Any effort you make to engage with your target audience before they arrive at your business can lead to an overall better experience for everyone involved.

Customers form first impressions long before they pick up the phone or walk into your business. Engaging with your customers will increase the likelihood of a positive first impression, which will lead to a sense of positive anticipation of doing business with you.

Engaging with customers will also reap some benefits for your business. It will help you to anticipate their needs, earn their trust, and pave the way for a satisfactory transaction. Happy customers spend more and tell others about your business.

Here are three ways to engage with your audience and get more customers.

Show your personality

Your personality should be evident in everything. From your website, to your social media profiles and brochures, customers need to see what makes you different and exciting. Do you want to be recognized as stuffy and corporate or relaxed, warm, and inviting? Tell – and show – your story because customers want to have meaningful interactions with your brand.

People are talking about your business on social media networks. Get involved, on these networks, to build relationships and show you're listening. You can win customers and convert skeptics with a timely and friendly response to a question or comment about your business.

People also read a lot into your responses to online reviews – especially the negative reviews. Are you disinterested, aggressive and defensive, or customer focused?

Ask questions

Shoppers by Doc Searls

Shoppers by Doc Searls

Your conversations with your audience should be about their needs, not your products. People won't care what your products can do until you demonstrate genuine concern. Get to know what's important to your customers. Spend more time listening than talking.

Ask questions and offer helpful suggestions and information – even if they're unrelated to your products. Train your sales team to ask questions with the goal of finding out about customers' expectations and you'll increase your chances of fulfilling and exceeding them.

The more you engage with your customers, the easier it will be to anticipate their needs and deliver what they want on a consistent basis.

If you understand their priorities, it will be easier to give them what they want and offer things that add value. Stay on top of the things your customers want by listening to what they have to say.

Add value

Devise ways to help customers get the best from their purchase or their initial interaction with you. Your company's blog, updated regularly with helpful information, will add value, create trust, and build your credibility.

Stay one step ahead of your customers by offering them the things they want before they ask. You can only achieve this by active listening and asking questions before you offer a solution. Think about products that complement what you have to offer, and don't be afraid to recommend them to customers – they'll thank you for it.

A little goodwill goes a long way in business. Engage with your customers by being visible in your business and making personal contact with prospects in order to build rapport and trust. This will help them form positive first impressions and increase their chances of doing business with you.

By Jack Bishop

Jack researches online marketing strategies. He enjoys writing about modern marketing and customer satisfaction on business and marketing blogs.

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