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Customer engagement is more important than ever, in part because it’s also easier than ever. Advances in technology mean that we can now keep in touch with consumers through our websites, blogs, and, especially, social media. When done correctly, it becomes a two way interaction. A recent article in Branding Magazine looked at how smart businesses should not only think like customers, but also feel like them. Here, Justin Cobb appraise this article, and look at how businesses can become more customer-centric.
“The customer is the most important factor for any business to consider, but there’s more competition than ever to grab their interest”, said Justin Cobb. ”That’s why it’s important to get into the mind of the customer, and understand what they’re really looking for deep down. This allows businesses to create products and services that provide unique and effective solutions to real problems that face consumers.”
Consumers always want to see the human side of businesses that they deal with. That’s why they like brands that have a person they know at the head (for example, Sir Richard Branson at Virgin, and the late Steve Jobs at Apple), and why they prefer to talk to real customer service advisers rather than an automated service. As part of this they want authenticity, and to trust a company. A business can encourage this trust to blossom, by taking an empathic approach.
One way to build this empathy is by creating real and unique responses on social media platforms, rather than publishing bland, generic or purely promotional posts. Another way, is to really think about how a customer feels. What are they experiencing in their lives, and how can you help them? By taking this as the starting point to the creation of a new product or service, a business can create true innovation that has the customer themselves at its heart.
“True empathy leads inevitably to innovation, because you see what customers want in a new light, and come up with new solutions to match these needs”, said Justin Cobb. “A good way to do this is to not only use social media, but meet your customers face to face. Entrepreneurs should take every opportunity that they can to meet customers and potential customers.”
Justin Cobb know all about customer engagement. It’s at the centre of their innovative marketing campaigns that bring both customer acquisition and increased brand awareness for clients.