Brand loyalty is something that most B2B (business to business) enterprises are pursuing, but what makes a client stick? Besides delivering a great product at a fair price, customers want to be actively engaged by brands. Technology continues to change the way that people experience brands and the companies that are staying ahead of their competition have their fingers on the pulse.

Consider how technology has changed the way you engage with brands. Instead of picking up the phone and booking an airplane ticket, the entire process – from booking your seat to checking in your baggage – happens remotely via your laptop or smart phone. The way that airlines are getting customer engagement right is by creating tools and platforms that their clients want to use because it makes their life easier.

Engaged customers are happy customers, and they’re also the ones who are buying from you. So here are a few ways that you can harness the power of digital solutions to elevate customer engagement with your brand.

1. Be responsive
Where does your target audience hang out online? Do they belong to LinkedIn groups or are they more likely to tweet you? Do they send messages via your website or email you or your customer services department directly? You can’t engage with your customers if you’re not there, so make sure that you are not only available, but highly responsive. Consider hiring an online community manager, outsourcing to a professional call centre service or deploying a chatbot to offer timely customer support, because this is the type of responsiveness that customers have come to expect.

If you are a design professional, you need to make sure your online brand is as strong as your offline brand. Write LinkedIn Pulse blogs, network online and make it easy to view your work without having to meet you in person.

2. Improve the experience through flexibility
In the flooring sector, it’s common to expect specifiers and other professionals in the built environment to follow a specific process when they want to engage with you. Firstly, they need to decide on the products they want, for example, before they are able to speak to an account manager. Perhaps you could send someone a catalogue or product samples before they specify products.

In today’s customer-driven world, it’s important that you not only give people options when it comes to channels to communicate with your brand but also that they can seamlessly complete their customer journey from whichever point they choose. Often this means having on-the-ground sales people who are knowledgeable about building projects and account managers who are familiar with your warehouse and distribution processes. Make your customer’s journey seamless to boost engagement with your brand.

As a design professional, focus on getting to know your customers’ businesses and make it easy to keep in contact with you. Be available on multiple platforms (such as LinkedIn, Skype, and even WhatsApp if possible).

3. More personalisation
FLOORS In Africa has focused quite a few articles on the importance of personalisation and the customisation trend over the past few months. Customers expect to be treated as individuals at every step and turn, and this need stretches far beyond product customisation options.

Consider the different types of buyer personas that you have in your business, such as property developers, facility managers, specifiers and architects, for example. Instead of sending out newsletters or mass promotional offers, rather tailor your communication and offering to their needs specifically. You can also use advanced customer relationship management (CRM) systems so that a chatbot is able to identify a user without a website visitor having to input their details twice. This type of personalisation is a win for you as well as your customer.

4. Using social media
Many companies set up social media profiles without having a customer engagement plan. If your online community is still very small, set aside time to actively seek out your customers online. After you have added them to your network, plan a content posting schedule where you share everything from customer case studies and links to webinars, to helpful How To articles and industry insights from thought leaders in your industry. If you don’t have your own blog but regularly contribute content to FLOORS in Africa, then you can share links to the articles that you have contributed towards on your own social profiles.

One of the hardest parts of boosting customer engagement is sticking to your strategy. With ongoing work, perseverance and the willingness to change course, you can continue to elevate your brand’s engagement levels with your target audience.

Thanks and acknowledgement are given to www.1to1media.com, www.avenirdigital.ai and www.evergage.com for some of the information contained in this article.

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