The massive disruption to businesses due to the virus has led to a crisis in customer engagement circles. Loyal customers have had to break away as their finances take a hit and their spending priorities have had to change. The shift is largely going to be felt by retail rather than services.
So if you would like to know how you can claw some of those consumers back, retain more, and develop a better relationship, then customer engagement is the strategy you must focus on. The way we behave has dramatically changed, and perhaps, it will never return to where it was. At least not, for a couple of generations.
But if you don’t want to wait 20-30 years to recoup your lost customers, then here is what you should do.
Insight Leads The Way
As you may have noticed, businesses have stopped trying to ‘fish’ for customers. Although this is a proactive step forward to engaging with customers, it’s like casting the net wide and hoping to get a response.
However, now insight-led changes are the way forward. They are being made possible because of one thing, A.I. Artificial intelligence and machine learning have to be merged into your big data and I.T. infrastructure.
Here are some of the benefits of this.
- Your data makes sense without the need for tedious analysis. The A.I. will spot patterns of consumer behavior. Small things like bounce rate are studied. Maybe it’s a particular word, an image, or a color scheme that doesn’t sit right with customers on your landing pages. Machine learning makes it possible to analyze all this effectively.
- Reflect how customers feel. Rather than using aspirational images to entice customers to want your product, just listen to what they have to say. Study modern lifestyles and fit your product into them. The customers tell you what they do, what they need, and how much they are willing to pay for it. Customer research is more critical than ever. So pour more funding into this rather than elaborate cutting-edge marketing schemes.
- Depending on the images and videos you market towards customers, the A.I. will pick up on which are responded to the most. This will entail a real-time analysis of click-through rates. Cursor hover time and the amount of time watched or seen. Scrolling time and length will also be assessed.
Someone To Talk To
No matter how advanced technology becomes, the human touch will never fade in importance for most customers. This is why, even if customers venture onto your website, there should be a way for them to get in touch with a real person.
We’re not talking about phone calls or emails here; we’re talking about having a live chat service. Here is where you can find a Chatbot provider. They both have a chat interface that allows for pre-existing answers to questions to be clicked upon to quickly answer a query and lead customers in the right direction.
On the other hand, they also have a live chat service whereby a human will respond to site visitors’ questions. This is super helpful as customers can get complex questions answered while staying on your website. This is better than forcing them to rely on Google or some other search engine.
As they’re on your website, if their questions have been answered, they might be persuaded to make a purchase right then and there. Having someone to talk to makes your online business move from static to alive by driving up customer engagement.
Once upon a time, businesses were convinced they had to rely on single or double-channel marketing campaigns. They either communicate with customers via email leads and PPC ads or just via social media. It was one at a time.
Such an old-fashioned way of doing business, right? Well, the new thing is omnichannel marketing. This is driving customer engagement up slowly but surely, and it’s excellent for micro-businesses, small businesses, pretty much all the way up to large companies.
The modern-day consumer wants to have a consistent marketing approach in terms of personalization. They want offerings that they actually care about. This means you need to target them with products and services in categories they have previously shown interest in.
You do this via in-app advertisements, social media, SMS, emails, etc. it’s paramount that you use analytics to see which type of mediums your customers mostly use. For example, if you have an older consumer base, chances are they will respond more to emails rather than SMS.
The virus and its consequences are being felt by businesses worldwide, and it has forced a lot of changes. One of which is the dramatic need for an acceleration in digital transformation. This has given off the signs of a necessity to change. It’s either make or break in these terms. You either find a lot of modern technology in your business, or you are left on the side of the road.
What we mean by this is, giving customers access to your products and services at all times, in as many ways as possible. For example, if you are a bank, you need to invest in your app integration. Allow them to pay for their McDonald’s coffee with your app, which is integrated into the McDonald’s app or at least allows for seamless payment.
The Rumor Is…
The next big thing in online retail shopping is pretty astounding. Of course, we’ve all heard of this coming for a while, but we didn’t think it would arrive so soon. But needs must, as they say, as online shopping has been the only way to buy what we want, for the past several months.
Virtual reality shopping is going to revolutionize e-commerce. Imagine if customers who had a virtual reality headset at home could put it on, and suddenly they are trying on a pair of jeans?
If they were in Calvin Klein, they could choose their waist size and leg length and see how it would look on them through virtual reality. Brands are already considering pouring money into the technology and creating virtual fitting rooms for their clothes.
This can only drive up customer engagement as depending on the accuracy of the technology and experience, and customers will be less likely to return items. This means you spend less money on your returns, you make customers more consistently happier, and you drive up customer engagement.
Emotive Technology Race
Microsoft is unveiling new features in its Teams software. It will soon have a ‘wellness’ and ‘mental health’ feature, which employees can use to track themselves. Team leaders will also be able to see how their teams are affected.
The old way of doing things, simply dumping a lot of last-minute tasks on employees, will likely stop due to the mental health concerns it puts onto them.
These kinds of emotive features will soon be seen everywhere. The race is now on to implement them into your products and services in some form or another. The leap is also being made in terms of marketing.
Rather than nudging someone about something they might care about, in terms of how they have behaved previously, it gives way to influencing someone based on their emotions. But wait, wouldn’t this open the door to emotional manipulation?
Customers would not take lightly to having their emotions controlled or manipulated for a brand to make a buck, so the chances of this happening, at least among brands who fear public backlash, is relatively remote.
However, if you are interested in climate change policies and want to stay fit, you can expect Adidas to send you an email about their recycled shoes, etc.
Local customers have really come to the rescue of businesses large and small. During the worst of the past months, locals were the ones who kept brands from collapsing. They were the ones who chose to shop locally and support small businesses in particular.
So, to retain their business, you need to focus more on local SEO. This will drive up organic growth and help your Google results too. So invest in how you appear on Google Maps.
Make sure your address is accurate, you have updated the photos on there, and you invested in your local SEO content. This means you make posts that involve your city, town, or region. It could be about a festival, a news article, or perhaps just how your customers in these places use your products.
Customer engagement is dramatically reshaping the world. As a result, businesses have to invest heavily in their technology regarding chat services, digital transformation, and possibly, into very new and exciting tech such as virtual reality.