How to Build a Customer Engagement Strategy

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Customers like to connect with honest and authentic brands. Once people feel connected, they’re more inclined to remain loyal. So how do you build amazing customer engagement? Try these well-tested strategies to draw people’s attention and trigger engagement.

We invest money and effort into marketing campaigns to build relationships with our target audience. We want people to engage with our brands both online and offline.

Once people feel connected to your brand, they’ll be more inclined to choose you over your competitors. Plus, engagement gets the word of mouth going, which is the epitome of all marketing efforts.

So how do you build amazing customer engagement? How do you turn people from passive bystanders into supporting customers? Marketers will speak of authenticity, finding the right audience, and honesty.

While all these are important parts of the customer-brand relationship, marketers tend to use several well-tested strategies to draw people’s attention and trigger engagement.

Building Engagement for Offline Businesses

It’s easy to think every business is now online because of the pandemic. However, offline is still going strong. Despite the lockdowns and other hindrances, restaurants, bars, and pubs are still open. And they need to keep customers engaged (now more than ever).

Many companies are primed to grow in the post-pandemic world. Here are some tips:

Make it Fun

Some F&B brands incorporated fun social activities such as bar games or trivia nights (with the proper social distancing in place). These work incredibly well in a world where people are anxious to socialize.

Plus, if lockdowns are in place, you can move the games online and switch to at-home delivery. It may not be as fun as meeting face-to-face, but you keep the engagement going and people will appreciate it. The key is to pivot to marketing strategies for Covid-19 that can work whether they’re in-person or online.

Make it Meaningful

Other businesses took the social responsibility approach. For example, TOMS Shoes is a brand that worked this strategy really well from its inception. They launched a campaign where for each pair of shoes sold they would donate a pair to those in need.

The customers loved the idea and the brand took off in no time. Plus, their donation campaign continued to grow. Customers can follow their progress on the Impact page on the website.

Create Great Experiences

Who wouldn’t want to connect with a brand that inspires and makes them feel welcome? Regardless of the type of business, make every encounter a positive experience. Providing exceptional customer service during Covid-19 became critical to maintaining brand loyalty.

A good place to start? Make sure your staff is well-trained and polite. Work on the flow of your shop, improve the furnishing elements, and so on. If people feel good when they visit your store/restaurant/bar, they’ll talk about it with their friends and family. They may also even post about it on social media.

Building Engagement for Online Businesses

In most cases, what you do offline has a deep impact online (if you have both an offline and an online presence). However, if your business is online, here are a few strategies that work to boost engagement:

Use Personalization

Due to the integration of Big Data and various Business Analytics software, most companies know about their customers’ preferences and needs. Use personalization to attract patrons’ attention and to help them find exactly what they want. Plus, personalization is also great at convincing people to read your newsletter and to browse your offers.

When used right, personalization is a tool that can connect and unite. However, when overused, it can create a rift between the brand and its customers. Don’t overstep the line.

Use Chatbots

It may seem counterintuitive to use technology in the conversation with customers, but research shows intelligent chatbots can increase users’ satisfaction and engagement with the brand.

That’s because restaurant chatbots can answer simple questions quickly and promptly. Plus, they can work at any time of the day and chat with several customers at once.

So when a customer has a question about a product/service at 1 am, the chatbot can provide the answer. Users feel heard and cared for right when they need it. This helps further cement their relationship with the brand.

Talk with Them on Social Media

Social media is pivotal for online businesses. Social media platforms allow brands to show a warmer, more human face to their audience. Conversations occur more naturally.

However, brands also have to make serious efforts to avoid a social media disaster. Nowadays, even the smallest mistake can send you on a slippery slope. Overall, social media channels are great engagement drivers as long as you can create authentic and interesting content.

Key Takeaways

Regardless of which engagement strategies you use, keep things simple and straightforward. Customers like to connect with honest and authentic brands and may even forget a blunder of two if you know how to address the situation. Don’t be afraid to show a more human side.

© 2024 Social Hospitality, LLC. All rights reserved.
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