7 Ways Startups Can Engage With Their Customers

Smiling businesswoman at her computer and on the phone.

Customers are the lifeblood of the startup ecosystem. Ensuring your startup is engaged with its customer base is crucial to the success of your brand; however, identifying the right way to engage with your customer base isn’t always easy. We’re here to help you get started with the top seven ways to engage with your startup’s target audience and increase customer loyalty.

Best Ways for Companies to Engage With Their Customers

The first step to effective customer engagement is to know who your target customers are. Once you have identified who you are trying to reach, you need to develop a plan to engage with them that will be impactful and enticing. We’ve got some helpful tips to get you started from email marketing strategies to online forums.

1. Start an Email Newsletter

Email marketing campaigns are more than just notifying subscribers of discounts or product launches. Your startup’s email newsletter is an inside look into your company’s operations and a fantastic way to connect with your customers. 

One of the best ways to differentiate your email newsletter and add to its overall value is to share content and information that is only accessible through the newsletter. Not only does this entice customers to subscribe, but it rewards customer loyalty, keeping them engaged and increasing the likelihood of them opening your email.

Recommended: Get inspired by the newsletters every entrepreneur should subscribe to.

2. Leverage the Power of Social Media

Social media is one of the most impactful marketing tools available to startups today. Not only does it make connecting with customers easier, but it can expand your reach to help your company engage with a wider audience. 

To optimize your social media presence, consider a giveaway or promotion in order to reach the largest audience. This can help increase your exposure and generate more interest in your product or service. Additionally, responding to messages and comments on social media can greatly increase your engagement with customers as well as answer any questions regarding products or orders that may be otherwise missed.

Looking to save time on startup marketing? Check out Arrow for affordable, AI-powered social media automation.

3. Make Contacting Your Startup Simple

While chatbots and FAQs can streamline the customer service process, they also can create a barrier between you and your customers. Finding a happy medium between automating the customer service process and engaging with your customer base is crucial not only to the efficiency of your business but also to your ability to truly connect with your customers. 

Consider offering an easy-to-find contact form or email that customers can use to contact your company directly with feedback, questions, or simply to say hello!

4. Follow Up With Existing Customers

Feedback from customers can be extremely valuable to your startup. In addition to this, it can be a great way to engage with your customers and ensure they feel seen and heard. If you don’t already have a method of receiving feedback established, there are several ways you can implement it into your process after the sale is complete. 

For example, an automated email after delivery to provide customers with an opportunity to provide feedback is simple and effective. However, be sure to respond and acknowledge when a customer provides feedback, whether it is negative or positive, to hopefully retain them and open channels of communication.

5. Reward Customer Loyalty

While the focus of many marketing campaigns is reaching new customers, it is important to reward existing customers for their loyalty. If you’ve ever gotten points for a purchase, utilized a stamp card, or received a discount for referring a friend, you’ve been rewarded for your customer loyalty. 

Incentivizing customers to repeat purchases or share your startup with their friends can help you grow your group of loyal customers by rewarding them for their patronage. In addition to this, you can receive valuable feedback from repeat purchases that can help inform inventory amounts and marketing campaigns.

6. Create a Community Forum

Get your customers interacting with each other in a community forum. If your business model allows, this type of community space can encourage customers to troubleshoot problems together, share innovative ideas, and build relationships through your brand. 

You can also use this as a method of identifying community members that are exceptionally dedicated to supporting your brand. From this, you might choose to bring them on as ambassadors or leaders within your startup’s community to increase loyalty and interest among other community members.

7. Give a Tour

For many consumers, knowing where and how a product is made is an interesting and important part of their choice to buy. Offering a product tour either in-person or online helps people more strongly identify with your brand, product, and team — adding value to your brand overall. 

If you aren’t able to do an in-person tour, simply adding a video of the process, an introduction to your team, or more context about how your company operates is another great way to provide an inside look for your customers.

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