These days customer engagement is one of the most important elements to your business success. It goes beyond customer service and on to the relationship your customers have with your business. And because consumers have more and more choices out there you have to know how to nurture and grow these relationships to turn your customers into advocates.
First off you need to realize that consumers are using social forums and other online channels to find those companies they find worthy of their money and time and they expect to form relationships with them. So an online presence is vital.
Next off is realizing that you can’t have customer engagement success without your employees. Customers expect an experience that’s pleasant, knowledgeable and painless. Empower your staff to work with customers, solve problems, and go the extra mile when appropriate. They are your front line so prepare them. One of the great things about small business is you can dispense with the corporate “I’ll have to ask my manager and get back to you never” decision sludge. They can be nimble and powerful here, so let them. This will also encourage retention and attract talent to work for you.
And once you have a firm in-house customer service army it’s time to enlist them in your social media efforts. Chances are your staff is already involved with social media and are customers themselves so let them help.
- Grant them the time to look for interesting posts to submit to whomever controls your social media plan.
- Encourage them to share your posts if they want to, let them be your advocates as well. Even if they have absolutely no interest in social media (say what?) ask for their opinions on content, on new products or technology and then post what you find.
- Use quotes from them in blog posts. You hired them for their expertise, right? Why not use it to let your customers know how great your staff is and how they can work for them.
- If they can write enlist them to blog for you. Throw in an extra buck or two or a parking space. Most of us will work for food.
So get your employees involved, they’re your assets, your advocates and they’ll appreciate being included. It’s what you pay them for, isn’t it?