There’s no denying that customer interaction – having real conversations with my customers (or potential customers) and using what I learn about what they need – is the cornerstone of my business. So when Abby asked Stacey and I to join her in writing about customer interaction, I was delighted! Be sure to scroll down for your free worksheet and to find the links to the rest of the posts in the series.
No matter what business you’re in or where you’re at, you probably wish you had more engagement – more blog comments, more email subscribers, more sales.
This what everyone wants!
Sadly, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. This is an iterative process and it will likely change as your business changes. It’s unlikely that exactly what works for me will work for you.
But you can, through experimentation, discover what works for you and adapt it as you change.
1. Identify the purpose it serves.
One of my personal pet peeves is when makers judge the health of their business by their blog comments. The two things have nothing to do with each other. Social media makes it easy for us to measure metrics that don’t matter. So instead of being distracted by numbers that don’t matter, start (as always) with what you want:
Do you want to get feedback on a prototype?
Do you want to discover their favorite color?
Do you need help naming your newest project?
Do you need to get to know them and their needs better so you can improve your offerings?
2. Make it all about them.
Now that you know what you want, translate it into the benefit for your people. If they take your survey or reply to your email or share your tweet…what’s in it for them? Now, you don’t have to give an actual physical product – you only have to explain that their feedback really matters. For example, perhaps I’ll take your survey, because you let me know it will affect the kind of products you create. Perhaps I share your tweet, because it helps me serve my own audience.
If interacting with you is useful, entertaining or interesting, it’ll be an easy decision.
3. Make it easy for them.
You can make it easy in two ways:
-Make a clear ask. Be crystal clear in what action you’d like them to take, don’t just hope that they’ll guess at it. (We talked more about this in Abby’s podcast.)
- Go where they are. I like sending emails and asking for replies because I know my people are already in their inbox. Very few people hang around all day on blogs, or comment on many blogs, so that’s not easy for them. If you’re people are on Facebook, ask them to interact with you there. If they’re on Twitter, ask them questions.
And this goes the other way – if you serve a local audience that’s not on social media, don’t try to engage there. Invite them into your shop for a free tasting, offer classes, or go where they are and chat with them there.
Remember: it’s normal for this to take a while to figure out! Give every new experiment a while to work out before you decide if it’s working or n
Make your own plan for customer engagement.
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