Starting a new business is relatively easy but the true challenge comes when you want to stay in business. Things can get even more challenging when you need to get customer engagement to build a customer base. It’s not good enough to target potential customers and hope for the best. You need to captivate their attention and keep them interested in order to build long-term relationships and grow your business.

However, it’s not simple to drive customer engagement in the digital era. Customers have the upper hand, they have unlimited access to any product or brand they might want to purchase. They also have the freedom to choose what’s best for themselves, which increases the competition level for your brand.

As a startup, it can be particularly problematic to grow your customer base. After all, you are starting from zero and competing with hundreds of other brands, both offline and online. But that’s not a reason to leave customer engagement behind and focus elsewhere.

Instead, you need to choose the most efficient customer engagement strategies for your business. You should start by adding value to what you already have and then move forward to personalization and collaborations.

Start the Experience with Adding Value

Now, you might have excellent products or services to sell. But when you are building a brand, you need to analyze your added value to establish a viable and competitive price. But that’s just what every other business does to thrive!

If you want to get customer engagement, then it’s time to bring extra value to your customers. Besides delivering flawless service quality and attentive customer support, you should also offer unique product benefits or features. Lastly, you can always offer convenience to your customers, which will simplify and save them time.

Recently I visited a Seattle based restaurant called Tuttabella. They have several locations throughout the city. We ordered a pizza that was incredible. One of the staff members decided to go above and beyond to offer us a treat for our first visit. Most places won’t take the extra step to add value to customers first experience but they did.

Most importantly, if you really want to build a community and a solid customer base, then ensure your product or service has the necessary quality and relevancy to be marketed. Otherwise, you will be putting all your efforts into waste… As Gary Vaynerchuk says:

“You can market your ass off, but if your product sucks, you’re dead.”

Personalization Increases Engagement

How many times have you heard that personalization is key to develop and grow your business? Well, that’s because customers have become more interested, engaged, and demanding quality and customization options.

They are not just looking for personalized communication, they also want highly personalized experiences. That’s why you should be working on relevant and compelling content that is not just perceived by the customers, they stay with them during the entire buyer journey.

A Deloitte study revealed that almost 40% of consumers are interested in purchasing personalized products and almost 50% said they are willing to wait longer in order to receive a personalized product. Moreover, a study conducted by Zoogly Media discovered that personalized web experiences and email campaigns are 26% more likely to be opened-

Collaboration Creates New Opportunities for Exposure

Working alone has its own benefits but engaging with other brands can bring you even more advantages than you think. As a startup, you need any sort of positive exposure you can get and that’s when collaborations come in handy. Now, not all partnerships will be great for your brand but it’s up to you to actively look for businesses you’d like to collaborate.

When you work alongside brands that share identical values and principles, then it gets easier to reach their audience and provide value to everyone. You won’t be stealing their audience and they won’t steal yours. Instead, you will complement each other!

For example, we’ve recently collaborated with indi Chocolate to develop a series of workshops focused on customer engagement. As a result, indi chocolate and Entreprov have started to see new collaborations and customers.

In the end, it’s all about creating meaningful experiences to you and your customers. You should engage in collaborations to let the world know you exist and you offer unique goodies with added value. As Idowu Koyenikan says about teamwork:

“There is immense power when a group of people with similar interests gets together to work toward the same goals.”

Small Acts of Kindness Goes a Long Way

It’s a common practice to thank you, customers, after they purchase something from you. But once again, that’s what every retail business does (or should). That’s why you need to go one step further and follow-up with your customer base. Use your business data to build relationships and engage with existing and potential new customers.

Gratitude can help your startup get customer engagement in different ways. First, you will show your customers how much you appreciate them. Secondly, you will make them feel special and appreciated. Then, it’s only a matter of time until they come back for more.

However, you need to nurture your customer relationships by providing relevant and engaging content on a regular basis. Otherwise, the interest will fade away and the established affinity will soon follow. That is why you should build a cohesive and effective loyalty program for your startup, don’t expect results if you are not working toward them:

“Don’t expect things to be handed to you or for doors to open up when you want them to. You have to be a go-getter and if you aren’t one, you better learn how to become one.” – Neil Patel

Online Reviews Can Dictate Your Reputation

If you want to increase your customer engagement, then it’s time to start addressing your online reputation. What your customers say about you can definitely make or break your startup. As such, whether you have negative or positive feedback on the web, you should at least answer and show people that you are an active and responsible brand.

By doing that, you will be able to directly engage with your customers and understand their opinion. You shouldn’t take feedback lightly. In fact, when you stumble across negative reviews, you should perceive them as improvement points instead of aggressive and destructive behavior.

Don’t forget to provide solutions to try and minimize the damage to your business. Analyze the critics carefully and always thank your customers to go out of their ways to leave feedback. Sometimes, being humble and admitting you are wrong is the best thing you can do for your business. Meanwhile, your customers are responsible for your reputation:

“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room” – Jeff Bezos

Get Customer Engagement to Grow Your Startup Now!

Growing your startup will always be a challenging process and you probably know it from the very start. Anyhow, to get customer engagement you need to rethink your business strategy and perhaps, change your marketing efforts. Only then you will be able to reach your customers and start building meaningful relationships that will generate more revenue.

More importantly, you need to understand that your buyer’s journey doesn’t end after a sale. You need to follow-up with your customer-base and ensure your post-sale marketing plan is doing justice to your customer acquisition strategy.

If you need advice on how to build or improve your customer engagement program, then contact Entreprov today! We’d be more than glad to assist you.