Engaging with today’s consumer may seem more challenging than ever because of the ever-changing ways consumers and businesses interact together with the help of technology. It’s definitely true that technology has greatly influenced the company-consumer dynamic, especially when it comes to what consumers now expect from companies. By embracing these changes and actively engaging your current or future customers, your business can actually build and strengthen those important relationships. Not only does this form of nurture keep customers coming back, it also expands your brand to encourage new customers as well.
Social media, overall digital presence, and rapid communication have come to play an important role in how consumers interact with and choose which companies to do business with. Companies that have not yet evolved their customer engagement strategy should understand how consumer expectations have changed and how those expectations could actually benefit their business strategy and bottom line. The following is a brief look at the impact of changes in consumer expectations.
Why should you care about consumer engagement?
To benefit from engaging with your customers, you have to understand why it’s important to have an engagement plan in the first place. Salesforce Research surveyed 6,700 consumers and found that 76% “expect companies to understand their needs and expectations.” The way to demonstrate that your business understands the needs and expectations of the consumer is through engagement.
Building relationships with your customers through engagement ensures that your brand is top of mind for each customer and you provide value that matches their needs. Like any marketing approach, having a clear presence in the mind of the consumer increases the potential for repeat or new business. Whether you’re quick to respond to reviews and messages on social media or you send relevant newsletters to your audience, the level of engagement demonstrated with current and potential customers can have a significant impact on the amount of business you receive overall.
How have consumer expectations changed?
Having unlimited amounts of information with a few swipes on a screen has changed the way we interact with information, media, and each other. Businesses have felt the impact greatly, but that doesn’t mean business owners can’t reap the benefits of the changes.
With constant technology updates, consumers want a lot of information in a very short amount of time. For your business, this could include blog content, social engagement, and any info that will make them buy your product or service, such as discount promotion. When you provide valuable information about your brand via other channels that consumers are on, you build a sense of trust because you’re interacting with them on platforms they use daily.
The pertinence of social media in many consumers’ lives allows people to share information instantly and interact with their favorite brands. Your brand’s message can potentially be shared among hundreds of people when you effectively engage with customers on social media (like today’s consumers expect you to).
If the average consumer doesn’t feel like a business has their best interest at heart, or doesn’t find that they relate to them, more than likely they will buy from a different company that does. In order for consumers to trust businesses today, companies have to provide a personalized experience for each customer.
Understanding how consumer expectations have changed can significantly improve how you engage with your customers. The only way to benefit from the changes in consumer expectations, however, is by delivering on your promise to meet and exceed your customers’ needs and expectations. Capture your brand’s voice and personality, be available to engage the negative and the positive messaging, and lastly, provide relevant information that matches what your target audience responds to. Creating an engagement plan with clear steps and goals will help keep your business on track and relevant.