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6 strategies for effectively engaging with customers

Consumers are bombarded with information every day. Anytime you manage to reach someone through all that noise, it’s a win. But to make those victories pay off over the long term, you don’t just want consumers to notice your brand passively while scrolling. You want to inspire customer engagement.

In this piece, we’ll cover key topics businesses should consider for improving customer engagement, including:

What is customer engagement?

Effective customer engagement goes beyond the transactional relationship of placing orders and providing a good or service. It involves being proactive about soliciting feedback and building interactive relationships with your customers.

Benefits of customer engagement

Customer engagement is an important goal to pursue for many reasons. With it, you can:

  • Gain valuable feedback. Customers who speak up about what they think of your brand provide you with crucial intel on how to make your business and products better.

  • Create customer satisfaction. When a customer’s relationship with your brand feels authentic, they’re more likely to be satisfied with their overall experience.

  • Encourage customer advocacy. Customer engagement that occurs in public channels like social media or review platforms provides social proof that may inspire others to become customers. Plus, engaged customers are more likely to recommend you to friends and followers.

  • Build customer trust and loyalty. When customers see you care about their input, it builds trust, which inspires customer loyalty.

  • Increase sales. Engaged customers who care about your brand make repeat purchases, identify areas for improvement, and help drive more business through referrals. All of that contributes to your main goal: increasing sales.

Customer engagement strategies

If you have high-quality products, some level of customer engagement may happen organically. But most brands will still benefit from actively encouraging it. Here are 6 smart customer engagement strategies to consider:

Create branded content that helps solve customer problems

Producing helpful content shows customers you understand and care about their needs, while also giving them opportunities to interact with your brand. To develop content that leads to engagement:

  • Keep it relevant and useful. Think about how your unique expertise can help customers improve their lives, solve their problems, or enhance their experience with your products.

  • Include calls to action that solicit responses. Ask customers to tell you what they think, share their experiences, or provide any questions they still have.

Here’s what this could look like on a brand’s social media channels:

  • A grocery store could share recipes that highlight seasonal items and encourage customers to weigh in on substitutions in the comments

  • A restaurant could provide content on proper plating techniques to make take-home orders feel as fancy as in-store dining and invite customers to share pictures of their plates

  • A clothing retailer could make video tutorials on creating outfits with that season’s line and ask customers to submit photos of their favorite pairings

Be involved and responsive on social media

With social channels, customers have a direct line to brands they want to engage with. Businesses can use and build on that with a strategy for social engagement. Before you step up your social media efforts, it’s important to establish clear guidelines for your employees. You want to maintain a consistent voice across all platforms and ensure that your team members know to steer clear of controversial topics. Once your rules are in place, you can use these strategies to increase engagement with your brand on social media:

  • Respond to anyone who mentions your brand. Monitor your main social channels for all brand mentions—positive and negative. Re-share positive posts on your feed, and reach out to customers who have complaints to try and make the issue right.

  • Encourage user-generated content. Create a hashtag and ask customers to use it when sharing photos or videos about your brand.

  • Join social conversations. Monitor relevant keywords and look for natural opportunities to jump into conversations that relate to your brand and products.

  • Aim to start discussions. Don’t post only about your brand on social—also publish content that encourages dialogue. That can include asking questions and using the poll features available on some social platforms.

Emphasize the humans behind your brand

Humans relate to other humans. Showing your customers the people behind your brand is a smart way to make them feel more connected to your company. Here are a few ways to help customers get to know your team:

  • Highlight employees on your online channels. Give your staff a chance to shine by posting bios or interviews with them on your blog and social feeds.

  • Add a team page to the website. Provide photos and short bios of your employees where all website visitors can see them.

  • Share staff picks. Your people are all experts on your products, so give them a way to share which items are their favorites and why.

  • Set up employee takeovers on social media. Your employees may be social media–savvy, so consider handing them the reins of your handles for a day at a time. If you go this route, though, you’ll need clear guidelines, and you might want to establish an approvals process before posts go up.

  • Make it easy for customers to reach a human. When customers have an issue with your brand, they want a fast resolution. Provide easy ways for them to reach the right employee or team when they need to.

