Improving customer engagement is all about knowing your customer. You need to understand who you're trying to reach and what they truly need.
But which systems or approaches are more effective than others? Adding a live chat function may be a good start for some, while others may want to consider shifting how their follow-up procedures work. There are a million different strategies out there on improving customer engagement, so it is difficult to know which method is time-tested and worth trying yourself.
To help, we asked 15 entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council to share the customer engagement approaches they favor and why they work so well. Here's what they advise.
1. Personalize your communication.
"A personal touch can be a great way to make your customers feel welcome. If you are able to deliver them the content that meets that need without raising red flags about privacy, you have ensured customer engagement. A short quiz or a live chat on your website is great for ensuring personalized communication. Use the information obtained to curate relevant content and you have user satisfaction." – Rahul Varshneya, Arkenea
2. Understand where they're coming from.
"Putting yourself in your customer's shoes and allowing yourself to see things from their perspective often allows you to engage and empathize in ways your competitors might not. Being human relates back to understanding where your customers are coming from. Knowing what they want and need from you will allow you to engage with them effectively." – Matthew Podolsky, Florida Law Advisers P.A.
3. Create useful content.
"Creating useful content like how-tos, tutorials, etc., either in written form on your blog or in video form, is a great way to increase customer engagement. Creating content that will help your customers get more out of your product or service will keep them coming back to your website or social media platform for more tips and tricks again and again." – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights
4. Have fun on social media.
"Don't spend all your time on social media trying to sell and being too serious: Have a little fun on social media and you're sure to get more customer engagement. Share a funny meme once in a while that's relatable to your audience. And don't forget to engage with your customers in the comment section too. If you engage with them, you'll get more engagement in return." – John Turner, SeedProd LLC
5. Add live chat on your website.
"Adding a live chat feature to your website is a great way to get your customers to engage more on your website. It provides each of your customers with more personal experience, and anytime customers have a question, they can get it answered right away, which will result in happier customers all around." – Blair Williams, MemberPress
6. Send handwritten notes.
"I like to send my best customers handwritten notes thanking them for their business. I do this at the end of every year to express my gratitude." – Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Creative Development Agency
7. Hold contests and giveaways.
"Contests and giveaways are a great way to boost customer engagement on social media and beyond. One tip is to have your customers tag a couple of friends in order to qualify for the contest to make it go viral and boost engagement." – Jared Atchison, WPForms
8. Pick up the phone.
"Getting on the phone may be old-fashioned and out of vogue for most people in most contexts, but when it comes to improving customer engagement, there is nothing better than picking up the phone and giving your customer a call. In an age in which most communication transpires digitally, telephone calls work so well because they demonstrate added effort and provide a higher and more personal touch." – Adam Mendler, Beverly Hills Chairs
9. Send out quick, easy surveys.
"I've found that mini-surveys just asking for a Net Promoter Score have been very effective. We make it clear that we just want a ranking on a scale of 1-10 and that's it. People seem to be much more likely to give feedback if we make it very short and easy. And while this might leave a little to be desired, overall we get way more data." – Ryan D Matzner, Fueled
10. Implement remarketing strategies.
"One of the best ways to continually engage with new visitors and existing customers is through the use of remarketing. This can be done on platforms like Google AdWords or even on social media with Facebook and Instagram. By targeting users that have already been to your site and know your brand, you can lower costs and increase engagement rates, while also getting creative with your ad campaigns." – Zac Johnson, Blogger
11. Use the right tools for quick customer service.
"For us, investing in tools has uplifted the quality of our customer service and engagement. We use Intercom for live chat and email. The automation helps in communicating with customers in a faster and efficient way. The results are amazing – the highest number of customer problems solved within the SLA. Our customers are loving it, and we are observing increased satisfaction and better engagement." – Liam Martin, TimeDoctor.com
12. Keep them engaged through a newsletter.
"We found, through testing multiple campaigns, that email marketing is still the channel that generates the most engagement. We therefore encourage all of our clients to start with a monthly newsletter where they share important company updates and industry insights. One of our clients experiences a 300 to 500 percent increase in calls and email inquiries every time they launch their newsletter." – Amine Rahal, Little Dragon Media
13. Understand your CSAT score.
"Understanding your customer satisfaction score can help you increase customer engagement and create more loyal fans for your brand. The first step is to survey your customers to find out how happy they are with your product and how you can improve. The happier your customers are, the more engaged they will be with your brand." – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
14. Monitor your comment sections.
"Comment sections for videos and written articles get a bad rap. Since my business is largely based on publishing written content, I make it a habit and a point of pride to offer insightful engagement and thoughtful moderation in all of our comment sections. We carefully monitor these sections so we can issue corrections, answer questions and engage with our audience." – Bryce Welker, CPA Exam Guy
15. Offer post-purchase support.
"Nothing reassures a customer (or a potential customer) more than hearing that you can be trusted to provide great support after a purchase has been completed. Many people avoid large purchases because of the potential of buyer's remorse. One of the only things that reliably mitigate that fear is the trust that a product will be supported even if something randomly goes wrong." – Matt Doyle, Excel Builders