6 things you should be doing to engage your customers (but probably aren’t)

| April 4, 2017

Customers are the lifeblood of any business. As Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, pointed out, obsessing over your customers is key. So delighting them through having a high-value engagement with them is extremely important for every business.

In fact, a research from Gallup reveals that “customers who are fully engaged represent a 23 per cent premium in terms of share of wallet, profitability, revenue, and relationship growth over the average customer”.

Likewise, engaging with customers ensures top-of-mind awareness, and it’s also an opportunity to get to know their purchasing behaviour and their needs and wants.

Some businesses, when they lose out on customers, aggressively employ push marketing and advertising tactics to win them back. Although this may be effective to get them through the door, connections like these are not meaningful to customers — and in these disruptive times, one way to really hook customers is through delightful engagement.

Here are six easy-to-do tactics you need to do to engage your customers.

  1. Surprise and Delight

In a 2016 survey on customer experience, 79 per cent of the correspondents prefer to share delightful moments through word of mouth. By linking pleasure to our product, we can create a strengthened emotional association, which ultimately gives us an edge in driving repeat purchase.

So when delivering the service, include something simple yet surprising to thank clients for their purchase and keep your business top of mind. Ideally, it’s something that can create word of mouth or shareability, like gold-class movie tickets or even a box of Tim Tams.

  1. Give Them Key Rings

The majority of customers purchase once then move on with their lives and can easily forget about your company and any value they’re getting you, so it becomes easy for them to get poached by a competitor’s messaging or discounting.

After a customer has bought, offer them a personalised key ring. The key ring is a prime piece of real estate that places you in the customer’s mind (and their hands). Behavioural economics (the Endowment Effect) suggests that personalised items have a perceived higher value.

It’s a low-cost tactic to create high frequency for your business and potentially be a word-of-mouth conversation starter.

  1. Send Them Anniversary Cards

Personalised cards create low-cost frequency, a deeper client relationship, and encourage further sales. Joe Girard became the top salesman in the world, selling more cars as an individual than some dealerships, by not missing an opportunity to connect with customers. Joe sent out nearly 13,000 greeting cards a month to his customers, celebrating everything from Halloween to Groundhog Day.

Now you don’t need to send out that volume of cards; but remember, if you’re not making contact with your clients 8 to 13 times per year, they’re no longer your clients.

  1. Create a Loyalty Rewards Scheme

Clients are looking for reassurance that they’re getting the best value for money, and oftentimes in a commodity-like service or one where it is difficult to differentiate value, clients look to get rewarded for their use — and those rewards, be it big or small, can often create irrational loyalty.

The idea is about creating a loyalty rewards scheme at key stages (e.g. 6 months, 8 months, 10 months, 12 months and 22 months).

Consistently rewarding clients can create sustained happiness and frequency in contact, which can affect overall client loyalty.

  1. Celebrate Wins

Customers want to feel like they are part of your team.

So take any opportunity for you to celebrate them. If they just launched a product or won an award, feature them in your blog. If they were interviewed in a TV show for their product, it’s worth sharing it in the social media. After all, their win is your win.

  1. Host an Event and Invite Them

You might think that your business is not big enough to organise a remarkable event. But when done right, even with a tight budget, hosting events can give you one of the best ROI. Events are the best avenues to get to engage with existing clients, expand your network, and get new customers in the door.

At Step Change, we invite our clients and potential customers to sit in for a Stump the Strategist session, where our marketing strategists attempt to solve on stage a business and marketing question in nine minutes. ICM Consulting, a professional services firm, hosts a Total Tech Challenge at trade fairs. They battle against the countdown clock as they showcase their unique approach to solve a real client problem.

Remarkable events like these can guarantee top-of-mind awareness among your potential clients and establish your business as a thought leader.

Conclusion

Engagement is an indispensable part of your business strategy. Do it right, and you are well on your way to gain loyal customers. Have a look at your business. How have your engaged with your customers?

Glenn Bartlett
Glenn Bartlett is the head of strategy at Step Change, a strategically led marketing agency. Glenn believes passionately that creativity drives progress and the role of business is to create a better world. He has a special interest in how brands with true purpose and sustainable principles at their core drive long-term competitive advantage.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *