Once you have done all the work to get the attention of your audience and customers, you now have to do the work to keep them around. The fun isn’t over yet! In fact, this might be where you have to work harder than before. There are always going to “flashy” companies with better products, better marketing campaigns, and more money to throw around. In short, the grass is always going to look greener on the other side of that fence. But you need to prove to your customers that what you have to offer is worth their money and their time to keep them from running off with the other guys! That’s where solid customer engagement strategies come in.
Here are 10 customer engagement strategies that will help to increase client retention:
- Follow up on every customer interaction.
Many companies follow up with customers right after an issue has been solved, which is a great approach! If you’re not doing this, you need to start. But go even further than that. Did they call to ask about a product? Send them an email the next day offering to talk further or address any other questions they may have. Are they calling with a question about their subscription to your service? Follow up and thank them for being a customer, and check to make sure that their question was adequately answered. Taking an extra step to make sure that your customer feels important is a great way to ensure they stick around.
- Brand yourself as a service, not software.
Remind your customers that while they may be paying primarily for software, they are also receiving an incredible service! Continually improving how you provide service each month will show your customers they are getting more in return for their business other than a great product.
- Gradually expose the complexity of your product.
In poker, you don’t want to show your cards too soon. It’s the same in business! Gradually revealing the depth of your product will pique curiosity so that people keep coming back for more information. You don’t want to offer a feature that isn’t needed. Customer needs naturally change over time. And timing is everything. Set up a messaging schedule to keep your customers informed about your product and updates – but only give them the information that is relevant to them and their use case. Someone who just bought into your product doesn’t need to receive the same emails as someone who’s been a customer for three years.
- Social media optimization.
Social media is an incredible business tool and we need to begin thinking of it as such. Through social media, you can build and strengthen your reputation, engage your audience with relevant content and conversation, demonstrate your authority and leadership in your field, and engage with other thought leaders in your line of work. Be sure to craft content specifically for social, as short-form content that includes a link tends to perform best.
- Offer in-app improvements and features.
If part of your product offering is an app, that’s a great way to introduce and offer improvements and features to your customers. This would be much more effective than an email campaign and would reach all of your clients that use the app! Create a pop-up notification in-app to alert users to a new feature or product improvement. This allows them to look around at any of the new features and ask questions along the way.
- Active listening.
Clients want to know that they are heard. A company that actively listens to client concerns and addresses them will go a long way to keep those customers with concerns. Feedback surveys are great for studying how customer satisfaction influences your business. Having a solid NPS score doesn’t hurt either.
Upselling is a great way to boost revenue while your customers around for the long haul. Think of it this way: if you’re buying a product, and there’s a special feature that you can add on for an additional charge that ultimately boosts the experience and value of the product, you’re likely going to get it. When you upsell, you are getting customers to buy in a little more, while they are getting a little extra. Win-win.
- Provide free training.
Assume that your customers will have questions about how to use your product and provide free instructional materials that they can access. Free training educates your clients about how to use your software while strengthening the client relationship. Plus, it adds a bit of personalization to your sales process.
- Invite feedback.
Open yourself to criticism and allow people to submit feedback about their experiences. This gives your customers the opportunity to invest ideas and ownership into your brand, which could increase brand loyalty…and make your brand and product stronger.
- Raise your price.
Not an exorbitant amount, but enough to create value. Once customers have actually committed to your company financially, they are more likely to stay if you provide excellent products and services. If a customer bought initially, they are more likely to use your product and interact with your brand!