How to Engage Customers at Their Level on Their Terms

That any company can get lost in the current of options is not difficult to understand. We’re in an era that is the opposite of broadcast media. The customer and provider have become an even power structure, a peer-to-peer architecture with as many senders as receivers, and the result is noise—constant noise. In other words, there is way more supply than demand.

If you’re a new company with killer services, you may be looking at the current marketplace wondering, “How do we break through?” It’s important to remember that good marketing isn’t necessarily about rising to the top—it’s about engaging with your audience at their level. The good thing is technology allows us to do just that. Here’s how:

1. Build a Customer-Centric Infrastructure

We’re living in a wild time. We have machines that can track and centralize customer engagement metrics, which provide a holistic view of your customer interactions. In fact, we wrote a blog about this tech last month. We think it’s The Most Exciting Communication Technology Available Right Now.

For example, if someone has called in three times, filed a support ticket and used your online chat feature—that indicates they are having a tough time. When you come across data that suggests poor user experience, this is your opportunity to reach out and not only offer a solution but to offer a better experience.

2. Be Reputable

Whenever you open a conversation with customers, you also open yourself to possible backlash. If your organization messes up, one of your customers can share it across the Internet. Your reputation can help remedy these attacks. If your organization is regularly engaging with the community then complaints are an opportunity to promote your brand. At the end of the day, you can’t always do everything right, but you can make it right. That brings us to our next point.

3. Be Above Reproach

Invite your customers to review your services, then pay very close attention to what they say. Empower your team to respond in real time. If one of your customers leaves a negative comment on your Twitter, don’t be afraid to start a conversation. There’s a ton of data that suggests that answering complaints on social media increases customer advocacy and reduces churn. Jay Baer’s research found that answering a complaint on social media can increase customer advocacy by as much 25%. What’s more—social media experiences are, by design, both public and easy to share. This creates a compounding impact on positive experiences, compared to, say, an email exchange or phone call.

4. Highlight Your Wins

When one of your customer service agents resolves an issue or a sales representative lands an account, celebrate them. You could even go into that department and interview that team member. Then, using the technologies at your fingertips such as web conferencing, live video and social platforms, you can share that story with your customers. This gives your company a face, which makes you more trustworthy.

Consumers Have the Power, But You Have the Fuel

Engaging consumers means you must think like a consumer. Gone are the days of shouting from the hilltops trying to be louder than the next brand exhausting the same gimmick. Now everyone shops online and undergoes extensive research before they even get to a representative. As an organization, it’s your job to provide options tailored to your audiences. Tell people something they don’t already know. And don’t try to change their minds—simply offer them the products they need and the service they deserve.

For more information about how to be a leader in the midst of the technology revolution, visit our blog, Five Communication Musts in Leadership.