3 Reasons Why Customer Engagement Counts

“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption on work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider to our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him… He is doing us a favour by giving us the opportunity to do it.”

In the days when the above quote was uttered, there was no such thing as the internet, let alone social media. However, the importance of customer service was equally as imperative then as it is now.
Word-of-mouth marketing is indeed an age-old story. Business owners have always known that the second a customer steps back outside the store, they are free to share their experiences – both good and bad.
Today, no matter if you’ve got a physical store, an ecommerce site or both, your customers reside online. They are members of social networking communities that contain millions of users. Any experience shared with these communities, therefore, has massive impact-potential on your future sales – so those experiences need to be good ones.

From Customer Service to Customer Engagement 

And this is where the distinction between customer service and customer engagement comes into play.
Customer service is all about providing due attention at the point of sale, or during the moments when the customer is actively engaging with your business.
Customer engagement, on the other hand, is ongoing. Customer engagement is about fostering all those connections that you have in between customer visits – and social media provides ample opportunity to do so.
Customer engagement requires a business to learn more about each customer beyond the transactions that they make. It means delivering personalised and useful content to your customers in order to extend the engagement time with your brand.
In short, customer engagement means building and nurturing relationships online over time.

3 Reasons Why Customer Engagement Counts 

Customer engagement helps to grow your business. That’s why it counts.

1- Acquiring New Customers Costs More the Retaining Existing Ones  

How much more? Well, according to Invesp, five times more – that’s how much.
What’s more, Marketing Metrics tells us that the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 – 70%, whilst the probability of selling to a new prospect is just 5-20%.
Engaging your existing customers online, therefore, is vital, for these are the people who have been good enough to give you their business already. Focus on targeting these guys and gals with interesting content in between purchases and they are far more likely to come back for more.

2- They Can Always Go Elsewhere 

Today, no business holds a monopoly. If you aren’t acting on your customers’ expressed needs, then there is a competitor out there who will more than happy to pick up the slack.
Customer engagement means listening to those who do business with you. It means actively seeking out discussions where your brand is mentioned online and addressing as many pain-points your customers are expressing as possible. If this means that you need to add additional services or improve existing ones, then that’s what you’re going to have to do.

3- Bad News Travels Fast 

Negative customer feedback travels a lot faster than positive feedback. As mentioned earlier, word-of-mouth marketing these days takes place primarily online, and so managing and even pre-empting any negative review that you may receive online can make all the difference to how you are viewed by larger swathes of the online community.
The good news, however, is that feedbacklite.com reports that 51% of people who do write a negative review will react positively again towards your brand if you address their issues. The lesson, then, is not to bury your head in the sand. Engage your customers even when they have grievances and your business will benefit.

Want to do more to improve your customer engagement processes? Check out the LeadSeed sales and marketing platform to find out how our automated solutions can help you.  

How to Reconnect with and Win Back Lost Customers

Losing customers from time to time is, unfortunately, inevitable.  Even with the best will, and perhaps even the best product or service in the world, you are still going to experience some level of churn in your entrepreneurial journey.

However, rather than simply sitting back and accepting that a few of your once-loyal customers have veered from your path, you will be pleased to learn that there are a number of efforts you can make to win them back. Let’s take a look…

How to Reconnect with and Win Back Lost Customers 


Your first challenge, of course, is to identify exactly who and where your lost customers are.
This might not be too difficult if you’ve been organised, for you will of course have been keeping a spreadsheet or some other database in which all customer details, both existing and past, are stored for future reference.
If you haven’t got one of those, then not to worry, all is not lost.
Instead, start by digging out your sales records (surely you keep those!). Pore over them, and make a new spreadsheet that contains a list of any customers who have gone quiet for a while. It might be a bit of a manual task that consumes a few hours of your time, but it’s nonetheless a necessary one, for you will be left with a list of prime targets for your reconnection campaign.
With this list in hand, you can now head onto your social networks and locate your targets.
Before you reach out, however, the next step is to conduct some self-analysis.

Find Out Why They left 

No one will simply give up on you without reason – so find out what the reason is.
Is your pricing too high? Your service out of date? Does one of your competitors offer a better solution than you?
The key here is to be honest with yourself. Conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis to try and assess exactly why your service or product is no longer perceived to have the best value to your lost customers.
The trick is to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. It can be hard to be objective in this sense – and if it’s too difficult, then assign the task to someone else, or indeed take a closer look at any complaints that you have received to try and unearth your most likely weaknesses there.

Get Back in Touch 

The next phase is to reach out to your lost customers. With your SWOT analysis completed objectively, you will have a pretty good idea as to how they might be feeling, but you won’t ever be entirely sure until you actually ask them.
You can do this through social media, or it may be more appropriate to send a personalized email. In your message, you should ask the lost customer if they wouldn’t mind jumping on a quick call – for which you may even reward them with some sort of coupon or voucher – to talk through exactly what it was they were no longer happy with.
You might think that your hit rate for these types of calls would be pretty low, but you will actually be surprised at how well a customer loyalty initiative such as this will be received. And an added benefit of doing this, of course, is that even if you don’t manage to win them back, you will at least leave them with a better feeling about your business and your attention to customer service, which will not harm your reputation one bit.

