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Why Customer Engagement is Essential, and How to Earn It
Maintaining good customer relationships needs to be a top priority for every business owner, especially in their company’s early years. Customers who show up because of a stellar marketing campaign aren’t always guaranteed to come back. If they are unhappy with a product or with the service they have received, the money and time you’ve spent on ads is mostly wasted. So what can you do to create long-term relationships with your customers? Here are some of the ways successful businesses engage with customers and earn their continuing loyalty.
Make time for your customers.
No matter how busy you are, remember that one of your main jobs as a business owner is to keep clients happy. So try to delegate other tasks, when possible, in order to put your customers needs and concerns first. Work like accounting, logo design, and data entry can all be delegated or outsourced to freelancers. You can also minimize the amount of paperwork you have to do when you register your business as an LLC (limited liability company). Save time and money by using a formation service to register your business for you.
Be polite and positive.
This should be a no-brainer, but unfortunately, some business owners and managers never bothered to learn basic etiquette. If you’re trying to impress customers with your importance or authority, this will likely have the opposite effect. Instead, be courteous, take time to listen to your customers, and get to know them. Customers also will react more positively when you have a positive attitude. Complaining about your work and your life in general leaves a negative impression.
Keep your employees happy.
Your employees are often your customers main point of contact with your company. Unhappy employees in a toxic environment have little incentive to perform well or to prioritize customer satisfaction. If your customers are consistently having issues with your employees, or your workers are underperforming, ask yourself whether bad attitudes are trickling down from the top, before assuming that the employees are wholly at fault.
It can be tempting to talk up the product or service you are offering or to underbid just to get a customer to contract with you. This leads to negative outcomes, however, if you can’t live up to what you’ve promised, or if you have to charge more than you originally agreed to. Or, alternatively, if you’re hustling to keep unrealistic promises, you end up cutting corners in other areas of business, losing profits, and even burning yourself out.
Offer rewards and incentives.
Reward programs and exclusive offers can help create customer loyalty over time and increase sales and profits. A good incentive program should create clear rewards for clients, reflect your company’s brand, and offer a range of levels. Make sure you include rewards and incentives in your budget so you don’t end up without the funds to keep them active.
Once you have established ongoing relationships with happy and loyal customers, you will see the difference in all aspects of your business. Your profits will be better, your forecast more positive, and your employees more dedicated to your company’s success.