Engaging your customers in your business is one of the best marketing tools you can use to increase sales and grow your company. There are a variety of ways that you can effectively engage your customers through your website and seven of those techniques will be discussed in this article.
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1. Profile Your Customers
This first step involves content that you publish on your website blog. You can engage your customers by making them feel valued as one of your “team members.” For example, begin a customer profiling program where you randomly select individuals to be profiled in your weekly blog posts. Pick a day where you publish an interview with or profile one of your customers. Fridays are fun days in the business world and the atmosphere in the office is generally more relaxed because the weekend is nearly at hand. Posting such a profile or interview on a Friday could work well with promoting levity on your website that your customers will look forward to experiencing each week. For the interview process, you could either ask questions over the phone or via email. In addition to the interview or profile, you can entice more customer engagement by asking individuals to submit guest blog posts on creative topics of interest to your readers. Just imagine the valuable shares you will get on social media when your customer shares a blog post that he or she was featured in.
2. Quote Your Customers
Another way that you can make your customers feel valued is to quote them in one of your blog posts or on a specific customer testimonial page on your website. Everyone loves to feel important and valued; especially your customers. When they see that their words, thoughts, and feelings matter to you and your company, a special consumer bond will be formed. You may have just found a customer for life.
3. Respond to Your Customers
Make a point to provide a clear pathway on your website for your customers to easily contact you with any questions or concerns. If you and your company management and staff are not approachable, you will not be successful in fully engaging your customers in your business. Be creative in how you respond to your customers. You can email, send snail mail or even call your customers, depending on the current business circumstances and staff availability. However, in order to more effectively engage your customers, you may want to think about responding to certain questions via “vlogging” or video blogging. Remember to give credit to the customer who asked the specific question or who suggested a creative idea for the business. Tag the customer on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+ so that the individual is sure to see the video answer.
4. Inform Your Customer
It is also important to continually inform your customers about new products, sales and any other pertinent service-related information. This information should be disseminated through your website via your blog posts and email newsletter as well as through all your social media sites. The one major factor to consider with regard to actively engaging your customer is to provide a balance of sales or selling information along with informative content that these individuals are seeking online. For example, if you have a company that sells natural health products, post blogs about health topics without constantly trying to sell your products to your customers. You want to engage them rather than drive them away. Always ask a question at the end of the blog post so that the customer feels valued and wants to comment. Regularly respond to any blog comments that you receive.
5. Email Your Customers
This step needs to be utilized with creativity as well as caution. Remember to always ask your customers if they want to be included on your email mailing lists. Never include anyone without their permission or your emails can be considered spam mailings. Always provide an unsubscribe link at the end of your emails so that the customer has the option to unsubscribe if desired. In addition to having your email newsletter sent out to customers, an email notification that your blog was published can also be sent out. That’s an excellent way to engage your customers. You can utilize Feed Burner through Google as an email service that delivers your blog content to your subscribers via email.
6. Wow Your Customers
Your website should be professionally designed in order to make the most impact in engaging your customers. If your page loads too slowly, you are going to lower your customer engagement level. Utilize Google Analytics to track your website visitor statistics such as the amount of traffic you’re receiving, your bounce rate and where your visitors are located by country of origin. Create a website design that is user-friendly so that you successfully maintain that ever-fragile component of customer engagement. Don’t allow clutter to take over your website or blog.
7. Share with Your Customers
The final technique involves finding that balance of sharing company information without revealing any trade secrets. For example, customers enjoy finding out about company owners and staff members. Consider posting a weekly or monthly blog post profiling yourself, one of your managers or employees. When you can let your guard down and be somewhat vulnerable, you will have more of a chance of engaging your customers than if you leave them completely in the dark.
Actively and effectively engaging your customers is an on-going process that takes time and diligence. However, if you want to build relationships with your customers, you can follow the basic techniques as outlined in this article. Do you have any other customer engagement ideas to share?