conversations on social media, sending thank-you messages, and answering customer questions promptly are great ways to improve engagement. But your competitors know this, too, so sticking with the same old methods of engaging customers won’t get you ahead in the long run.

You need to come up with new, unique, and foolproof ideas. Start by giving these a try.

1. Offer Extras and Freebies

Offering extras and freebies is one of the best ways to build customer interest and engender loyalty. Few will say no to a freebie, and they’re likely to tell their friends about your extra gift as well.

If you’re an IT service, you might throw in a free anti-virus with the installation of any software program. If you sell laptops, cameras, TVs, gaming systems, and other electronic systems, offer a free year of electronics protection beyond the manufacturer’s guarantee.

2. Host a Customer-Centered Webinar

You probably already host webinars to share information about your company or a certain product, but it might be more fruitful to host a webinar that focuses directly on your customers. Advertise the time and date of your live streaming event through social media, email, and newsletters, and use the webinar to answer questions, talk about the value of customers, and hand out freebies.

3. Build a Community Strictly for Your Customers

Online social platforms take up a lot of your customers’ time. According to a Global Web Index survey, the average American spends nearly two hours on social media every day, which equates to about 28 percent of their daytime activities.

You can exploit that by beefing up your social campaign and building a social community where customers can chat about products, services, questions, and concerns. Your customers will quickly become your biggest advocates if they have a platform like this.

4. Involve Customers in the Creation of a Book

If you have plans to write a book or e-book, reach out to your customers for their input and suggestions. Include their testimonials, customer experiences, and other tips and advice only the users of your products and services can give. List their names in the acknowledgements, and award prizes to the key contributors.

5. Solve a Problem Together

When one of your products develops a problem, don’t try to hide it. Let your users know you’re aware of the issue and you’d like their help in fixing it.

Use their insights to gather information, run tests, and as a side effect, create a stronger bond with your customers. Everyone loves to feel valued, and nothing is better for making customers feel appreciated than when you invite them to solve a problem with your business.

6. Host a Kickstarter Campaign

This might sound strange, especially if you don’t actually need the funds, but conducting a Kickstarter campaign can be excellent advertising. The most effective kinds of fundraising campaigns don’t raise money for personal gain, but for the good of another organization.

Launch a drive to help out a charity or to donate to a research center that specializes in your niche. People love to be involved with campaigns that serve the greater good.

7. Use Mediums That Match Generations

If you want to reach a wide audience, it’s best to speak their language. That means using different mediums to reach diverse generations.

For example, hosting a Facebook Q&A in order to reach out to millennials (customers between 18 and 35) is an excellent way to connect with the younger generation. If you want to target Generation X (customers aged 35 to 50), use emails, television ads, and snail-mail offers.

Customer engagement is the key to building brand loyalty. Though you’ll never be able to force your customer base to interact, you can entice them by speaking their language and doing something unusual for your industry.

Most customers love events and offers that diverge from the mainstream, and some of these ideas may serve as pleasant surprises for your customer base.

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