3 Ways to Develop an Engaged Customer Base

Experts agree across the board that it is 5 to 10 times more expensive to lure in a new customer than it is to maintain an existing relationship. But with hundreds of companies putting out similar products with competitive prices, how do you keep previous purchasers coming back for more?

Keep them engaged with your business. The more exposure each user has with your brand, the more readily your product comes to mind when s/he is looking for a replacement, an upgrade, or related merchandise.

Keep reading for surefire ways to engage customers without intruding on their busy lives.

Focus on what’s important.

Simon Sinek, author of “Start With Why,” forged a concept called the Golden Circle based on the functional inspiration of past brands and leaders to help businesses focus on what is important. The circle creates a bullseye on why each entity does what it does, following subsequently with how they do it and what they sell, create or offer.

Golden Circle

 When brands give consumers the reason why they make their products, they inspire consumers to believe what they believe and, therefore, create lasting bonds. Ad campaigns of brands that take hold of their “why” often sound like this:

Toms“At TOMS, we think everyone deserves a good pair of shoes. So, we promise to donate a pair to a child in the third world for every pair of shoes purchased. Also, we happen to make comfortable espadrilles in a variety of styles for you to express yourself. Want some?”

But you don’t need to be a not-for-profit to have a real “why” to hold onto.  Other entities that have used the Golden Circle include Apple, Inc., Martin Luther King Jr. and Dollar Shave Club.

Be transparent.

In our 24-hour news world, the expectation for a brand that is up front and takes action is at the forefront of consumers’ attention. Let customers behind the curtain by showing them how your process works, who is taking care of them and where their money goes to create assurance in your customers.

A “no comment” statement in a time of uncertainty can kill a brand, as it highlights what you won’t tell the public. Instead, admit mistakes and promise to uncover the problem quickly so that others will not be affected.

Throw in some hoopla.

More and more, corporate personalities interact with their customers in the same places they go to meet their friends: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds. So, it is often most appropriate to behave in the same ways their friends do. A sarcastic, silly or endearing tone feels more natural in these environments and gains more attention.

Sharpie Sharpie2

Sharpie shows its stuff on Instagram, where the colorful markers can let their creativity blossom. In the comments, viewers share with their friends and engage with the company’s posts.

Arbys

Arby’s uses timely cultural moments to connect their products with customers’ emotions.

All these tactics fall into one overarching theme of authenticity. Howard Schultz made the necessity of authenticity clear in his book “Pour Your Heart Into It:”

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“In this ever-changing society, the most powerful and enduring brands are built from the heart. They are real and sustainable. Their foundations are stronger because they are built with the strength of the human spirit, not an ad campaign. The companies that are lasting are those that are authentic.”

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Bringing these techniques into play will jumpstart your business into maintaining lasting relationships with your customers. What brands do you find yourself coming back to? What other ways do you engage your customers? Let us know in the comments below!

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