Make Them a Great Offer 

In the B2C realm, great offers are pretty easy to come up with. Discounts and coupons are very simple to organize and distribute, and you will have no problem coming up with something very attractive that will be hard for your customers to refuse.
In the B2B space, however, you’re going to have to be a little more creative. Discounts, of course, will still speak very loudly, but perhaps you could offer something along the lines of a free assessment of their business’s situation and needs. A free report or white paper that shares invaluable insights about their industry might also be well received, and can be particularly effective if it explains in no uncertain terms exactly how your service will continue to benefit their business.

Introduce a Loyalty Program 

One of the best ways, of course, to not have to go through the trouble of trying to reconnect with and win back old customers is to not lose them in the first place, and introducing a loyalty program to your business model is one sure fire way to cut down on your customer churn rate.
Of course, there’s nothing to stop you extending the benefits of your loyalty program to those lost customers you’re trying to reconnect with, and indeed this may well be just the offer that they’re looking for to come back to you.
You can launch your loyalty program through an email campaign, through your website, your social networks, or any combination of the above. However you do it, you will at the very least be encouraging your existing customers to re-engage with your content. But, furthermore, you will also be encouraging those that have left you to at least pay you a revisit, take a look around to see what you have to offer and explore the benefits and rewards of doing business with you once more. And if you create the right package, this could be a really attractive opportunity for them indeed.

Want to do more to nurture your business relationships? Check out the LeadSeed sales and marketing platform to find out how our solution can help you. And please use our Contact Page to reach out. 

How to Use Social Media to Improve Customer Relationships

The advent of social media has been a game-changer when it comes to the relationships people form with their favourite brands (and indeed their least favourite ones).

No longer can brands just be brands – faceless, unreachable, with communication basically a one-way street.
These days, brands have to be human. Indeed, they have to be social – because that’s what social media demands.
Setting up a Facebook Page and expecting people to visit it and buy something doesn’t really cut the mustard in 2016. And the same goes for Twitter, Instagram and all the other platforms.
The trick is to leverage your presence on social media to build meaningful, lasting relationships with your followers and customers, and ensure that they keep coming back for more.
And so, we’ve put together this blog post to give you five super-easy ways you can start doing that today.

How to Use Social Media to Improve Customer Relationships 

Create Dedicated Channels to Handle Questions and Complaints 

Today, when a customer has a query or a complaint, they will turn to social media whether you’re there to handle the comment or not.
It might seem like you will be inviting complaints if you, for instance, set up a Twitter account to handle such things. But consider the fact that a dissatisfied customer is probably going to head over to the network to air their grievances anyway.
Rather than burying your head in the sand, it makes much better sense to engage with the customer quickly and politely, show that you are listening and publicly endeavour to try and fix whatever the problem is that the customer is encountering.
Indeed, by engaging with a disgruntled customer in this way, and by proving to them that you care about their experiences with your brand, you are in fact much more likely to keep them, and of course will have some element of control over what is being said about your service online.

Use Social Media to Solve Problems for Your Customers 

Here’s a rather inspiring story I’ve taken from a blog post by Jennifer Lonoff Schiff for CIO.
Schiff quotes Esti Chazanow, cofounder and brand manager at LIV – Swiss Watches who tells a tale about a moment when their marketing team intervened on a conversation that was taking place on their Instagram account:
“We noticed that two siblings were having a conversation on one of our Instagram photos, saying they wanted to purchase a watch for their dad, but just couldn’t afford it. We piped in saying we would pitch in by offering a coupon code. Their response: ‘Wow now that is impressive @livwatches awesome customer awareness and service!!!’”
How’s about that!
The lesson – monitor all conversations that are taking place on social and take the opportunity to solve a problem, make a sale, and grow your reputation in one fell swoop.

(Image source – mashable.com)

Who are your biggest and most important followers on social media? No doubt you know who they are – but do they?
Everyone appreciates acknowledgment and recognition – and saying thank you is sometimes all it takes. It’s something that British fashion house Burberry made somewhat of a name for itself over. Back in 2012, to celebrate its first 1 million Twitter followers, @Burberry sent out 3,000 personalised virtual thank you cards written in the chief creation officer’s handwriting style to show how much the company appreciated the engagement from their most important followers.
It’s a tactic that seems to have worked – today the company has over 7 million followers.

Run Competitions 

Everyone loves a bit of competition – and your most loyal following will certainly appreciate the chance of winning something for nothing from their favourite brand.
But of course, a good “like and share” contest is a great way to spread the word about what you do beyond your existing following, and you will be particularly successful if you make appropriate use of hashtags.
Beyond “like and share” comps, however, a good way of increasing engagement is to get your audience actively involved and commenting on what you’re doing. For instance, if you’ve got a new product on offer, then why not give everyone the chance to invent a name for it, with a prize going to the winning nomination.
If it’s a service you’re offering, no worries – how about naming a new company mascot?

Exclusive Offers 

Another sure fire way of making your social audience feel special is to make them offers that they can’t access elsewhere.
Create special offers that are “For our valued Facebook/Pinterest/Twitter/etc. fans only”.
You’ve built up these relationships on these platforms, so it makes sense to nurture them there, too.

All these tips have been designed so that you can start putting them into practice right away. There are of course many more things that you can be doing to improve your customer relationships on social, and some pretty powerful software that can transform your business through these channels. Check out the LeadSeed sales and marketing platform to find out how we can help you nurture your relationships on social, and turn more of your followers into satisfied and engaged paying customers.