The old adage “the customer is always right” is commonly misused. Rather than blindly fulfilling every request, it is about truly listening to customers and going above and beyond to comprehend their needs.
Keeping customers happy has been an essential business practice for time immemorial and the key to turning customers into loyal brand evangelists. One of the best ways to maintain customer satisfaction is by increasing customer engagement.
In this article, we will review some of the customer engagement best practices that can help you attract and retain your consumer base for many years to come.
1. Long-form Podcasts
In the past few years, long-form podcasts have exploded in popularity. This is thanks, in large part, to podcast hosts such as Joe Rogan, who will invite interesting guests from all walks of life to discuss topics for 2 to 3 hours per show.
Many companies are now starting podcasts and featuring customers as “call in” or special guests. In this way, everyday individuals can feel like stars as they talk to representatives from brands about their experiences. Many listeners also want their shot to appear on these podcasts, and they will happily promote the brand to be granted this privilege.
Take a leaf from Amazon which recently started a “This Is Small Business” podcast introducing local brands and the founders behind new innovations, to help businesses under their wing succeed. This channel is not limited to e-commerce giants and distributors. Singapore-based baby product brand, Hegen launched a podcast last year, inviting experts to address struggles and share tips for commonly-faced parenthood challenges.
This shows a deeper understanding of your consumers’ needs and helps to create a greater emotional connection to your brand.
2. Live Streaming
One of the most effective ways to connect with customers is through the use of live streaming. Live streaming allows for a more casual, relaxed approach to customer communication.
When a brand provides opportunities for customers to connect via live stream, they make it easy for anyone to ask questions about a new product, gain insight into the values and personality of those behind the brand, and learn about the mission of the company in question.
Best of all, live streaming is extremely easy. Brands often don’t have to prepare elaborate presentations for live streams. Rather, they can hop on at any time and speak extemporaneously to their customers and fans – making the channel refreshingly authentic.
And authenticity is the key driver to building long-term customer loyalty. Customers respond greatly to the immediacy of engagement with live streaming, especially when someone from the firm directly engages with them. Being live also implies that anything can happen, which helps your brand honest, trustworthy, and bona fide to your consumers.
Surrounded by picture-perfect advertisements and social media feeds, companies can stand out to customers just by wearing their hearts on their sleeves, and live streaming is the best medium for developing this brand image.
Brands will also often hold a live stream during an exclusive event or while a new product is dropping. This technique piques the interest of many people who love to be the first in line for hot new items.
This is proven by Hyperlive TV’s success. In August 2021, HyperLive TV debuted as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on the entertainment sector. They aimed to transcend the typical one-way transmission of internet events. Instead, design interactive experiences.
With the aid of BeLive, HyperLive TV connects viewers to live entertainment and lifestyle material in real-time using cutting-edge features like Live Gifting and In-Stream Mini Games.
The All-Stars E-Getai Charity Concert 2021 is a fantastic instance of what is achievable with HyperLive TV. Using the live gifting function, which allowed audience members to send donations in the form of live gifts, the virtual fundraising concert was able to raise more than $200,000 for the NTUC-U Care Fund.
Live streaming is truly a step into the future of online shopping. Taking another leaf from Amazon, the e-commerce giant has increased its investment in Amazon Live to grab a slice of the live stream shopping market. This is not a huge surprise given that the live streaming market is forecasted to reach US$534.37 billion by the year 2030. With affordable white-label live streaming SaaS solutions, brands making the move towards integrating live streaming into their business and marketing strategy can greatly benefit from the first-mover advantage.
3. Social Media
Between Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and all of the other social media services; nearly half the world’s population has at least one social media account. In fact, many people have more than one social media account connected with their name.
Furthermore, social media platforms provide an array of tools for producing engaging content. Consider the evolving Instagram Stories. Adding a sticker with a location, link, poll, or question to your Instagram Story encourages interaction and increases engagement. Consumers are able to offer their views or discover more about your brand through these stickers. According to Instagram,”the polling sticker increased three-second video views in nine out of ten beta campaigns”.
Features are not the only tools that social media can supply; they also have a large pool of content creators with their own followers, which your business can tap into beyond your existing customer base.
One example is from Ocean Spray. Nathan Apodaca, a rising TikTok star, videotaped himself in 2020 while listening to Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” and holding a 64-ounce bottle of Ocean Spray Cran-Raspberry, and the video went viral. According to Trace Rutland, Ocean Spray’s digital hub director, the video had over 13 million views, sales of Fleetwood Mac’s song jumped 374 percent, and average daily usage of “Dreams” on TikTok increased 1,380 percent. The best part is that the idea came from Nathan’s social media followers – showcasing the group’s potential.
These services are incredibly important for both business and personal reasons. For brands, in particular, social media services allow for access to a gigantic pool of potential buyers from around the world, all of whom may become long-term loyal customers.
By creating a great social media strategy, you open the door to countless business opportunities.
Connecting with customers is vital to the success of all businesses in the 21st century. Gone are the days of mysterious CEOs and higher-ups within companies. Instead, we now see that companies who make the effort to reach out to customers and connect with said individuals tend to enjoy great success.
There are many different creative ways to increase customer engagement. Whether you choose to focus on social media, podcasts, live streaming, or all three is entirely up to you. But whatever you do, be sure that you demonstrate to your customers that you understand them and are willing to engage with them on a regular basis.