While you may be congratulating yourself for your brilliant customer retention strategy, your customer might actually be pulling his hair out in frustration at your constant interruption.
Seamless customer engagement is not as easy it sounds in market advisory websites. The line between engagement and annoyance is very thin indeed and marketers often cannot see it. In their enthusiasm for greater interaction with customers, they tend to cross over and end up terribly annoying instead of attracting their customers.
Any marketing strategy that is successful is designed to gently draw the customer in. No matter how good your content is or your products are, if you annoy your customer, he is unlikely to convert. On the other hand, if you are consistent and not intrusive, he will reward you with business as well as loyalty.
Ironically, even companies that are known to have great customer strategies also end up faltering. But marketing is about connecting with you customers and conveying your business' values and products. The trick lies in doing it without being a nuisance. Here are some ways to achieve this rather difficult balance:
- Respect and authenticity - If you believe customers are your biggest asset, let them know that! When you are directly interacting with customers, if you are not showing them genuine respect, you will instantly appear fake and your product not worthy of attention. Communicate the truth about your product; provide your customer with all relevant information but don't overwhelm them.
- Understand your customer - In order to engage without annoying, you need to have a perfect understanding of your customer -- his online behaviour, likes and dislikes, priorities etc. This information can be obtained by analysing your website data, traffic and email activity. This is crucial to tailor your conversation so that you are able to sell your product/service without frustrating a potential buyer.
- Consistency and relevance - Everything, from your message to your tone to the frequency of your engagement must be consistent. This will tell your customer that your business is steady, reliable and trustworthy. Unpredictable behaviour online or content that is outdated or irrelevant will put him off -- sometimes for life.
- Don't overload please! - Nothing annoys customers more than a barrage of emails, offers, promotions and posts. Of course, it is important to let your customer know all about your products and services but this does not mean that you say it all at once. When people are confronted with a lot of material, their first instinct will be to run away! After all, who wants to sift through piles of promotions? Which is why, companies that are mindful of their customer's time and attention span do better than those that may be snazzier.
- Declutter and be direct - There is no harm in having a fancy website with lots of features -- as long as it is not cluttering up the page and confusing your visitors. A customer is usually multi-tasking and has no time to figure out a whole lot of features to eventually arrive at your product/ service. When visitors land on your website, they should immediately know what your business is about, which products you offer, how it benefits them, and most importantly, how they can access them. This means decluttering your webpage of multiple pop-ups, sidebars etc., and conveying your main message directly.
- Lack of communication - While information overload is a big no no, so is lack of communication. If you have a social media presence, use it. Your posts must not just be about your business; they should be employed to create and present content to your customers as well as respond to their feedback. This will keep the communication channels wide open, while avoiding the pitfalls of too much or too little communication.