Guest Blog: How to Improve Customer Engagement Throughout Rapid Growth
Rapid growth is a fascinating stage in the business lifecycle. For companies fortunate enough to make it here, it’s truly a sink or swim situation. While the dramatic spike in sales can mean huge boosts in revenue and customers, the trick is making sure your engagement levels stay healthy to create long term relationships.
As customers may be coming in droves, engagement tactics need to be stronger than ever. After all, businesses that prioritize a customer engagement strategy report customer loyalty to be 89% stronger than those that don’t.
Companies that are able to adapt their engagement strategies to fit in with their increasing success will find it much easier to keep this momentum going. Here are three ways your business can continue to cultivate customer engagement during the exciting and busy time of rapid growth.
1. Enhance Current Internal Workflows
As businesses grow, employees are often inundated with more responsibilities. Workers that have feelings of being overwhelmed from their workload report up to a 70% drop in their productivity levels. This could mean major setbacks in digital customer engagement during a time of advancement. Customer support teams can especially feel the pressure to keep up with increasing demand, and without a proper system in place, many customers are at risk of falling through the cracks.
Businesses need to understand that day-to-day practices must be refined to ensure customer success. Rapid growth is a time when the number of customers is going to skyrocket at an intimidating pace. For this purpose, implementing a task management system like Workzone can be a saving grace that keeps sales, marketing, and customer support in-sync throughout this phase. Managers can assign queries and keep track of progression, so no customer interaction slips past unnoticed. The shared team calendar dashboard gives full visibility across the organization.
Businesses need to understand that day-to-day practices must be refined to ensure customer success. It is nearly impossible for a company to remain engaged with their customers if they are struggling with internal difficulties on a daily basis. Incorporating a unified customer engagement solution can help you stay one step ahead, but without a proper internal management system in place, it may be difficult for team members to stay on top of ALL interactions. As the workload increases during rapid growth, the old systems and strategies that worked before may need to be adjusted.
2. Keep Up with Customer Data
With the influx of customers comes an increase in the amount of data that businesses must keep track of if they want to maintain their pattern of growth. Using key data points like customer shopping habits, previous purchases, and even shipping addresses can make a huge difference when it comes to gaining repeat customers.
Personalization is the key to customer loyalty, and 58% of customers say they would return to a business that sends them personalized shopping suggestions based on their previous purchases.
Growing businesses that want to improve customer engagement strategies must be able to collect and use their incoming data in an efficient way that puts the right messaging in front of the right eyes. Using a powerful solution that can record customer history, preferences, and information is necessary for businesses to build customer profiles that help them form a long-term engagement strategy with them.
This is already a reality in ecommerce, as platforms like Shopify help retailers leverage their point of sale data to form a real-time view of their customers. Every visitor is invited to create an account for easier checkouts, allowing the system to record their views, clicks, purchases, and more for a complete customer view. This data can then be integrated with customer engagement solutions to provide personalized recommendations and upsell options on the website in real-time, as well as used in email messaging, live chat, and other marketing campaigns down the line.
Having quick access to customer data in one place can make all the difference in customer loyalty. The last thing in the world you want is for your agents to be scrambling around to locate call history when a customer calls you. Customers expect companies to use their personal data for better interactions, and failure to do so can quickly lead to customer churn. Half of online consumers agreed that they would switch brands if a company did not anticipate their needs or make an effort to personally communicate with them.
By managing these important relationships, marketing and sales teams can offer better shopping suggestions and material that engages and excites people to buy again. For instance, Bold360’s customer engagement tool provides sales and support agents with instant access to user information and the right context to properly address queries in real-time. It goes even further by anticipating the customer’s next request and handling routine interactions with pre-recorded messaging. This is crucial for helping customers in need and resolving issues quickly.
The influx of customers during rapid growth comes with a huge boost in the amount of data to keep track of. Using key data points like customer shopping habits, purchases, previous interactions, and even shipping addresses can make a huge difference when it comes to gaining repeat customers.
3. Stay True to Core Values
It is vitally important that companies remain true to their core vision during this time, without getting caught up in the boom of business. Core values help to build a brand that customers recognize and connect with. In fact, about 50% of visitors agreed that the “About Us” page on company websites is important to include because customers genuinely care about business values.
Staying true to your brand’s commitment to the customer is the best way to ensure long-term engagement. For example, Indian jewelry retailer BlueStone lets customers schedule time with stylists to bring expensive pieces of jewelry to their home so they can try them out before buying. In spite of rapid growth and an inventory running into thousands of pieces of jewelry, BlueStone remains committed to improving customers’ shopping experience by continuing this practice.
Even though they could have stopped offering in-home try-ons, they understood that this hands-on experience was a key value proposition. CEO Guarav Kushwaha stated in an interview on Your Story: “We understand the need for touch and feel for a high-value purchase. Hence, we launched the home trial option…we are not considering offline stores.”
As companies grow and expand, it is important that they do not lose sight of the vision and values that brought them into rapid growth. Businesses that only focus on numbers, while putting their fundamental values on the backburner, will eventually create a disconnect between their customers, which could ultimately lead to a nosedive in engagement.
Make sure that your growth periods in business don’t turn into a death sentence for customer engagement levels. Rapid growth will introduce all sorts of new challenges. You will need to find ways to manage all of the complications and changes that come with it. While you certainly want to remain true to the core elements that made you successful, upgrading and implementing the right systems and processes will be completely necessary to maintain and increase customer engagement levels, while quickly attaining business maturity.
Pratik Dholakiya is the Co-Founder of E2M, a full service digital marketing agency and PRmention, a digital PR agency. He regularly speaks at various conferences about SEO, Content Marketing, Growth Hacking, Entrepreneurship and Digital PR. Pratik has spoken at NextBigWhat’s UnPluggd, IIT-Bombay, SMX Israel, and other major events across Asia. As a passionate marketer, he shares his thoughts and knowledge on publications like Search Engine Land, Entrepreneur Magazine, Fast Company, The Next Web and the Huffington Post to name a few. He has been named one of the top content marketing influencers by Onalytica three years in a row.