Engaging Your Customers For Small Businesses
Engaging Your Customers For Small Businesses
[Updated 23rd January, 2023]
So, you’re running your small business and it’s going well but you want to take it to the next level. It’s time to put your customer engagement strategy under a microscope. It’s time to find all your weak spots and your strengths when it comes to engaging your customers.
These days customers expect a lot more than just good customer service. They want a superior customer experience, a product that is revolutionary and a brand that cares.
As a small business, how can you engage your customers? How do you measure customer engagement, what strategies can you employ to try and boost engagement? We’re going to cover all these questions but first, what is customer engagement?
What is customer engagement?
Customer engagement refers to the ongoing relationship between a customer and a company. It covers everything from a customer’s first interaction all the way through the purchase and afterwards. It covers their lifetime experience and relationship with the company.
How can you measure customer engagement?
There are several metrics you should measure to gauge your customer engagement and satisfaction. Let’s break them down below.
NPS – Net Promoter Score
This is how likely your customers are to recommend you. You can find this out by running a referral program, or getting surveys filled in after your customer buys something. Getting feedback right after a transaction or after a product has been tried will help you understand what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong.
CSAT – Customer Satisfaction
Using the same survey, you can find out how happy the customer was with the experience and the product.
CLV – Customer Lifetime Value
Your CLV is a great metric to track. This measures the overall financial contribution and support over the lifetime of their relationship with the brand. The longer a customer stays with you, the higher the chance that they will spend more money with you.
CLV is calculated through this formula:
CLV= (Frequency of purchase) * (Time period) * (Profit)
Your customer retention rate can help you understand how many customers are sticking around and how many might be going to your competitors. You can calculate this with this formula:
(#of customer at end of a period) – (#of new customers acquired over that time) divided by (# of customers at the beginning of the period) x 100).
Now that we have covered how to measure customer engagement and track the associated data, let’s look at ways you can improve your customer engagement.
Being accessible to your customers can really help boost engagement. Consider how many ways your customers can contact you. If you’ve got a storefront, great but are you using your locality & visibility to it’s full potential?
Are you on social media? If not, why not? Social media is one of the biggest sources for referral business. Your customers might be talking about your business on social media right now – and you have no idea.
Do you have a website? If so, are your contact forms visible? Are your contact details listed on EVERY page? Do you have a chat platform for your customers to ask questions?
Do you have an email address, a phone number? Can your customers get in direct contact, or do they need to leave messages on a contact form and get back to them?
Accessibility to businesses is a key factor for customers when choosing which provider to go with or which product they inevitably purchase. So, try to offer as many ways as possible for your customers to get in touch with you. Consider printing out an info card with a QR code for your website, social media and email address that you put in with your customers purchase.
Run a community event or contest
This engagement task works specifically well for businesses who are interested predominantly in local reach. It involves being creative and thinking of something that will stand out from the rest.
Think about events you can run that coincide with traditional holiday periods including:
- Easter – how about an Easter egg hunt?
- Christmas – sponsor your local Christmas carols?
- School Holidays – run a school holiday activity at your local park, community centre or library that coincides with your business offerings
- Australia Day – deliver little Australian flags to your clients or dress up your store
A contest is another great way to engage your customers and to spread the word about your small business.
Sports competitions are very popular in Australia and could be incorporated into your community event.
Alternatively, you could run a competition through your social media channels – rewarding customers for the best ideas for a new product or service.
Create your own rewards program
Your best customers are worth the most to your business. Find ways to better understand who they are, what they like, and then reward them with special loyalty promotions. It works well for the giant businesses, so why can’t it work for you?
Start with a loyalty card where they get the 10th product or service for free. This works great for beauty businesses and cafes. You can also look into doing a referral program, the new customer and the customer who referred them both get a discount.
Get active on social media
Engage with your customers, invite feedback from them and start a user-generated content campaign. Social media is a great place to build your relationship with your customers. Follow their accounts, interact with them and invite further engagement with polls and questions.
Set up a Facebook group where your customers can share hacks they use for your products, show off what they have used it for or made. Share tips related to the niche. Facebook Groups are a fantastic marketing avenue, members of a group are notified whenever a post is made. This can keep your brand at the front of their minds, giving you more touch points which can lead to more sales.
If you want your customers to engage with the brand you need to offer them value in return. You can establish a strong bond with your customers through content marketing. This can be done both on social media and through your own blog and email marketing content.
Consider different types of content that you could make. This could be tutorials / how tos, insider information, educational content, hacks, funny relatable stories or trends that apply to your business.
These are just a few tips that can help you, as a small business, engage better with your customers and create great customer experiences that will be remembered for a lifetime.
If your customers remember you – they will remember to refer your business to their friends and family!
If you want extra help to engage your customers in small business, a Certificate IV in Entrepreneurship and New Business can help you do just that.
Alternatively, if you are thinking about taking it up a notch with your business marketing, a Certificate IV in Marketing & Communication delves deeper into how you can reach your target market and can help you develop strategies for long-term business success.
Contact one of our Course Advisors today and step through your business requirements – and how we can help!