Monitor and respond to reviews

A customer who leaves a review is already showing engagement with your brand. Treating reviews as an interactive channel is a good way to show them you are paying attention and value their opinions.

  • Monitor your reviews. Your customers are likely leaving reviews across various websites, so develop a good strategy for monitoring all of them. You can find online reputation management software that brings reviews from multiple sources into one place for you.

  • Treat bad reviews as a customer service opportunity. Bad reviews are always disappointing at first. But if you treat them as the beginning of a conversation, they can become an opportunity. Respond to the reviewer by letting them know how you intend to correct the problem. That may mean giving them a discount or refund, or making a change to your business or products.

  • Share appreciation for good reviews. Replying to good reviews is easier: simply take time to thank the customer, so they can see that you value their experience.

  • Act on the feedback you receive. Every review is a piece of feedback. Use what you learn to make improvements. If you make a change based on a review right away, you can let the customer know directly that their input inspired an important modification in your business.

Establish a loyalty program

A loyalty program can help you identify and nurture relationships with your most engaged customers. By providing loyal customers with rewards for the actions you want them to take, you give them an extra reason to engage with you.

Here are a few tactics to increase engagement with loyal customers:

  • Offer punch cards. A loyalty program doesn’t have to involve a complicated point system. Providing physical or digital punch cards that allow customers to earn a free item after a certain number of purchases is a low-tech way to improve engagement and get customers back in the door.

  • Give exclusive benefits. Look for opportunities to provide members of your loyalty program with special offers. That could include early access to new products, special discounts, or members-only events.

  • Introduce personalization. The data you gain through your loyalty program can help you provide personalized offers based on a customer’s preferences and order history.

  • Solicit feedback. Loyal customers are often happy to make specific suggestions about how you can improve their experience. Ask for their feedback outright and act on it.

Set up customer interviews

One of the most direct ways to engage with customers is to have conversations with them. Talking to your customers is the best method for learning their preferences, priorities, and feelings about their experiences with your brand. Here are a few tips to make the most out of your customer interviews:

  • Identify good customers to speak with. People who have mentioned your brand on social media, provided reviews, and signed up for your loyalty program are all good options, since you know they have opinions and care enough to share them. Consider including some of the customers who left negative reviews as well, to get a more well-rounded picture.

  • Gain feedback for internal use. Use the interviews to inform product improvements, customer service processes, and marketing efforts. When you make changes based directly on customer input, customers notice. Knowing that you listen to them increases their trust and loyalty toward your brand.

  • Turn customer interviews into valuable content for your brand. If the customer provides permission, you can also use those interviews as marketing materials. You can feature customers on your blog, share their quotes as testimonials, and create case studies based on what they tell you.

Learn how Uber Eats can help drive more customer engagement

A strong customer engagement strategy will span all the main channels customers use to interact with your brand. Businesses that partner with Uber Eats gain an additional channel for interacting with customers. Our platform offers several effective features for increasing engagement, including:

  • Customer reviews. After each order, customers are encouraged to provide feedback on their experience. You can use these reviews to collect input, identify themes, and make adjustments where applicable.

  • Merchant review responses. Uber Eats allows you to respond to customer reviews directly in the app, so you can show customers you’re listening. If you’re short on time but still want to show customers you’re engaged, you can automate responses for reviews that match specific qualities (like star rating and minimum order total). When you receive a negative review, Uber Eats also makes it easy to offer coupons to improve the customer’s experience and continue the relationship.

  • Analytics and insights. Rich analytics tools help you understand your customers and improve their experience. To inspire more thoughtful ways to engage with your customers, you can explore and act on key insights, including:

    • New versus returning customer breakdown, to help you understand the proportion of customers who are happy enough to keep ordering from you
    • Best-selling items, as well as data about how customers rate individual items
    • Order accuracy analytics, to track how well you’re delivering on what customers want

Uber Eats doesn’t just help connect you to new customers. We also help you stay connected to them with key customer engagement features. If you haven’t partnered with Uber Eats yet, getting started is easy. For additional guidance on creating a strong customer experience and growing your business, check out our library of best practices and tips.

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