6 Ways to Engage Customers and Keep Them Loyal
Want to forge stronger relationships with your customers? Reach out to them by creating touchpoints and showing them you care. (This article was updated on Sept. 8, 2023)
Every day we’re flooded with thousands of ads — on social media, the web and even traditional media like radio and TV — numbing us to all but the best ones that catch our attention.
If what it takes to raise customer engagement about your brand is an ad that would compete with thousands of others, then the odds are stacked against you from the start.
This saturation of the advertising space has led to a new kind of marketing that’s more reliable than traditional methods — relationship marketing. Relationship marketing is all about building a positive relationship with your customers, leading to sales and, eventually, brand loyalty.
A great example of this is Starbucks. More than just a reliable cup of coffee, Starbucks has defined the entire industry by focusing on creating personal relationships with its customers across the globe. They do this in many ways, such as always accommodating specific requests on your order, writing your name on the cup, allowing you to stay as long as you like, and having different loyalty programs.
Why is customer engagement important?
With the growth and popularity of ecommerce, you’re competing with hundreds or thousands of similar businesses that are equally accessible to customers. Therefore, acquiring customers is not enough to sustain your business, the more important thing to focus on is retaining them and keeping them engaged with your brand.
Customers build a strong connection to your brand when they’re emotionally invested with you. They should feel like they have much to gain when engaging with you. And by having an engaged community, brand loyalty follows.
Customer engagement is all about the meaningful interactions between you and your customers.
How to increase customer engagement
How do we build a positive relationship with our customers? Through effective engagement based on these ideas.
Offer real value
Before you bombard your customers with how amazing your product is, you need to first offer them something of real value, such as information, solutions or unique insights into whatever industry you’re in.
This will foster a relationship of trust with your customers as they grow to respect you as an expert in your field, making them more receptive to your sales attempts.
For example, you can offer free informational content or free tutorial about your product. This effort can establish you as an authority or expert in your niche. Eventually, you can convert your audience into customers who looks up to you as a trusted brand.
Show your human side
Few things engage your customers more effectively than showing the human side of your brand. Doing this by publicly displaying your values and community involvement connects with your customers on a deep level. Because it shows you’re interested in more than just the contents of their wallet.
Another way you can show that your company is more than just a corporate machine is to highlight the people and teams working behind the scenes rather than always focusing on your product or services.
Google is a great example of this — even though they’re one of the biggest tech companies in the world, a lot of their marketing focuses on the human element of their business.
Foster a community
Building a community, such as a forum or social media group, is a great way to connect personally with your audience. It allows you to talk directly with customers who are interested in your business by:
- Addressing their concerns
- Stimulating conversation
- Rewarding loyalty, and
- Providing updates
You don’t always need to go out of your way to create a successful community, simply provide your customers with a platform to engage with you and your other customers. You can create a lively community by directly communicating with customers and not just always putting your products front-and-center.
Learn how you can Build A Community Around Your Brand.
Personalize the experience
Putting calling customers on hold or getting them to answer chatbots’ endless questions are surefire ways to make your customer feel unimportant.
If you want to build a relationship with your customer, you need to engage them on a personal level, making them feel like part of the family.
Here are some tips to deliver a personalized experience:
- Address customers by their names
- Offer custom or unique solutions to issues
- Collect and leverage customer data
- Be friendly and get to know customers on a personal level
- Provide a VIP treatment to loyal customers
- Leverage technology to provide good customer experience
Take advantage of negative situations
Look at negative customer experiences as an opportunity to engage your customer in a way that you wouldn’t have had otherwise, allowing you to personally converse with them and address any issues.
Here are ways to turn around a bad customer experience:
- First, offer a sincere apology for their bad experience
- Evaluate the situation to properly address the problem
- Understand your customer’s needs and preferences
- Deliver a solution exactly as you promised
- Follow up with your customer if the problem was addressed
- Offer goodwill in the form of a gift or voucher
More importantly, make sure to address the issue that created the bad experience in the first place. Don’t wait for another customer to complain before your do something about it. Treat it as a way to make improvements to your product or processes.
Sincerity is key to effective engagement. Being honest builds instant credibility with your customers and creates more trust. It takes a lot of guts not to sugarcoat an issue about your brand and besides, customers know when you’re being insincere.
When customers know that they can trust you, they’re more likely to keep doing business with you.
Build customer loyalty through engagement
At the end of the day, growing your brand is based on building strong bonds with people. Like personal relationships, your relationships with your customers cannot grow if it’s based on insincerity, so make sure you walk the talk and build genuine connections.
When you listed to your customers and show them you care, you create strong relationships that would eventually lead to customer loyalty.
Remember, customers don’t just buy products, they choose brands that align with their personalities and values. So be the brand that they will choose among the sea of competitors online.