4 Benefits of Online Customer Engagement
By Jane Garfinkel - Review Response Specialist
Customer engagement is a continuous and open conversation between a business and its patrons. Considering that people spend nearly six hours a day interacting with digital media, the best way to start this conversation is on the internet. Sending out a monthly e-newsletter, posting content on your Facebook page, and responding to online reviews online are all ways to engage your customer. Though these efforts may seem simple, they will benefit your business greatly in the long run. Read on to learn the true value of customer engagement.
Customer engagement provides insights into the purchase experience
You talk to your customers in person, via email, and over the phone, but do you truly understand how they feel? Staying engaged after the sale is one of the only ways you’ll gain access to genuine feedback. From behind their screens, customers aren’t worried about being polite. Leaving a review is their chance to explain exactly what happened during their visit to your store. Even negative reviews, though hard to read, contain extremely valuable information about your guests’ purchasing process and post-sales experiences.
Don’t forget, engagement is not a one-way street. In fact, half of all consumers expect a response from businesses over social media in less than 24 hours. Responding to your customers and creating a dialogue adds even more potential for information gathering. By interacting with your patrons through online comments and reviews, you’ll glean priceless data about what your business is doing right, and what it is doing wrong, when it comes to making the customer happy.
2. Customer engagement allows you to improve individual experiences
If a customer leaves your facilities unhappy and doesn’t connect with you online, you’ve potentially lost their business for life. When a customer takes their complaints to the internet, they are providing you the opportunity to earn back their trust. Online customer engagement means you may be able to resolve their issues and regain their business.
This is where follow-up comes in. Respond to your customers quickly with a personal message including an apology or an offer of compensation. Next, take the conversation offline and work with the customer directly to address their concerns. By providing individualized attention to unhappy consumers, you may be able to earn back their trust. If this seems too good to be true, just remember: 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized service. Taking your customers’ complaints seriously could mean a better experience for them and more business for you.
3. Engaged customers spend more at your store
Facebook and Google My Business are more than the modern-day Yellow Pages. If you’re only using them to list your address and phone number, you’re not using them right. Share photos of the products you sell and the services you offer. Respond to comments and reviews to demonstrate how much you value your customers. Consistently updating your social media pages will pay off: highly engaged customers make purchases 90% more frequently and spend 60% more per purchase. This already staggering statistic adds up over time as repeat customers make up only 8% of all customers but account for 40% of a company’s revenue. Stay active and interesting online so that people have a reason to come back to your page, and back to your store.
4. Engaged customers turn into brand ambassadors
Brand ambassadors are the ultimate customer: they are loyal to your business, experts about your products, and recommend your services to everyone they know. Considering that leads gained from advocates are 7 times more likely to convert than other leads, their recommendations are priceless. Advocates don’t have to share their love for your business through face-to-face conversation, either, since 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much an in-person recommendations. This means that those five-star ratings on your Google My Business page are influencing people to choose your company. Nurture your relationships with customers online and you’ll gain brand advocates, along with all the business they bring your store.
Online engagement is a vital tool for learning about your customers, serving them well, and earning their business. A simple way to start is by monitoring and responding to online reviews. Services like Widewail makes it easy to engage your customers, every day.