The Critical Role That Engagement Plays In Customer Service
Customer engagement is one thing I am passionate about, and for good reason. Engagement is one of the most, if not the most important metric on Social Media and a lot of companies don’t quite realise how engagement affects the overall customer service experience and therefore, lose out on a lot of leads. Today I’m going to talk to you about why you should start engaging and how to do it.
The Customer Service Bar Has Raised
People can express their opinions freely and easily on social media and there is no restriction on what they say, posts can often go viral whether they’re good comments or bad. Before doing any type of business, people research companies before buying from them and seeing what has been said on social media. When someone says something negative, it is more likely to remembered compared to when something positive is said. You always should always listen to your customers, reply promptly, politely and professionally whilst trying to resolve their problems. You should regularly search Social Media for your brand name and any variations (common misspellings) and see if people are talking about your brand without tagging you. If somebody doesn’t tag you, either they don’t know you have a Social Media profile or maybe they don’t want you to see the comments (especially when bad) as they are embarrassed – this is your perfect opportunity to turn their frown upside down!
Talk to your customers and not at them, after all, they do pay your wages.
Replies Make People Happy!
When you reply to someone and they get a notification, a small shot of dopamine is released into the brain which then gives off a slight feeling of euphoria. It makes your audience feel like they are important and they are getting heard. Imagine you have been tweeted by a celebrity or thought leader, you will feel excited, yes? That’s how your audience will feel, albeit on a small scale, when you reply to them. Even if there is nothing to particularly reply with, at least like their comment or tweet and if it’s a compliment, retweet it! For more information on the effects dopamine and social media, head over to my other post.
Personalize Your Customers Experience
Stop copying and pasting your replies or automating them and actually make the effort to do it yourself! It’s not really customer engagement unless you, well, engage! Forever when I follow people on Twitter I am inundated with messages through services like Crowdfire but they don’t feel personal and I’m not the only one who feels this way. Your customers want to feel important like they warrant a real message instead of having a bot send them a generic message. If somebody took the time to write me a message and engage with my posts I am much more likely to interact with them in return and share their content. Engaging properly might take a little longer to think but it is worth it in the long run. Have a bit of banter with your customers, don’t go overboard and offend just lighten up the tone.
It’s great sending out a link to your ebook in a message when we first connect, but make sure it’s relevant and a personal message!
Show Passion In Your Business
Don’t just focus on replying to the negative comments and turning them into satisfied customers, your happy customers need engagement too. When somebody praises your product or service, thank them, tell them you think they’re awesome too! Take pride in the great comments people say about you by replying to them. If they are representing your business in a picture, share it on your feed and tag the person where possible, at least let them know about it. User Generated Content is not only free content, it also shows your product or service in action and sees your customers acting as brand ambassadors. It also shows off your good reviews and gets your name out there in a more positive light as you have public ambassadors. When people are mentioned by big companies, quite often they share it on their feed too because let’s face it, everybody loves looking good!
Show what goes on behind closed doors and show the humans behind your company, we don’t want to do business with a robot but with you!
Engage With Customers Offline
Where possible, host events for your customers or the community. B2B companies could host networking events and get to know your prospects better. You can achieve better feedback and your customers will feel a lot closer to you than they were before, face to face communication means a lot in the world of technology. B2C companies could host events in their stores if applicable, for example – A fashion boutique could host a masquerade or a florist could host a wreath making workshop, a coworking space a business networking event… The possibilities are endless. Events often take more time than money to run, and the ROI can be huge (think of the new people on your mailing list too!)
Another way to engage offline is texting. Ask if they want to sign up for text updates on your website or instore, get their interests and group them. End the texts with a question or conversation opener, but make sure you always reply. However make sure you send a maximum of three texts a month, spamming your audience can easily damage your reputation.
Don’t Be A Robot
Nobody likes talking to people who sound all corporate, in fact, most people won’t even listen! This counts for in person and emails. So many times I get reach-out emails from companies who come across too corporate and robotic and they don’t relate to me, they don’t even seem to be trying to make conversation but just talking at me. To help with customer engagement you need to add a human feel to your company. Try doing this by changing the language you use, talking about work events or by showing us your office. Did you have a nice lunch at a restaurant? Tell everyone! Just don’t do it too much or it distracts from your companies aim. Structure sentences like a normal person talking, be friendly, use smiley faces. But don’t go over board on smileys. (I am fairly guilty of this but it fits our brand, it’s all good!)
Buffer have it down to a T, every now and then I receive emails with silly Gif’s of the team congratulating me for a popular tweet, it makes me smile! (see below)
The most important thing to do when engaging with your customers is to show that you care about them, their custom and issues they may be facing. Listen to your customers needs and fulfil them where possible and be apologetic when problems arise.