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Customer Engagement: Not a Passing Fad

By Chad Stewart. Courtesy, Alphagraphics, Inc.
Consumers are the real voices of your brand; their feedback can help make or break your business. The best approach is to actively seek feedback and suggestions from your clients and take action based on what you hear. But how can you actively solicit feedback from customers without driving them away? Research analysts from the world’s top companies have also pondered this question. What they’ve come up with could not only help your business connect with customers more effectively, but also help shape your brand and identity in the long run. The first thing to consider is how your company can reach out to its customers. The answer today often lies within the web and other digital mediums. By reaching out through email, SMS mobile messages and other reliable forms of digital communication, your business can present its key messages on a personal level. Try using mobile messages to notify customers of sales and specials, or make entertaining video content that customers will want to share with friends! Once the appropriate channel has been chosen, it’s up to your company to create an engaging experience that will result in customer feedback. Email messages that are dull and lifeless will often be discarded as nothing more than junk. By engaging your customers with compelling and well thought-out messages, it's more likely that they will take the time to actually open and read them. You are more likely to see results from an email campaign if you make your messages stand out.
The moment you’ve engaged a customer is a crucial one. It is in this moment that your questions matter most, because it’s most likely that feedback will be given for those questions. A good customer engagement plan isolates the top aspects of your brand that you would like feedback on and has prepared adequate and straightforward questions. Something as simple as a completed survey or a testimonial could help supply information about key areas of your brand and how people perceive it, which can then be applied to improve or grow on those areas. This must be approached delicately, however, or else the feedback could be diluted. This means that you should keep feedback groups small and pure, as answers from 100 honest, invested participants will trump the feedback from 1,000 random submissions. Simply put, customer engagement is nothing new, and is anything but a fading trend. It is through customer interactions that growth for your company can be achieved. Without knowing what your customers like and dislike about your company, there is no way to gauge if what you’re doing is really working and if it will lead to your ongoing success in the future. By keeping an open dialogue with your customers, whether through email surveys, Facebook posts or tweets or even simply speaking with them, you’ll have a better idea of how to keep your business evolving with its clients!

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