Looking for a proven way to grow your business? Customer engagement could be a great way, since it often leads to organic growth. Thus, we put significant efforts to engage with customers after we realized how important this engagement can be. A good customer engagement can successfully build emotional relationship with the customers. It affects customers’ buying decisions that are not only guided by rational thinking, but also strong emotions about your business based on their experiences with your company. Through an excellent customer engagement, your customers become unpaid ambassadors, or something we call “true believers”. They buy your products more often and tell others about how awesome your products are. Interestingly, they become less price sensitive, so price hike won’t matters for them. Nevertheless, creating a distinguished customer engagement isn’t a piece of cake. It’s simply easier said than done. Let’s say you want to burn your money for the customers (i.e low prices, discounts, reward programs, and advertising campaigns), but you can’t bribe them for emotional connections. It’s time to do customer engagement right. Just like any strategy, I found that companies often have dangerously wrong ideas about it. You could start by learning these seven myths that have been developed around customer engagement that keep your business from growing. Here they are: #1. Myth: Company can buy loyalty Offering large discounts may interest customers once, but nobody can be sure that they will return to your business again. Take a look at the way Groupon works. Customers will be interested to buy the discounted products or through Groupon, indeed. Yet, more often than not the customer purchase is only motivated purely by cost savings. We witness that this method isn’t sustainable. As Groupon itself is struggling in running their business, we should focus on offering something repeatable. Great customer experience is obviously much more convincing to pull customers back. #2. Myth: No news is good news Your company doesn’t receive any complaint recently. Is everything going well? Don’t be so sure. I’ve read that only one out of four customers complain when they have an issue. Others simply don’t want the hassle for complaining their issues. Really, few complaints can mean a large pool of silent unhappy customers. In that sense, be sure to regularly asks for customers’ feedback through online surveys, questionnaires as well as opinion polls. It also works for creating better customer engagement. #3. Myth: All customers want and need the same thing This is funny. We understand that everyone is unique and different in their own way, but think all customers are the same. If your company is truly customer-centric, this is clearly not the case. Recently, I wrote something about whether or not your company is customer-centric. Successful customer-centric companies only focus on 10% of customers, since those customers stick with your business indefinitely. Moreover, loyal customers can always buy more or bring in their friends — yes, drive more profits. The point is, all customers are not created equal. The way we treat our best customers should be different with the way we treat new customers. Make sure that your business can treat loyal customers to feel special. #4. Myth: Asking for feedback is the ultimate customer engagement Yes, your business is getting customers involved by asking them what they want. However, it’s not enough. It feels more like you’re forcing them to contribute to your company’s growth. Some people don’t really have time to do such endeavor. The real customer engagement means giving customers opportunities to connect with your company, such as showing them a sneak preview of a new product before its’ official public launch or inviting them to exclusive launching event. Those are possibly the ultimate ways of customer engagement. #5. Myth: Customers won’t come back after you gave a wrong treatment You can’t be so sure about that. Some customers are more forgiving than we thought! As long as you apologize along with good reasons of your previous mistakes. Here’s what to do: after a screw-up, send them a genuine apology with an explanation about why it happened. That way, there’s a good chance they will forget about the wrong treatment over time, especially if your business is able to offer great customer service and quality products right away. #6. Myth: Most of your customers want to have relationships with your business/brand It’s obviously a no-no, unless the customers want to get discounts. They just don’t see a relationship with a brand as a thing, since relationships are mostly reserved for family and friends. This is why you should separate between customers who want a relationship and who doesn’t. For instance, I found several websites who ‘force’ me to subscribe their newsletter and stuff — and they have quite confusing systems to unsubscribe. I personally don’t feel want to engage with them because of its endless emails. Nobody wants, right? Let’s think from the customer perspectives at all times. #7. Myth: Plenty of interactions can build relationships In terms of quantity, your business may have several interactions with a particular customer. However, his/her engagement with your business is still questionable. Do you want to know why? It’s because business-customer relationships are often built by shared values rather than interactions alone. According to a study by Karen Freeman, Patrick Spenner, and Anna Bird of Corporate Executive Board, 64% of customers who have a brand relationship cited shared values as the primary reason. While only 13% of customers cited frequent interactions with the brand as a reason for having a relationship. Thus, make sure that your business has a higher purpose that may interest your customers to join in with your mission. The key to building relationships with your customers is communicating clearly about your business’ philosophy or valuable purpose. Conclusion Rather than believing the seven myths above, it’s time to recognize your customers better. You can categorize them into three distinct groups based on Gallup Customer Engagement Score (Gallup CES): fully engaged, indifferent, and actively disengaged. It helps you to choose certain strategies to strengthen customer engagement. Of course, we are all thriving on making our company deliver what we promise. It’s the secret to build customer engagement, as it’s the only way to make your customers feel proud and think your company is perfect for them. Do you believe those seven myths mentioned before? Which one surprises you on this list? Leave a comment below. 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