If the majority of your business comes at the end of the year, now is the time to get your fourth quarter plans in place so you can meet or exceed year-end goals. The best way to drive sales, grow your business and establish a solid foundation for 2016 is through customer engagement. Here are five ways to engage your customers for year-end success.
1. Focus on your top customers.
Look closely at your e-mail and social media marketing results to determine which 20 percent of your customers are driving 80 percent of your business. Based on what you learn from who is opening, responding and buying, you’ll be able to group your customers into three categories: faithful, active or inactive.
For faithful customers, consider offering them deeper discounts or presenting them with insider deals. When it comes to active customers, you’ll also want to thank and reward them on a slightly different scale. Focusing on the most engaged customers will yield the greatest results. As for inactive customers, see point Number 2.
2. Don’t be afraid to “fire” inactive customers.
If a customer has not been active, reach out to them with a targeted offer. Ask for feedback so you can determine the reason why they went inactive in the first place. If they don’t respond or return, don’t feel compelled to continue marketing to them. Save your efforts for your more valuable clients.
3. Network to grow your network.
Referrals are the most cost-efficient way to build business. Create a significant offer for existing customers with an added incentive when they bring a friend along (as DirecTV does, for example). The friend will already be inclined to like your business, so you have an excellent opportunity to establish a new customer relationship with long-term profitability.
4. Ask for feedback.
It’s the best way you can improve the customer experience. Send an e-mail survey or run a poll on your Facebook business page. For example, ask customers to vote on the next campaign or special offer you’ll run, such as free shipping or later hours during the holiday season. When you make the feedback interactive and social, they’ll keep coming back to your site to see how their votes are faring.
5. Maximize your presence at events such as Helena First Friday, the next edition of which is coming up on December 4th, the peak of the holiday shopping season.
Make the most of your presence by communicating in real-time via tools like Twitter and Foursquare. After the event, keep the conversations going with new connections by leveraging e-mail and social media.
There is only one fourth quarter in every business year, so work hard now to make it your best!