Engaging Your Customers in 2011: It’s Easier Than You Think

Yesterday, I had a short but insightful meeting with a client about ways to increase customer engagement, or CE (for the ever-morphing definition of CE, please see Wikipedia’s page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Customer_engagement). There seems to be some mystique in the market about how best to do this in the new social media landscape.

There are many case studies out there about CE successes and failures, but I believe that most small to medium sized companies should start simply. How do you develop relationships with customers offline? What has been successful? I bet the answers for companies with a customer-centric vision include the following: “We ask them questions. Then we listen to the answers. Then we make actionable steps to include that feedback into our strategic goals and objectives.” The same tact should be taken with online CE.

From your company’s Facebook page to free online survey tools like www.surveymonkey.com, there are several options for how to collect customer feedback. Don’t get mired in the method. Start simply. If you asked all of your customers – including your internal customers/employees – this question, “What is one thing we do that you wish we did better?” you should get enough information to dramatically improve your strategic plan for 2011. If you aren’t ready for the online leap, you could even pick up the phone and ask them. Be sure to thank everyone for his or her feedback. Realize that taking the time to thank your customers and employees can also be an opportunity for engagement.

So, now I am taking my own advice. Marketing to Go wants to know, “What is one thing we do that you wish we did better?” Thank you in advance for your feedback. Wishing you a healthy and prosperous New Year. Respectfully, Laura Furumoto

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