The benefits that come from effective customer engagement are numerous. They range from increased brand awareness to improved customer retention and loyalty. But, with a seemingly endless slue of strategies, choosing the means by which to effectively engage with customers is challenging. Here, we will outline five creative customer engagement strategies posed by customer engagement experts.
Build a Fan-base by Offering Incentives
If you’re in the early days of brand development, or you’re a small business, you probably rely on your most engaged customers to be your brand advocates. The success of this will come from getting the elements of the customer position right and giving customers the means to share their positive experiences with others.
Transforming customers into brand advocates attracts and interests new customers, while increasing the engagement levels of your existing customers. You can turn customers into advocates by offering them opportunities and incentives for sharing their experiences. For example, many companies offer a “refer a friend” bonus.
One brand that does this well is Robinhood. Robinhood is an app that allows users to buy and sell stock at no cost. They have created a fanbase for themselves through their “Free Stock” promotion. Through this promotion, users get a free stock when their friends sign up for an account. And as an added bonus, the new user will receive a free stock as well. This “Free Stock” promotion turns customers into brand advocates and encourages a cycle of “referring a friend”.
Create a Dialogue with Customers Whenever Possible
The digital era we are in head lead customers to having limited attention spans. Because of this, we have to adapt to communicate with them in creative and convenient ways. Adapting to the communication preferences of your customers allows you to create two-way engagements that are more fulfilling.
Your goal with customer engagement should be to create a mutually beneficial, ongoing relationship between your customer and brand. So, you should focus on developing a dialogue with customers rather than just sending them a message. By developing a conversation with customers, you will be able to develop a community of customers who actively engage with your brand.
Humanize your Brand
In order to build a fanbase with loyalty, your customers will want to feel like you understand their needs and that they can relate to your brand. That said, it may be easy for fun companies like Target or Redbull to do this, but it may be harder if you’re a B2B company. But, even seemingly boring companies can humanize their brand without coming across as a contrived persona.
Humanizing your brand can come with any number of strategy combinations. You could start by showing off your staff; personalizing your automated marketing; sending personalized appreciation gifts/letters to loyal customers; writing with personality and using sass and whit on social media; or telling stories of failure, not just those of success.
By whichever means you choose to adopt, don’t shy away from yourself. Infusing your brand with human elements will help you gain customer loyalty.
Use Digital Media to Listen to Your Customers
Yes, you can use social media to humanize your brand, share stories, and build a fanbase, but a part of that is listening to customer complaints and responding. Your interactions on social media shouldn’t only consist of fun social promotions or boosted brand posts, it should be customer service focused as well. You can respond to customer needs, concerns, and questions and offer quick responses to concerns and complaints. Social listening may not be a part of your long-term plan, but it will help a growing business get feedback, and help customers to feel heard.
JetBlue Airways is well-known for their helpful social media engagement. Every few minutes they respond to customer needs, concerns, and complaints on Twitter. Here’s a quick snapshot of a few Tweets from JetBlue sent to customers who expressed concerns.