Falak Hyat (July 28, 2014)
The power of social media and the web has transformed the way businesses interact with their customers and try to create awareness as well as brand loyalty. In order to inculcate strong relationships with your customers, companies need to develop strategies which attract and engage customers effectively.
The importance of communicating with customers and reaching out to their needs and demands helps build long-term relationships with them. Customers want to be heard, whether they are complaining about the service or sharing positive reviews, so providing a platform to them to engage and converse with the company is essential to the brand reputation. Ask your social media team to be observant of what sort of communication customers are having with your company as well as with other brands, and use that knowledge to smartly communicate with the customer, through meaningful engagement. Be there for your customers; by listening to their questions, solving problems, giving ideas and lastly thank them for their time and value spent interacting with your business.
Build strong networks and communities online by connecting your customers with each other, in order to create meaningful and more substantial conversations. A strong platform will enable customers to express their opinion to the company and share perspectives with other customers in the community. Positive reviews which are shared by customers help spread the word and support the brand, whereas negative reviews can be seen as an opportunity for the company to intervene and help improve service and give suggestions. Hire passionate social media marketers and enthusiasts who can foster engagement through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and other social media networking platforms.
Customer engagement should be a well defined and a thought through plan, with every interaction being in line with the final goal. Have clear objectives of what your company is looking to achieve through this engagement, whether it’s growing brand awareness, increasing sales or focusing on creating customer satisfaction.
Also lay out strategies on helping customers on how they can use services which are offeredby the company to enhance their user experience. For example, talk to your customers about the online services which are available and offered by the company, or any apps which enhance user experience and provide convenience.
Use the data collected through customer reviews and communication to improve the company offerings, by sharing it with the marketing and sales team. Sharing this will help these departments in forming strategies which will make marketing and branding plans in the future more effective. Knowing what is making the customer happy and attracting him or her, is essential and resourceful data for a company. This will not only help enhancethe overall quality of service but also assist in developing strategies on how to interact and engage with customers in the future.
Also use negative reviews and feedbacks to your own benefit, by informing the customer services department about the various experiences customers have and factors that destroy good service. The customer service team should train their staff on delivering better service on factors which might have been pointed out, for example, problems such as delivery issues, slow response rate etc.
Customers of today are quite proactive, and don’t wait for companies to get in touch with them. In case of any query, problem or complaint, they simply log on to their social media pages and start commenting on different platforms.
If you genuinely want to hear out your customer’s voice and opinion, which you should, then create a seamless and effective platform on which customers can engage with you. Keep the interface of your social media pages or websites easy and compatible with all sorts of digital platforms.
Provide your customers with convenient apps, which make communication easier, not pushing customers away from the platform, due to poor design or bad user experience.
Customers simply want to feel valued for the time and money they invest into purchasing a service or a product. If a customer feels that he or she is getting the value they deserve and companies are going out of their way to cater to them, then you have happy and satisfied customers.
Engage your customers through social media platforms, by responding to what they say and showing them ways on how they can most effectively utilize your services.
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