Growing your business: the importance of customer engagement

Trying to grow your small business? For many business owners just starting out, the focus is simply on improving their products or services. Build it, and they will come, right? While the quality and range of products and services your business provides are, of course, a priority, customer engagement is just as crucial.

Many small businesses make the mistake of forgetting to gather and action customer feedback, as they believe this is only important for larger, more established companies. This is an understandable but misguided belief. No matter how small your customer base, it’s absolutely vital to engage with them and try to gather honest feedback. Not only will this help to improve your business’s reputation for quality customer service, but it will give you an idea of what is working and what isn’t. You can use this information to help guide your development as a brand and to grow your customer base further.

Fortunately, engaging with customers is easier than ever before. As well as the continued importance of face to face and telephone customer service, the internet is also an incredibly useful tool for business owners, as it offers a myriad of ways to get to know and interact with your clientele. Here are some of the best ways to engage with your customers to help grow your business:

Social media

One of the most important tools for businesses of all sizes is social media. This is almost essential in today’s commercial landscape, with many customers expecting to be able to get updates from their favorite brands online. Social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, are a great and free way for business owners to advertise their products and services, give customers updates on the latest offers, and most importantly, actively engage with customers. Social media platforms have built-in features, such as likes and shares, that allow you to analyze what is popular with customers. You can also get real-time feedback on each of your posts by reading your customers’ comments. Social media allows you to directly respond to customers and swiftly address their concerns by replying to any comments or posts about your business.

Customer surveys

Another way to engage with your customer base is by using a customer survey. This enables you to get detailed feedback on specific aspects of your business. There are many forms of customer survey, from email, phone, or social media surveys, all of which have different advantages. You can choose to keep it simple with star ratings or multiple-choice questions, or you can ask for more detailed written feedback. Simpler surveys will have more engagement, but more complex ones may provide more insight into what your customers are thinking. Customer surveys benefit both the customer and your business. Customers are allowed to express their thoughts and concerns, and you, as a business owner, can use the feedback to spot common themes and determine what to keep, change, or improve as your business grows.

Reward existing customers

A great way to engage with your existing customer base and hold on to them in the long term is to reward them for their loyalty to your business.  Offer exclusive deals through email, social media, or even an app for customers who have purchased your products or services before. Deals such as these will not only encourage customers to keep using your company but will also make them feel valued and appreciated for their loyalty.  This may even inspire new or prospective customers to engage with your business so that they can eventually access the same offers.

Keep it personal

In your communications with customers, keep it personal. Personalized emails and social media interactions should use the customer’s name when possible, as this makes your company come across as much more engaged than generic addresses such as ‘Dear Customer’. Also, if a customer has a complaint or concern, try to address it in a specific way rather than just offering a generic or auto-generated reply. Customers like to know you have read their comments, and this should be reflected in your reply.  It also benefits you as a business leader to thoroughly read through your customers’ comments and complaints, so you know what to improve in the future.


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