I’m not sure about you, but I can’t stand the daily chore of going through all the emails I’ve been bombarded with that make it through to my inbox. Albeit, there’s always that one email that finds its way through the thick stream of content and to the forefront, that I somehow feel the need to look at. Now, why is this? What separates one email campaign from another? What compels me enough that I feel the desire and need to look at a business and what they have to offer? Their customer engagement techniques are working because they follow simple disciplines, that take little to no technological skill to accomplish. Here are four simple strategies that when followed, will help you rise to the top in customer engagement, setting you apart from the competition:
Draw the Customer In
How many times have you seen a terrible layout on a website or email and automatically hit the back button to quickly get out of the website? But, how many times have you sat down and stared at an amazing website, dumbfounded at the quality of work before you? (Best place to see great websites is at Awwwards) You need to nail the first impression of your content, otherwise you will lose customers for good. Six timeless principles that you need to follow for the best user experience are:
- Structure – Design the user interface so the purpose is meaningful and clear (e.g., you put important topics in the menu in the order that people would want to learn about your business, with anything else placed in the footer)
- Simplicity – Design should be simple and not overly complicated, while still keeping functionality high (e.g., bells and whistles may not add anything to the product’s quality)
- Visibility – Keep all important things visible, not distracting the user with overwhelming amounts of information (e.g., too many animations could prove to be distracting)
- Feedback – User should be easily informed on what they’re doing and the results of those actions (e.g., use appropriate confirmation dialogs to tell the customer what has happened)
- Tolerance – The user will make mistakes, so try to guide them with fixes and help them understand what happened, and how to easily fix them (e.g., the user typed in a password that didn’t fit the criteria, so you help them understand how to fix that mistake)
- Reuse – Components should be consistent across the website (e.g., keep the logos, colors, and icons standard across all pages of a website)
Provide Personalized Content
Relevant content that suits the customer’s needs will be adopted more easily than anything generic and old-fashioned pulled out of a textbook. A national poll confirmed this statement when almost three-quarters of all participants confided that they get extremely “frustrated with websites when content (e.g., offers, ads, promotions) appears that has nothing to do with their interests.” The best way to offer personalization is knowing where your customers are coming from. If you promote an ad on a sporting goods website about your hi-tech golf club (it’s the first example that came to mind, I’m sorry), then right away you understand that customer: they are interested in high-end golfing products, and they are most likely looking for more information on what you have to offer. The link provided in the ad should send the customer to your golf club product page, providing information that they are seeking. Personalized marketing sums up to understanding your customers, and giving them what they want.
Give Fresh & Accurate Information
Since 56% of Americans worry that the information they are receiving is outdated, this is a prime opportunity for you to step in and lead the pack in quality information. To do this, you need to make sure that the information across all of your social media accounts, your websites, and any other published materials is updated and current. The most important information that needs to be kept up-to-date is your location’s hours, your current promotions, and your pricing. That way, you wont be one of the “83% of small and medium-sized businesses” that provided customers “with inaccurate or incomplete answers” on the information they were seeking. Instead, you will be one of the small and medium-sized businesses that 85% customers would be willing to pay 25% more for, for your superior customer service because your personalized content fits exactly what they wanted.
When you go to the local Starbucks, you expect the quality of their drinks to be consistent from one store to the other. They pride themselves on this consistency because the customer knows that no matter what store they show up in, they will always be given a drink made exactly the way they want it. This consistency is important because it promotes business quality and creates customer engagement. If the customer knows that you give high quality products at one location and you’re going to offer that at all the stores they go to, you can be sure that the customer would go to your business again, no matter where they are!
The pressure is on you to perform in the customer engagement area, because it is fast becoming the standard for all businesses. I hope these four tips were beneficial to you, and I hope this will help you with engaging your customers so you can focus on other things, such as promoting your business.