Customer engagement is more than just the interaction between the buyer and seller. It is the act of building a relationship with your audience and maintaining that connection. It should improve customers satisfaction, increase conversions, and meet customers where they’re at.
Your branding strategy plays a role in customer engagement. For e-commerce businesses, this can be a bit tricky since there are multiple ways to communicate online. As such, your brand can have a different voice each time, depending on your platform. For example, the tone you use TikTok can’t be the same tone you use on LinkedIn. But if your target audience uses both TikTok and LinkedIn, you have to those platforms to engage them.
If your tone is misaligned, you’d ruin their engagement and lose your chance to turn your audience into loyal customers. Hence, focus on building a more authentic, emotional connection. That way, no matter which platform you use, your message will resonate with your audience.
Here are some meaningful ways to engage your customers online:
1. Respond to Concerns and Negative Feedback
If you only engage with satisfied customers, then you’re not truly engaging. The goal of customer engagement is to boost satisfaction, so it must involve unsatisfied customers, too. Thus, respond to criticisms, concerns, and negative feedback. Even if their remarks hurt your business’s reputation, don’t pretend that they don’t exist. Ignoring negative comments will only damage your reputation further. It makes your business appear unwilling to learn.
Customers who have legitimate concerns are different from trolls. Trolls typically post anonymously, using accounts that don’t show personal details or posts. When they post a comment, it’s often irrelevant to the content. They aren’t your customers, so you can ignore them. Actual customers with real complaints, on the other hand, need your response, so don’t hide their comments. You can respond to them from the comment section or send them a direct message.
2. Don’t Stop Communicating After Making a Sale
When a customer completes an order and receives the product, you’re still engaging them. Therefore, your interaction shouldn’t stop there. Show them that you appreciate their patronage. Include a thank-you card to their package, as well as a link to a customer survey. Invite them to sign up for your newsletters and email updates.
Encourage reviews as well. When a customer hasn’t reached back after a purchase, send them an email or notification reminding them to leave a review. That shows the customer that you value their feedback and you’re open to after-sales services.
3. Build an Online Community
Some businesses create Facebook groups or LinkedIn Groups to build an online community. But the comments section of a social media post can already foster a sense of community. Post something relatable or meaningful so that it will catch your audience’s attention. It would garner comments that may include anecdotes. From there, replies and more comments will flood in, and your business has become an avenue for people with similar experiences to talk.
The key is to start a conversation. It works on Twitter, TikTok, and any other social networking site. Make your tone approachable so that the audience won’t feel too intimidated to reply.
4. Create a Culture of Giving Back
Consider collaborating with a charitable organization, so that part of your sales will automatically be donated. This will encourage your target audience to buy from your business. Consumers are more likely to support socially responsible companies. Hence, even if you price your products or services a little higher, it won’t create a disadvantage. Your customers wouldn’t mind because their patronage allows them to donate as well.
This creates a culture of giving back to your business. It makes your audience perceive you as a company that isn’t after profit. They’d note your advocacy and cause, and later on, you’d find your company name in a list of businesses that support charity.
To spread awareness about your charitable programs, use a donation matching program. It’s an online platform that connects you to charitable organizations. It allows you to set donation goals and determine whether you’re reaching them or not. Your customers can see how much funds you’ve already raised for charity and how many lives it has changed. As a result, they’ll be more eager to engage with you by buying more of your products or services to help you reach your goals.
These engagement strategies will allow you to connect with your audience personally. It will humanize your business, making it more approachable and relatable. You can reinvent the image of entrepreneurs and companies, turning them into socially responsible beings that value relationships more than money.