- Start a Business
- Business Ideas
- Business Financing
- Marketing & More
- About Idea Cafe
The Personal Touch: 4 Ways for Small Businesses to Engage Customers
by Marlena Stoddard Thu, 09/15/2016 - 15:51
Successful business owners know that encouraging customer interaction is one of the best ways to increase sales and develop a loyal consumer base for the brand. Consumers are individuals, so they expect to be treated as such. Unfortunately, small businesses often struggle to meet the rising expectations of customers due to limited staff and budget for customer service. However, there are a few strategies you can use to better connect and engage with potential customers without making huge sacrifices.
1. Respond on Social Media
As a modern company, you should already have active accounts on the main social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. However, it's not enough to simply post something interesting every week or two. Customers expect to have a conversation with the brand on these sites, so it's important to respond to their questions and inquiries directly whenever possible.
2. Integrate Live Chat Functionality
Adding online messaging software to your website is actually a lot more doable than you might think. There are several options currently on the market that don't require coding expertise at all. You simply add the code they provide to your site and you can start using the feature. This lets customers contact customer service while they are browsing the site or making a purchase, which can increase confidence in the brand as a whole. It also allows for problems to be resolved quickly, before they grow out of hand.
3. Audience Segmentation and Customized Email Blasts
Many customer relationship management (CRM) software solutions allow users to gather tons of information about individual customers through all of their interactions with a company. This lets you target certain groups for particular email messages. For example, you can thank a customer for purchasing a new piece of exercise equipment and recommend personal accessories that would go well with it.
4. Create a Detailed FAQ
A comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions page can be a great resource for customers who want to learn more about a company and its products before making a purchase. It can also really cut down on the number of inquiries that customer service reps need to address. Providing customers with answers to questions before they ask them shows you understand and care about their concerns.
Engaging Past and Future Customers
While companies are always looking for ways to draw new customers to their product or service, it is just as important to bring old customers back. It's not a good idea to bombard them with emails on a daily basis, but giving good deals or notifying them of sales periodically can generate consistent interest from those who have already patronized your business.