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Are you engaging your customers?

December 28, 2011 - Tags: Customers

Istock 000008009196xsmallAttracting new customers and developing loyalty are core aspects of a successful business. A strong customer engagement strategy can help you discover your customers' needs and strengthen their connection to your business.

Customer engagement is all about getting your customers — and potential customers — to interact with your business. Asking for feedback about your products and services — and taking the time to respond to their comments, criticisms, and suggestions — can help you build a strong relationship with your clients.

So how can you develop customer engagement?

  • Ask for feedback — how can you improve? Are there any new products or services your customers would like you to offer?
  • Share your knowledge — for example, by respond to questions, offer free workshops, or post how-to videos online
  • Conduct research to learn about your customers' needs
  • Involve your customers in the development of your products or services (e.g. through user testing)
  • Use social media tools to connect with your clients

One of the more challenging parts of customer relationship management is resolving customer complaints. However, a customer complaint can be an opportunity in disguise. An unhappy customer can alert you to a problem you didn't know existed — information that can be very valuable. Successfully resolving a complaint can be a positive experience that lets you build a stronger bond with your customer.

When dealing with customer complaints, you may want to:

  • Respond quickly and courteously
  • Listen to your customer
  • Offer rectification (such as repair, replacement, or refund)
  • Apologize — saying “we're sorry you're unhappy” can help diffuse a difficult situation
  • Consider the value of your customer's business — it may be wise to absorb a small loss if it means keeping a good customer

Fostering customer engagement can help you build strong relationships with your customers and generate positive word-of-mouth advertising. Visit our Sales and customer relationship management section for information to help develop your business' customer relationship management strategy.

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