Guest post by Hardik Oza.
According to Forbes, it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing client. Understanding and fulfilling your existing customers’ expectations will help you build a loyal base of customers. Creating engaging experiences through marketing strategies will help to grow that base.
Your marketing strategies should be developed to help establish better connections with your audience. Companies that are focused on building and maintaining a loyal customer base, and actively engage with customers, are more successful. A well-executed customer engagement strategy can foster brand growth and loyal customers.
The key is to focus on value creation rather than revenue extraction. Assess your potential customers’ needs to enhance customer engagement. Develop a deep understanding of customers in order to anticipate their needs. As noted here:
Many of Apple’s products—the iMac, iPod, and iPhone—were products without a clear market. Apple decided that the market was ready for them and consumers bought them hook, line, and sinker. This is how a tech giant like Apple innovates: they look ahead and see what the customer needs before the customers even realize it.”
Among the key benefits of customer engagement are:
- Advocate word-of-mouth marketing;
- Improved brand reputation;
- Lower customer churn rate; and
- Increased profitability.
Marketing strategies play a crucial role in boosting customer engagement. Here are five tactics to help boost customer loyalty, engagement, and advocacy.
1. Personalize the Customer Experience
Personalization is essential to building increased customer loyalty. When you offer a personalized customer experience based on what you know about your customers, you are differentiating your offering in way competitors can’t match.
Offering individualized services to customers increases satisfaction, advocacy, and loyalty—essential factors for forming a strong bond with your target audience. Here are four easy ways to deliver a personalized customer experience:
- Send customized emails when you are introducing new products or services that you know will be interesting to specific customers.
- Send a personalized thank-you note in an email when customers make a purchase. Better yet, have the customer’s sale rep send a hand-written note. This type of appreciation is so rare, it stands out.
- Acknowledge your customers on special occasions. You can send a personalized greeting on Christmas, New Years, the individual contact’s birthday, or the anniversary or your initial sale to the company. To really stand out, consider sending greetings on unusual holidays, like Groundhog Day or April Fools.
- Analyze customer behavior and shopping habits to provide customized recommendations. Ask for their feedback to improve their customer experience.
2. Make Customer Interaction More Precise
Establish clear and consistent communication patterns with your customers. Send a useful customer newsletter on a regular basis. Provide multiple paths for contacting customer service, and make sure all actively monitored. This will help you solve problems as quickly as possible.
Assist customers in choosing the right product, services, and options for their specific needs. Make it easy for them to ask questions and offer feedback.
3. Offer Rewards
If it’s appropriate in your industry, offer extra benefits to your customers by developing loyalty programs. After introducing customer loyalty programs in your marketing strategy, publicize it. The rewards can help you get increased participation from your audience, and the perks can make customers feel valued.
Rewards encourage customers to make frequent purchases from your business. Options for different types of rewards include coupons, rewards points, membership benefits, special discounts, and reward for referrals.
4. Encourage Direct Communication
As noted above, offer multiple channels for customer service, including at the very least phone, email, web chat, and Twitter.
Use brand monitoring tools to make sure you’re alerted when and where people are talking about your brand online. Responding promptly and authentically in brand discussions helps to build trust and rapport.
According to one study, 9 out of 10 customers will turn away from a brand that does not maintain transparency. Transparent marketing tactics are essential to attracting and engaging loyal customers.
5. Humanize Your Brand
It’s vital to develop a “human voice” for your brand. Avoid corporate-speak, industry jargon, and buzzwords. Write directly, using the words and phrases your customers use, to communicate that you understand and can address their needs.
For instance, create a loyalty program and promote it on social media. Ask and answer questions on Twitter , Quora, and in LinkedIn groups to improve customer engagement. Encourage your employees to be brand advocates.
Give your customers a window into your company culture. Let them get to know your staff. Post pictures of events or celebrations at your company to make your brand more relatable.
Every business wants more customers. A large user base drives greater profitability. But to achieve that, you need to apply the right marketing strategies.
By implementing the right strategies and tactics, you will improve customer engagement, and build a broad base of brand-loyal customers.
Hardik Oza is an SEO practitioner with more than 8 years experience. He helps companies to grow their businesses. He shares his thoughts on additional publications like SEMrush, Search Engine People, and Social Media Today. Follow him on Twitter @Ozaemotion.