If you’re an online retailer, you hear a lot about “customer engagement” and its importance. Truth be told, you probably nod your head earnestly and think to yourself, “Just what the heck is customer engagement and how does it apply to me and my business!?”
In simplest terms, customer engagement is all about the way your customers interact (aka: engage) with your brand online. Do they comment? Buy? Recommend? Participate in quizzes and contests?
If so, you have a strong base for generating revenue, building loyalty and creating lasting relationships that stand the ups-and-downs of a changing retail landscape.
If not, it’s time to get started.
1. To create customer engagement, begin by creating a positive customer experience. Your guests are a lot like you – they want a positive experience with your store/reps/brand from start to finish.
They want to feel heard.
They want answers to their questions and solutions to their problems.
They want both things without an 87-step phone tree and computerized voice.
Humans crave connection. So, the easiest thing for you to do is to empower your customer service staff to make customer interactions real, meaningful and results-driven. Notice that doesn’t say SALES-driven. When your staff meets guests on the showroom floor, online or on the phone, make sure they’re personable, approachable, kind and action-oriented to solve for design challenges or dissatisfaction with previous purchases.
2. Really listen. If you pay close attention to what people are saying – to your sales staff or on social media – it’s easy to figure out their pain points. Offer viable solutions that don’t always include a sale for your company. Instead, focus on providing value and being of service. This goes a long way toward building trust and creating brand loyalty. (Read: returning customers.)
3. Be prepared with fact-based answers, not guesstimates. When a potential client visits your website or showroom, they want to know if they can have the Veronica chair in Betty blonde by next week. Automate your product data to have the details shoppers need when they want them. This manages expectations and provides a better end-to-end shopping experience.
4. Create useful content. When you listen to the real pain points customers are having, it’s easy to build a content library that helps people. Make videos about furniture placement in a (fill in the blank) size room. Write blogs about color combinations and ways to add vibrancy with furnishings instead of paint. Create infographics to teach how to create the most flattering lighting scheme in a room. Build a quiz to help customers figure out what kind of mattress is right for them.
5. Embrace fun but walk the fine line. It’s easy to offend, especially when you don’t know the customs and cultures of your clients. So, be silly or sassy – within reason. You don’t want to turn someone off from your business because you made a comment you thought would be funny but wasn’t received as a joke.
Remember, when you’re a customer-centric business, you’re on the road to success. Why? Because you’re creating a better customer experience that encourages customer engagement with your brand online and in real life.
Do you feel like you have a better handle on easy ways you can create customer engagement for your home furnishings business? Want to share tips or tricks you picked up along the way? Leave a comment below!