Are you engaged with your customers enough?
By adding services such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram, you can create a total social profile that addresses many different customer bases at multiple levels.
Customer engagement is important in any business, but for utilities it can present a significant challenge. Perhaps it’s that, as a society, we’ve taken clean water and abundant electricity for granted, to the point we’re critical of our utility company for not offering the lowest prices or the same deal as a startup competitor.
To address the need for increased transparency in how their business operates, many utilities have taken to social media to engage with customers.
While this is sound advice for the majority of companies, how can you ensure you have all the information needed to face the public’s questions? Below we’ll examine a few steps you can take to engage successfully with your customers.
Talk to your customers, not at them…
A key part of engaging with customers in our current age is by taking the leap to social media. However, if this is your first time jumping into the online world to talk with your customers, there are a few key points to remember.
One common mistake many make is dehumanising their business and responding with robotic and unsympathetic responses. Generally, customers will go online with their concerns. While you may get a few people wanting to congratulate you for the excellent service you provide, many people look at social media as a way to vent their frustrations, or gain the collective support of other customers when they have a problem.
By addressing your customers as people, and responding to their concerns with empathy and sincerity, you can ensure that when your customers have an issue they don’t abandon your business due to an impersonal or insufficient response.
Spread yourself across social media.
Maybe you want to create a company Facebook page, and interact with your customers that way, or perhaps you think Twitter is an easier method of communicating with your clientele.
The secret to success in this area is to not limit yourself to just one piece of social media. Thinking about your online presence as a whole can help illustrate this point; Facebook is excellent for responding to individual customers and sharing articles or thought leadership appropriate to your industry, but it’s just the start of your online profile.
By adding services such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram, you can create a total social profile that addresses many different customer bases at multiple levels. Twitter is great for providing instant, snappy updates on your service or something that needs to gain traction quickly, while if your business is visual-heavy you could even create an Instagram account to update your customers with enticing photos.
Engaging with customers brings them closer to your business.
Some common mistakes to avoid:
If this is your first time jumping into the world of social media for customer engagement and retention, you’ll no doubt experience a few trip ups along the way. Although this is bound to happen at some point, we’re grouped together the most common issues to help you get started in the right way.
Some of the problems companies experience when entering social media are:
– Keeping it short term: Successful social media engagement is a long distance run not a sprint.
– Don’t flood your customers: People already chose your business for a reason, so bombarding them with pointless posts will do little to keep them engaged.
– Tackle the tough subjects: Don’t avoid the tricky questions. Not only does answering them openly prove transparency, learning to navigate difficult issues will provide benefits back to your business model.
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