Three Tips to Engage With CustomersFebruary, 5 2013
We engage with brands almost every moment of our day. We’re bombarded with logos, ads, and products from the time we wake up. With the rise of the social web, there has been a fundamental shift in the way brands engage with consumers. They use social technologies to form relationships that involve frequent interactions both online and off.
Alex Frias, contributor to Fast Company, shares tips on how to engage with customers in real life.
Have a Two-Way Conversation
It’s no longer acceptable to talk at your customers; you need to speak with them. It’s not always about you. If you constantly talk about your brand, product, or service, people will get bored.
If you want to engage, take an interest in your customers and prospects. What we think as high-value engagement, is not always thought of in the same way by consumers.
For example, according to a recent report by Forbes and Turn, 49 percent of marketers rate forwards, shares of ads, or other content online as a strong influence on their engagement measures, but 15 percent of consumers say they feel engaged or invested in a brand when they share an ad.
Allow Consumers to Create their Own Experience
Consumers have come to expect brands to offer them an experience rather than just a product or service. They want to take the lead in determining what role brands play in their lives. It enables them to participate in designing their own products or services.
A great example Frias provides is Bonobos. They were an ecommerce only apparel company, but decided to create nontraditional brick and mortar retail stores to allow their customers to touch and feel the products they wanted to buy. They lease centrally located office spaces and convert them into what they are calling Guideshops. Customers have to make an appointment to try the merchandise, and employees place an online order that is delivered to the customer for free.
Stay in Touch with Consumers
In any relationship communication is important. With all of the technology available from Facebook, tweets, live chats, and newsletters, there is no reason customers shouldn’t be able to communicate with your company. “As marketers, we must leverage the same two-way communication tools that we use as shoppers to stay in touch with our consumers,” says Frias.
The need to engage with consumers extends beyond the scope of social media. Consumers want to know their brands understand them and offer the ability to create a brand experience that matches their individual tastes.
How do you stay connected with your customers?
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