by Ashley Wilson
April 16, 2019

Consumer engagement is one of the most important aspects a business can invest in.

It is every single step leading up to the magical moment when the lead finally says “I do!”

Setting up a rock-solid marketing plan is only half the battle though.

You need to have a keen eye, a fine-tuned ear and… well, a gentle tongue to bring your consumers through the purchasing journey.

Here‘s what is meant by that…

Empathetic Listening

Have you ever been on a date where you tried to get to know the person and as you started to tell your story, you had to fight to make your point because they kept forcing their opinion on you?

You share a problem with a person like this and can almost see the neon JUDGEMENT sign all over their face.

Suddenly, they don’t seem like a potential partner anymore, huh?

The point of empathetic listening is not to answer, but to understand.

In business, you’ll witness this when you see a salesperson interacting with a consumer with genuine care for his or her wellbeing, almost like a (grand)parent or that nice neighbor you can always count on.

This drives sales upward and it starts with one simple technique – solution selling.

As you are interacting with your consumer, ask them questions to get to know them. Drive the conversation based on their answers.

You know your target market better than anyone. You know what they need.

The catch?

They don’t know —

that you know —

what they need.

So, be willing to take the extra time to listen to their issues. Relate to them as much as possible.

Through this you will build a natural rapport which won’t feel fake or ingenuine – it will merely be two humans talking.

And in this conversation, you as the salesperson will be able to say with complete confidence, “I believe this product will solve your problem because…” And you can list your reasoning as many times as you need. Because you get them and they feel like you do, so they will be more likely to say “yes”.

Reviews

The best part about consumer-generated reviews is their individuality.

They are a small sample of how a product or service genuinely impacted a real person’s life.

This is HUGE for persuading consumers who are on the fence about buying a particular product.

ModCloth is one company that has mastered the art of the consumer review.

Not only do they allow consumers to review the company or products as a whole, but they encourage their reviewers to tell a bit about themselves.

This way, indecisive consumers feel as though they have common interests with current customers.

This feeling of connection and camaraderie transforms leads into buyers.

If you can’t do the same, offer incentives.

A voucher or a free gift for a review is a worthy investment for the authenticity you get.

Social Media

Want to boost traffic? Engage consumers with social media.

Social media is more than simple posts though.

It is a platform allowing you to connect with consumers and form partnerships all over the world.

So, having a powerful social media presence has the same impact as a powerful business presentation.

Your social media is your online calling card. Use it wisely, young padawan.

Here’s what you can do:  

  • Post consistently
  • Respond to reviews: good and bad
  • Engage with other pages in your niche, and outside of it
  • Make jokes
  • Create engaging content
  • Ask questions your audience some questions
  • Offer giveaways

The list goes on and on.

Smart Technology

The Internet of Things is on the rise, and with it comes to both increased advertisement capabilities and increased customer awareness.

Using smart technology can include everything from developing a smart factory to creating a brick and mortar establishment like Amazon Go with its “checkout-less” checkout process.

Of course, not everyone can afford all the sophisticated features out there.

But, what you can afford and what won’t seem like an unnecessary splurge, in the long run, is tracking your consumer spending habits.

For example, Target will take note of when a customer purchases a baby-related item – maybe some baby clothes.

Then, they will send coupons to this customer for something else baby-related, based on how old they project the child is.

It may be baby toys, diapers, or clothes in a larger size.

Target uses its data analytics to project future consumer spending habits – and this has resulted in more purchases than ever before.

Another way to use the Big Data gathered from smart technology is for cross-departmental improvement.

Smart technology has simplified analyzing employee productivity.

When a department is thriving, its methods can be tracked and deployed across other departments.

Employees who are doing well can be sent in to train employees who are struggling.

Big data and the IoT creates an environment for employees to thrive and managers to create and execute incredible plans to increase productivity.

Overall…

Engaging customers using different methods is crucial for your business to advance.

The modern customer expects great customer service – especially when business is a dime a dozen these days.

Show your consumer that you stand far above the rest by making your consumer the heart of why you do what you do.

Ashley Wilson is a digital nomad and freelance writer from San Diego, California. When she is not busy baking cupcakes, Ashley loves writing about business, digital marketing, and finance. Connect with Ashley via Twitter @ashleygwilson.

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