To succeed in 2012, you're going to have to get engaged. And as in any good love story, unless you’re part of an arranged marriage, you’ll never get engaged if you don’t ever meet so you need to ‘be’ where your customers ‘are.’
Once you’ve found them, you need to engage them.To do that, you need to know how to engage them.To engage them, you need to understand what it means:
- To involve oneself or become occupied; participate: engage in conversation.
- To assume an obligation; agree.
- To enter into conflict or battle: The armies engaged at dawn.
- To become meshed or interlocked: The gears engaged.
Look at the definition,
it’s almost a picture of the customer life cycle.
- One, become involved (prospect finds you, or you find them, and an interaction occurs).
- Two, assume an obligation (they agree to pay, you agree to provide services and/or products in return).
- Three, to enter into conflict or battle (sure, it’s a stretch, but I’m going to liken this to the customer, becoming involved in your battle – to grow your business – by telling others about you or choosing to purchase from you again).
- And four, to become meshed or interlocked: based on 1-3, you now have developed customer loyalty and even brand advocacy.
To do any of that, you need to know them (both your current and desired/ideal customers).
You need to have an idea of the shared interests, values and passions of your current customers, and you need to have an idea of those of your ideal client types (those you most want to attract, or want to be able to attract in the future) as well.
Engagement – and the potential to move someone through to the next level of engagement – occurs any time you come into contact with a prospect or customer. That means that opportunities for engagement will occur both within your business and without.
The interactions that will engage people – get them to want to do business with you, to want to do business with you again, to want to tell others about you, and to want to do business only with you (when it comes to the products and services you provide) – these types of interactions will be those where alignment of emotional connection and relevance (what you have is actually something they need) occurs.
Make 2012 the year that you truly connect with your customers. Find out where they live, what they truly want and need, what stirs their passions, what things they believe in, what they value in and about your community, and so on. Make 2012 the year that you truly engage with people on behalf of your business. Get engaged – it’s going to be a great year!