Customer Engagement

The holidays are a vital time to engage your customers and build momentum for your business. “It’s no longer a seasonal business,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at consumer research firm NPD Group Inc. “It’s a yearlong investment for the consumer. And retailers need to change. They have to excite shoppers early in the season and later in the season – and all year long.”

Let’s look at ways you can use your online presence to engage customers for the holidays and throughout the year.

Your website is ultimately where customers come to learn more about your products and service. Make sure it’s a strong part of your customer engagement strategy by making your site a good representation of your business. Don’t forget to “ask for the sale” with good calls to action. Use specific landing pages to encourage immediate conversions.

You can also use abandoned cart emails to remind customers of purchase decisions or marketing automation to tailor drip email programs to prospects who have expressed specific interest.

Social Media
Your social media presence can provide a high-traffic avenue for engaging your customers throughout the year. Besides posting about promotions and sales, you can post coupon codes, event invites, and more.

Platforms like Marketo and Salesforce Marketing Cloud offer social products that can help you keep in touch with your customers all year long. You can use these platforms to schedule automated postings, create workflows to track and assign engagements to support staff, and generate reporting to measure success and uncover areas that need improvement.

Using an email drip program, you can schedule engagement for a longer nurturing cycle. You can use platforms like Marketo or Pardot to shift delivered content based on email clicks and website visits. Capitalize on user-generated content, especially at times of year where lots of gift photos are taken and shared. This content can be embedded onto your website using applications like ShopSocially to connect your customer product photos with direct shopping links.

Customer Service
Online customer service might not be at the forefront of your holiday marketing plan, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. It can be a means of securing customer loyalty. Streamline your online customer service and offer resources that your customers can use themselves, if appropriate. You can do this with some of Salesforce’s Cloud technologies, such as the Service Cloud and the Community Cloud.

With service automation, your customers can receive immediate text and email responses personalized to their requests, even when your support staff is unavailable, so that they feel their solution is in progress. You’ll also empower your support employees by keeping a record of customer requests and managing a repository of self-service FAQs that can provide fast resolution.

The holidays are a busy time of year, which means your customers are probably overwhelmed with holiday promotions and sales. You can help relieve some of their stress by proactively engaging them. Reach out to your customers during the holidays and stay in touch with them throughout the year.

Not sure how to get started? Contact us at Starkmedia. We’ll help you create an action plan or show you how to implement any of the technologies mentioned in this post.