Courtesy Of The Scylla Group
Since the dominance of the Internet and social media, customer behavior has changed significantly. Digitally empowered patrons now expect their relationship with brands to go beyond the use value of their products. This means it’s time for business owners and marketing professionals to leverage the impact of digital innovation to better engage consumers and deliver a highly personalized, end-to-end user experience.
A comprehensive customer engagement strategy can help you build strong relationships with patrons by understanding how they interact with your brand across touchpoints. Here are several ways to engage with consumers in the digital age.
1. Humanize Your Brand
Successful customer engagement goes beyond mass marketing emails with upsell calls to action. It requires brands to build relationships and experiences that are more authentic and human. To do this, put yourself in customers’ shoes to understand their motivations, needs and wants. Let them connect with you on an emotional level by offering genuine interactions.
According to a recent survey, 84% of patrons believe the experience a business provides is as essential as its products and services. Being treated like a human is key to driving repeat business. If patrons know who you are and have built an engaging and meaningful relationship with the brand, they’ll likely return to shop or use your services.
2. Offer Great Rewards
Customer engagement is typically a mutually beneficial process. Consumers want incentives in return for whatever action they are taking that could help your business. For example, if they provide their email address, they expect to receive a coupon code or access to an informative download.
Implementing an appreciation system, such as a mobile-based loyalty rewards program, can help you retain highly engaged patrons. Examples of effective loyalty programs and rewards include:
- Point systems
- Membership cards
- VIP or referral programs
- Birthday freebies
Keeping consumers interested in your rewards program comes down to understanding what drives their actions and delivering rewarding experiences that do just that.
3. Utilize Social Media
In today’s digital era, it’s not enough to simply post status updates and photos on social media. To keep the audience connected, it’s imperative to provide valuable content and create a shared experience that keeps customers interacting with you. Any successful marketing professional or business owner should view social media as an opportunity to engage the audience and build a community.
Since people want to see candid, real-life shots of your products, consider sharing stories on social media to build rapport. This also demonstrates your appreciation to existing customers by valuing their experiences. It’s vital to share quality, branded content on a daily basis to get an accurate grasp on what your audience likes, wants and needs.
4. Implement Chatbots
Many brands go above and beyond to service consumers better and provide a memorable customer support experience. One of the biggest barriers in delivering this kind of service is not being available to patrons round-the-clock. This is where the benefit of chatbots can be utilized.
Chatbots — 24/7 automated representatives — have changed the customer service game by providing quicker response times to customer queries and faster resolutions. A user no longer has to wait to get connected to a support representative — he or she can get instant access to resources. According to a research report, 71% of people are willing to receive customer assistance from message apps because they seek quick solutions to their problems.
Adding this interactive option to your communication channels provides greater choices for customers to interact with your brand. Due to their flexible infrastructure, chatbots can easily be integrated with other channels to improve engagement.
5. Connect With Apps
Apps can turn a casual conversation into a bonded relationship that generates sales. They are a fast and easy way to keep clients up to date with your latest offerings, promotions, sales, and other happenings within the organization. They also make it much simpler for customers to manage reward or incentive programs.
Giving customers the option to engage with your brand — where and how they want — allows them to enjoy the experience while using their medium of choice. For more ways to engage with consumers in today’s highly digitalized era, see the accompanying infographic.
Author bio: Bruce Thompson is a co-founder and Design Director at The Scylla Group, a trusted digital partner for innovative brands. He is an award-winning graphic designer, creative director, brand consultant, and digital strategist. Thompson has dedicated his career to helping people understand, trust, and adopt technology to improve their quality of life.