Good companies know that the ability to engage customers is one of the most important aspects of running a success ful business. Customer engagement is the process of conecting with customers in meaningful ways. Decades ago these interactions took place most frequently face-to-face, across counters in corner stores. Today they still take place face-to-face, but technology has expanded the oppotuni ties for connecting significantly. Every company, whether it provides goods or services, is for-profit or not-for-profit, and regardless of the industry or geography it serves, benefits from the ability to attract and retain customers.
1. Websites. Your website is an important tool whether you’re a traditional brick-and- mortar business or you conduct business online. In fact, in many cases, if you don’t have a website, you virtually don’t exist (pun intended).
2. Blogs. A blog can provide you with an opportunity to stay engaged with your customers while providing them useful information.
3. Video and visual images, Video and visual images are hot in the twenty-fisrt century. Tools like YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and others have taken the world by storm. And, as we all know, a picture trully is worth a thousand words.
4. Social media. Regardless of the demographics of your audience, chances are there’s at least one social media tool that can help you connect with them.
5. Online communities. Whether interacting through social media communities on platforms like Linkedin or Google+, gathering a group of like-minded people with shared interests in online forums can be a great way to stay engaged.
6. Research. Ongoing research through a variety of channels can help you stay on top of the things that matter most to your customers so that you can continually make improvements to keep them engaged and loyal.
7. The media. Don’t overlook the media as an important way to keep your name in front of your key audiences.
8. Service recovery. When you mess up, as you will, service recovery can help turn a dissatisfied customer into a loyal fan. But you need to respond quickly, sincerely, and effectively.
9. Follow-up. When customers interact with you, take the time to follow up with them. A thank-you means a lot in any century.
10. Face-to-face interaction! Despite the proliferation of technology and online means of communication, nothing beats good old face-to-face connections with your customers.