Winning a new customer is nice, but keeping that customer and turning them into a repeat buyer is even better.
Even a small boost in customer retention rates makes a huge difference for profitability, according to a recent study by Harvard Business School. A mere 5 percent increase in customer retention increases profits by more than 25 percent. Sometimes it even boosts profits by up to 95 percent, Harvard found.
That’s significant—and a lot easier and less costly than acquiring a new customer.
So with that in mind, here are five ways you can increase the customer engagement at your business.
Key #1: Humanise Your Company
People are drawn to other people. When you humanise your company by highlighting the people and processes behind your products or services, it both stimulates interest and builds a connection with customers.
This humanisation effort doesn’t have to be hard, either—it is the easiest story to tell, because it is about something you already know intimately.
Things you can focus on could include the people behind your company, the inspiration for your products, or the day-to-day operations and how your products or services are actually made.
Pull back the curtain and show customers what goes into the products or services they have purchased, and they will be more likely to stay with your firm.
Key #2: Make Customer Interaction Easy
For many companies, the front door is a toll-free number and a company website. But in 2019, customers expect more—and when you give it to them, they feel a stronger connection with your brand and are more likely to continue buying because your company is responsive.
Live chat is one of the best ways that a business can make itself accessible today. Calling a number, waiting on hold and then talking to a live person is awkward and time-consuming, especially when reaching out by mobile device. But chat is easy and accessible, and it mimics the way that customers interact with friends and colleagues.
So if you want to boost retention by getting good at customer service, think strongly about adding chat functionality to your company’s web site. And not the chatbot style of chat, either—make it lead to a real person.
Key #3: Use Social Media for More than Just Marketing
There’s a lot vying for the attention of customers today. Even if they’ve used your products or services before, you need to stay on their radar. That means a regular social media presence.
The trick is that your company’s social media posts shouldn’t be just glorified marketing messages. Yes, include those periodically. But treat your firm’s social channels principally as a way to stay connected with customers and on the top of their mind. Instead of selling all the time, share things your company has found interesting, engage with customers, and generally give value even if it doesn’t directly relate to your sales proposition.
The point is keeping the connection with the customer live. Even cat videos can accomplish that if you know what your customers enjoy.
Key #4: Always Personalise
Customers like it when they are known. This builds affinity. And while you can’t write a unique email for every customer, you can go deep on personalisation.
Marketing automation platforms such as Mailchimp and Constant Contact make it easy for you to create highly personalised email campaigns that not only include a customer’s name, but also send messages that reflect their past purchase and other data you have collected elsewhere during the customer journey.
Develop regular outreach campaigns for your existing customers, and include a healthy dose of this personalisation both with micro-segmentation of your lists and by including details about each customer in mailings.
The little things go a long way, especially when those little things include your customer’s name.
Key #5: Foster Conversations
Customer engagement isn’t just about clicks, likes and shares. While it can be exciting to see those numbers build, and win some plaudits from senior management, the real payday from engagement comes from actual interaction with customers. This is where engagement translates into customer loyalty.
So when creating any sort of marketing content, whether social, email, video or other type of communications, focus on ways that the content can inspire participation from the customers that receive it.
This participation could come in the form of a question, a contest, a livestream event, or even from content that plays off of customer interaction in the past (read: if you talk with our firm, you might get highlighted in our community).
Some great ways to foster customer engagement by creating conversations include questions such as “What are your favorite tips for using our product?”, “What would you like to see in the next version of our product?” and by highlighting questions that customers have asked on social channels.
Retaining customers isn’t hard. You just need to actually focus on building a connection with buyers. Thankfully, that’s relatively easy with digital tools today.
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