Starting a business is one of the most rewarding things you can do, but in the current competitive business landscape, customers are essentially powerful enough to decide the fate of your business.
As an entrepreneur, customers are the lifeblood of your startup. Simply offering the best products or services will not help you attract and retain them anymore. What truly gives you an edge is constantly capturing the attention of existing and prospective customers and making sure they have the best experience with your brand.
Customer engagement is a measure of the level of enthusiasm your business generates among its customers. Your customer engagement strategy can make or break your business. The correlation is simple—if it positively impacts your customers, you gain more business as happy customers tend to be brand ambassadors. Here's a blog on customer engagement for Gen Y and Z.
Customer engagement is not a one-and-done thing—it’s a process. There’s also no one-size-fits-all approach. What works for one business need not work for others. Your best bet is to know your audience, come up with your own masterplan incorporating the below tried-and-tested customer engagement strategies and then constantly testing its efficacy. In this blog, we'll cover the following nine proven customer engagement strategies for entrepreneurs:
Know your customers
Optimize your website experience
Make it easy for customers to reach you
Identify and act on customer triggers
Offer personalized services
Scale your customer engagement with chatbots
Offer conversational customer support
Fine-tune your strategy with analytics
- Take care of your team
1. Know your customers
Developing a customer engagement strategy for startups without knowing who you’re trying to reach and what they truly need is like shooting in the dark.
Analyzing customer behavior with website visitor tracking helps you construct customer profiles using metrics that matter to you—location, job role, industry, website footprint, interaction history, and more—with which you can specifically engage each persona in a way that drives results.
2. Optimize your website experience
Your website is the face of your startup and the centerpiece of your customers’ experience with your brand.
The best way to ensure your website gives your customers what they need is by stepping into their shoes and going through the buying journey yourself. Here’s a checklist to help you get started.
3. Make it easy for customers to reach you
Giving prospects and customers the assurance they’re looking for—often during a critical stage in the purchase cycle—makes all the difference. With live chat on your website, your customers can reach out anytime they have a question and get answers immediately.
4. Identify and act on customer triggers
An engaged customer is more likely to buy, so don’t wait for them to come to you. Identify your most important prospects and set up personalized chat triggers so you can nudge them in the right direction at the right touchpoints.
5. Offer personalized services
Customers love services and products that are tailored to their needs. It could be as simple as showing them a location-based advertisement or something more complex like speeding up the checkout process using saved payment information and preferences.
That said, it’s essential to find the right balance between personalization and straight out raising privacy red flags.
6. Scale your customer engagement with chatbots
Improve your customer engagement strategy by being reachable around the clock.
Yes, we know what you’re thinking, but you don’t have to hire additional staff to cover multiple shifts. Just implement a chatbot that gives your customers the answers they need while you’re away. With Zoho SalesIQ’s codeless chatbot builder, all you need to do is build a conversation flow and add your bot responses.
You can also set up Answer Bot—an AI-powered chatbot that understands your customers’ questions regardless of the terms used, responds using your knowledge base, and even engages in small talk.
Go one step further and give customers the best of both by merging your Answer Bot into your codeless bot to make a hybrid chatbot.
Check out our recent article for more chatbot use cases.
7. Offer conversational customer support
Customers no longer want their issues to be treated as support tickets or their purchase queries to remain as just a stage in your sales funnel.
Shift your focus to conversations to build long-term customer relationships. Turn your usual “How can I help you” into “I see you’ve been having this issue with our product/service, let me help.”
But how do you do this? The answer is interaction history across channels. No matter what channels your customer has used to reach out to you, you can manage all your conversations from a single platform.
8. Fine-tune your strategy with analytics
Now that you have a customer engagement plan in place, how do you know what’s working for you and what isn’t? Which pages of your website result in the most inquiries? How is your team interacting with customers?
Only by analyzing your customer engagement data can you answer these questions and adjust your engagement strategy.
Of course, for this to work, you’ll need to measure the right KPIs. Check out this customer engagement metrics list before you get started.
9. Take care of your team
Lastly, customer-facing staff play a massive role in the success of your customer engagement. However, this aspect is often overlooked when businesses draft their customer engagement plan.
Equip your team with the right technology and training, motivate them with rewards, and pay attention to their grievances. Only when your team is taken care of can you deliver the best possible customer experience and engage customers for life. You can also check out our curated tips to improve the morale of your customer support team.
There’s no one recipe for successful customer engagement. You may come across setbacks when you’re starting out. You may not have in-depth metrics to start with or associated teams may not be fully aligned. As you stay on the track, everything will start falling into place.
We hope our list of consumer engagement strategies can inspire you and help get you off to a great start. You can also check out our detailed blog on how to build an effective customer engagement strategy.
Is there a customer engagement strategy for startups you vouch for? Let us know in the comments below.
2 Replies to 9 Proven customer engagement strategies for entrepreneurs to boost sales and enhance customer support
Such a Wonderful piece of writing. Learn a lot from this. I also personally agree with your strategy. Thanks for sharing this to the worlds.
Thank you so much Devid :)