Posted on Apr 23, 2012 @[email protected]

As any good business person knows, to be successful you have to have a good product or service. But in today’s weak economy that may not be enough.

Many companies are looking for ways to engage their customers to increase their interest.

Here are five ways you can do so:

Be proactive in your customer service, not just reactive.

Most customer service programs deal with people who already have problems.
It is of course key that you have a good system set up for reactive customer service. Fixing people’s problems in a friendly way will keep people from getting angry and stopping the use of your product.

You can take your customer service one step further however, if you become a bit more proactive in the process. Reach out to customers and ask them if there is anything you can help them with. Even if they don’t have any concerns they’ll appreciate that you care and if they do have concerns they’ll be more likely to remain loyal customers this way. People may have written off your company all together but that small gesture may just win them back.

Create contests and incentives.

Everybody likes to win especially if they get something just for entering. By attaching a potential prize to your product, customers may gravitate towards it. If you already have to buy shampoo and one of the brands is offering you the chance to win a free car you may just be pulled towards that shampoo.

You should also offer incentives to loyal customers, set up some sort of rewards system to keep them coming back. If you get a free ice cream after purchasing five you’ll be more likely to go to the same ice cream shop each time. By rewarding loyal customers you’ll ensure that they feel appreciated and that they continue to remain loyal to your product.

Reach out to them through social media and blogs.

Often customers don’t feel like they have a way to communicate with big businesses. By setting up a social media account or blog they’ll be able to comment on whats going on with your business, may offer ideas, and may even advertise for your product.

If somebody has great results with your company they may post something on Facebook, tweet or add a comment saying so. It’s crucial you keep these sites updated with current and positive information to ensure that customers really feel like they can interact with you on them. This link between you and the customer can go along way in establishing a relationship between them and your product.

Get involved in the community.

People will take note if you create a team for a charity fun run or get a group together to help clean up the local creek. By hosting and participating in events within the community customers will feel more connected to you and thus will be more likely to give your business their hard earned money.

You’ll also generate a lot of positive press thus ensuring good public relations. Customers like hearing about what your company is doing for their community and they’ll like seeing the results even more.

Give them a way to give back.

People like to make the world a better place. If you can give them a way to give back through purchasing your product they may be incentivized to buy it.

Set up a portion of your proceeds to go to local elementary schools, make a greener product, or donate funds to a good cause. By giving back you’ll become a more charitable and better respected company and will likely gain more customers. Advertise these programs as much as possible to ensure positive results.

By practicing these five tenants you will likely broaden your customer base and increase customer satisfaction. In today’s economy those two factors are key to your company’s success.

Robert Boroff Executive Profile Managing Director Reaction Search International

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