If your business has suffered this year due to the pandemic, you are among the millions of others experiencing a downturn in revenue. However, with 2021 on the horizon, there is hope that by at least mid-year, things will have improved. Implementing these 7 ways to keep customers engaged will be key to the success of many business owners who must learn to adapt to a dramatically different environment.
What Has Changed
Before the pandemic, workers were used to commuting to the office, either by car or public transportation. That very quickly changed when the pandemic hit New York City in March 2020.
Suddenly a bustling Grand Central terminal became a ghost town, with millions of workers in the service industry working from home.
Apart from the usual pizza delivery, most people were cooking at home. While some business owners in the hospitality industry were forced to close, a number of restauranteurs across the country kicked it up a notch, including this one, offering packaged meals for a bargain price and promoting them heavily on social media.
The clothing industry also suffered, with many big chains closing their doors forever. The pandemic has forced smaller retailers to sell their goods online.
Innovation is Key
With this change in customer behavior, it’s more important than ever before to keep people engaged. According to a survey conducted by McKinsey & Company, 96 percent of respondents said they had changed their way of marketing to multiple forms of digital engagement with customers.
So, what does that kind of digital engagement look like? Let’s take a look at the 7 ways to keep customers engaged in 2021.
Keep Your Website Up-to-Date
When someone visits your website, there is very little time to impress. Most experts believe it takes a maximum of 8 seconds to do so, which means that what you say is important.
This is especially critical these days as more and more people are remaining at home and turning to the Internet to get what they want.
In this limited amount of time, you need to persuade visitors to your site that your products and/or services are what they need now. This is why landing pages are perfect for convincing prospective customers, as well as being the perfect customer engagement tool.
Creating a catchy headline, having a clear call to action, and using words that will draw people in and engage them are just some of the things necessary for a landing page to work.
As Brian Massey, founder of Conversion Sciences put it, a landing page is “a single-minded page dead set on keeping the promise made by an ad, link or email and on getting the visitor to take action.”
Remember these three points when creating not just a landing page, but your website too: being single-minded, keeping the promise, and taking action.
Personalize Your Communication
Everyone wants to feel special and that includes your current and prospective customers. When you’re setting up your customer email list, be sure to add personalization to your emails by including the recipient’s first name.
Other ways to personalize your outreach is to track your customers’ purchases or appointments and remind them when it’s time to come back for their next appointment or when a product they like is due again.
A strategy like this might be useful for businesses involved in car care, carpet cleaning, and HVAC tune-ups, to name a few.
Create the Right Content
Whether it’s in your email communication or in a regular blog that you post to your website, make sure that the content you create is useful.
Does it apply to your customer’s needs and does it answer their most common problems?
Provide tips that are relevant to the services and products that you sell. In the case of the carpet cleaning business, perhaps it might be useful to let customers know how best to maintain their carpets or rugs until the next cleaning.
Articles like “10 Tips to Keep Your Carpets Looking Great,” or “Tips for Long Lasting Carpets” are examples of the kind of informative content that will ensure repeat business.
Create Customer Giveaways
You don’t need a massive social media following to create a customer giveaway contest. All you have to do is post a photo on your Facebook or Instagram page showing the prize that contestants can win. The prize might be one of your most popular products, for example.
Ask your followers to tag a friend in the comments section by a specific date. The person who tags the most friends will win. Not only is there an incentive on the part of your followers, but you’ll gain new fans in the process.
Share Your Positive Reviews
If your business is registered on Yelp or any of the other local business review sites, you might want to shout it out from the mountain tops, so to speak.
Taking that positive review and turning it into an eye-catching Facebook or Instagram post will get more leverage among your current followers, and who knows, maybe they’ll share it with their connections, too?
Using an app like Quotes Creator is easy to use and you can create shareable reviews in the form of a quote. Backgrounds, different fonts, text color, and other effects make this a perfect customer engagement tactic.
Collaborate with a Worthy Cause
If there’s a non-profit that you’re particularly passionate about, why not integrate that into your customer engagement strategy?
People will generally feel better if they know a percentage of their purchase went toward a worthy cause. Even something as simple as having a dropbox outside your store for a winter coat collection or a Thanksgiving food drive will make your business stand out from the rest.
Be sure to announce it on your social media channels so that your followers can share it with their friends.
Listen to What Your Customers Are Telling You
If you don’t listen, you’ll never know what your customers really want. And if you do, it shows that you value their opinion.
Creating a customer engagement plan based on honest feedback is another way to keep your current customers and prospective ones interested in your business.
Think about creating a survey and posting it to your social media channels, or better yet, sending it in your weekly email communication.
Perhaps a webinar might help customers who are on the fence about a particular service that you offer. Including a PowerPoint in a blog post means you’ve gone the extra mile in explaining what you do.
Spending the time to outline the benefits in detail may be the reason why someone decides to purchase from you as opposed to the other businesses in your area offering the same thing.
While loyalty these days may seem fleeting, if you try some of the above customer engagement strategies, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that they actually do work.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried any of these 7 ways to keep customers engaged.