Why small businesses need to pay attention to engagement

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by Red Slice on February 12, 2013

Today, here’s a juicy guest post by small business writer Erica Bell about why engagement matters.

Starting a business isn’t easy, I know. Small business owners wear many hats, from CEO to Marketing and HR Manager, and are constantly under a time crunch. While managing the business from sunrise to sunset may already be a challenge, small business owners can’t forget to pay attention to customer engagement. Because smaller businesses often have smaller marketing budgets, they need to pay attention to engagement, something that doesn’t require a large financial investment. Customer engagement is how small businesses can drive loyalty, create return customers and boost starting off sales.

Build Loyalty

Small businesses need to spend some time engaging with customers and building customer loyalty. A customer who supports your business from the beginning and has a great experience will return for more! When small businesses get started, it’s the return customers who build the business. Make sure you are engaging with these early on customers to build their loyalty. How? Be personal and responsive to customers and see those same customers return and spread the word.

  • When a customer is engaged with a company, they develop deeper emotional commitment to the companies, granting them an average 33 points higher Net Promoter® score (NPS®), a common measure of customer loyalty (Bain & Company).

Increase Sales

Engagement with customers can lead to an increase in sales. Customers are likely to share their fantastic experiences and interactions with your brand with their friends, family and in some cases the general public. You can keep engaged and satisfied customers coming back while attracting new ones. Remember, it costs more for your business to acquire a new customer than it does to keep current customers. Engaged customers tend to stick with your business longer, buy more often and refer your brand to their friends. (Tweet this!)

  • Customers who engage with a brand online report spending 20 percent to 40 percent more on that brand, or on that company’s products (Bain & Company).

Provide Better Service

Customer engagement and the customer experience often go hand in hand. When you know where your business is falling short in terms of customer service and the customer experience by engaging with customers, either through social media, your business phone or review sites, you can alter your current strategies for better performances in the future. Engage with your customers to find what they do and don’t like and what they would like to see from your business in the future.

  • Poor customer experiences result in an estimated $83 Billion loss by US enterprises each year because of defections and abandoned purchases (Parature Customer Service Blog).

When engaging with customers, make sure your employees are friendly, personal and knowledgeable. Great personal experiences and great customer engagement leads to great customers who talk about your business and brand in a positive light. Help your business stand apart from the major corporations by providing better, more engaged responses to customers, no matter how they choose to contact you. Engaging with customers can make your job as a small business owner easier. You can cover your marketing, customer service and sales bases all at once!

About Erica: Erica Bell is a small business writer who focuses on topics such as small business call center software and making the most of a business phone system. She is a web content writer for Business.com, Media Inc.

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