We are all searching for ways to engage clients better. The key word here is ENGAGE! Here is a quick list of 10 ways that might help, some more obvious than others:
1. Phone - Don't be afraid to call, but have a legitimate purpose for your call. "Just checking on you" doesn't cut it. Plan your phone call. Know what you need to accomplish and stay on task. Plan points for feedback during the phone call so that they will stay engaged in the conversation. During the call make sure you are not speaking for more than about 20 seconds without a pause for feedback, otherwise it is too easy for their mind to wander to other tasks.
2. Email - When you send an email, don't load it with tons of information, but just enough to encourage their response. I don't want to send a book explaining every minute detail, just that is relevant to them. I also want to request a response, a specific response. Let them know you expect and need their input.
3. Social Media - Give them some value. Why would they go to your page? Is there information there that will help them do their job better? Make it easy for them to contact you for more information. Make phone and email numbers easily visible. Response to an individual's email is more effective than to a generic email.(joe@ abcco.com is more likely to get a response than email@example.com)
4. Snail Mail - Give information that is relevant to them. The less generic you can make it, the more likely the response. Follow up with a phone call. (see above)
5. Listen - I think this is one of the things we fall short on the most. LISTEN. Don't be planning your next response. Read the ENTIRE email. Hear what they have to say and then formulate your reply. Make your reply relevant to what they just said.
6. Create custom tailored solutions - This comes along with listening. If we truly listen, the customer will tell you exactly what they need to be able to do business with you. Don't throw them in a box with your other clients, make a solution that is relevant to their concerns.
7. Give sound advice - Sometimes the advice a customer needs may not be exactly what we want to give. Make sure you are fit for each other. Clients respect that and will trust what you say. They can see through your fluff.
8. Know their business - Take some time to know what industry they are in, some of the common issues, and successes in their industry. Research their website. Ask questions about what they are doing and how they are handling some of the issues. The more you know about them, the better you can create custom solutions and add value to their business.
9. Know their business goals - Ask them what they are trying to accomplish and why. If you can show how your business aligns with their business goals, you automatically add value to their business and increase the odds of them doing business with you.
10. Know their competition - Know the struggles they face in their industry. What are the other people doing well, how are they doing it?
This a quick look at how to get customers to ENGAGE. You become a partner and not a commodity. Developing these skills will help you stand out from the crowd. It does take some effort though. You won't do this 'from the hip.' You will have to be intentional to actually engage clients