Virtual assistants, mobile apps and social networks seem to be methods du jour when it comes to brands and companies creating and maintaining customer engagement. So much so, in fact, that a recent Pegasystem survey has shown that 89% of leading companies are more likely to rate omnichannel as effective customer engagement, while as much as 94% intend to invest in new technology to improve customer experience.
There is a good reason for this: innovative technologies such as the ones mentioned above make it far easier for companies to quickly deliver personalised service, and accurately gauge what the customers are interested in. But, even though they usually make the overall customer experience smoother, they frequently fail to recognise what customers truly want.
So, What Are the Numbers?
The same survey points out that, when it comes to engagement methods, 59% of customers prefer a company website, 43% email and 29% telephone. That compares with a mere 18% of customers who prefer interacting via social networks such as Twitter and Instagram, and 13% via virtual assistants. In a situation like this, going back to the basics of customer engagement can bridge the gap between what the company has to offer and what the customers really want.
Using What You Already Have
Nowadays, the notion of a company having a web page is so essential it’s a given. Still, many companies fail to treat their web page as what it really is: the first point of contact for the majority of prospective customers. The following tips can help you optimise the resources already at your disposal, and turn your web page into the first line of excellent customer engagement.
Telling Your Story
Stripped down to their basics, companies are simply collections of people. The way you present the people making up your workforce can help customers emotionally connect with your message and become invested in your brand’s success.
For an excellent example of how to do this, you can turn to the article on Figma about how they built their design team. Your team overview doesn’t need to be as detailed, but at the very least you should include a photo of each team member with their name and a short introduction. Also, include a look behind the scenes of your company (preferably in video form) if you really want the message to hit home.
Creating Useful Content
If you don’t already have one, a blog section on your web page can help enhance the customer experience and increase satisfaction. This is especially true if your posts are related to your products – either in the form of promotional content with the element of customer education, or as proper tutorials and instructional videos. In fact, according to a Google study, 48% of smartphone users are more likely to buy from companies whose mobile sites provide instructional video content.
A good example of this strategy is the Home Depot YouTube channel. Having seen their customers look for instructional videos to help with their projects, Home Depot decided to make their own DIY channel.
Optimise Your Headlines
All the useful content you can make won’t be worth much if the prospective customers don’t actually take the time to read or watch it. A study done by Conductor shows that readers are most attracted to headlines that include numbers, followed by headlines directed to the readers, those including the phrase ‘how to’, neutral headlines (simply stating the subject of the post), and finally headlines in the form of questions.
Have your content creators collaborate to brainstorm the most effective headlines to grab the customers’ attention. And above all, make sure you stay away from clickbait.
Chatbots for Customer Service
Obviously, high-quality customer service is essential when it comes to maintaining good customer engagement, but it’s worth taking care that the service stays consistently excellent across all channels. This might include the Contact segment of your web page, an automated chat system, social media or even telephone calls.
The name of the game is empathy. A touch of personalisation can also go a long way when applied to customer service. A good solution for this might be automated chats, virtual assistants, and other learning systems that can adapt to the needs of a specific customer.
Users Helping Users
Related to the previous tip, simply adding a forum subsection on your web page can give a significant boost to your customer satisfaction. People tend to want to help each other, and your power users, while being great promoters of your brand, will also use the forum to help out other customers and answer their questions. This also has the added benefit of reducing the workload for your customer service team.
When we talk about “going back to basics”, there are plenty of different ways each company will treat the phrase. What’s basic for some might not be basic for others, but there are some pieces of advice that are universally accepted. And we’ve shown that there are surveys and marketing science to back them up. By following some (or all) of these tips, we can assure you that you’re bound to see some fruitful results.