We have lived with this notion for decades now. But this notion no longer fits in the current market scenario as the market and the customer behavior has evolved with time. Earlier, businesses had lesser competition. And offering good products and customer service was enough to retain customers for a long time.
But, ever since we moved to the digital e-commerce phase, thousands of brands selling similar products to the same audience have created a much tougher market competition. Having a good product or offering satisfactory customer service is far from enough. You need to hold on to your customers and ensure their engagement and inclusion for long-term customer retention.
What is Customer Inclusion?
Customer inclusion involves finding ways to invite customers to show their participation in your cause and display active engagement with your brand. Customer-inclusive businesses show higher customer re-orders and gain higher ROI.
Your customers may be satisfied with your product or customer service but would still choose your competitor over you. This is because customers no longer consider only the quality of the product or customer service while buying the product. The personal bond that they share with the brand or business proves to be a major contributing factor to customer loyalty and long-term retention.
In fact, nearly 64% of consumers want brands to connect with them, while 49% expect brands to bring people together toward a common goal.
By inviting your customers for a common goal or social mission, you give them the feeling of being a part of a good cause. This increases the likelihood of them being emotionally connected with you. When customers feel listened to, they feel a positive connotation with your brand. And like to continue with your products or services in the future as well.
Why is Customer Inclusion Important?
Customer inclusiveness is not just limited to participative customer service. It helps improve the business-customer relationships, understanding customers better, and creating an impactful brand presence. Customer inclusion can help in knowing customers more closely and understanding their requirements, thus improving customer experience. Here are some of the benefits of customer inclusiveness:
1. Understanding your clients better
When you engage with your customers regularly, you get to know them personally. It helps you get a clear picture of their expectations and requirements from your business. This helps you meet their expectations more accurately and offer them a superior customer experience. Customers who are satisfied with the product and customer service of a business tend to engage with them better. It also impacts their loyalty and leads to long term retention.
2. Build a strong personal connection
Customers appreciate it when they get special treatment from businesses. It can be a simple greeting when they reach out to you or it can be the way they are treated when they register a customer service complaint. Social media platforms play a major role in connecting brands with customers directly. Through social media platforms, brands can build a strong personal connection with a large group of audience and build a relationship of trust and loyalty.
3. Promote your brand name to prospective leads
Engaging with a large audience through social media platforms can help your brand get global exposure instantly. Brands can use the personal networks of their customers to find potential leads and grow their customer base effortlessly. Inviting your audience to join you in your marketing campaigns or social causes can help you create brand awareness. It can also help build a positive image for your brand.
4. Encourage brand loyalty and long term retention
60-70% of customers prefer to buy from brands that they follow on social media platforms or engage with them in one way or the other. It’s easier for a customer to trust brands that display inclusiveness in their marketing approaches. Keeping your customers at the center of all your marketing strategies and getting their opinion regarding the product will make them feel that they are special to you and will lead to brand loyalty. Now and then, celebrating your loyal customers by giving them a shout-out or reward program will encourage them to stay with you longer and will lead to long-term retention.
How to ensure customer inclusion using WhatsApp
WhatsApp has no match when it comes to getting customer attention and engagement. WhatsApp boasts of a 98% message read rate where 80% of people read a message within 30 min of receiving it.
WhatsApp offers businesses the medium to engage with customers personally and make them feel special. Here is how you can use the platform to make your brand or business customer inclusive:
1. Customer feedback
One of the best ways to make your customers feel cared for and important is to ask them for their genuine feedback and user experience. WhatsApp proves to an excellent medium to do so as you can have a personal conversation to get their feedback and come up with an appropriate response in real-time.
2. Group chats and community engagement
Inviting your customers for fun group chats or community engagements based on their interests can help you connect with them on a whole different level. Social groups and chats can be used for getting their opinion about an upcoming product or get their views on a particular event can increase their engagement with your brand. Several WhatsApp Business APIs such as SocialEpoch offer a WhatsApp link generator feature through which you can generate a click-to-invite link for your target audience. By sharing it on your websites and social media handles, you can bring customers directly to your chat box and start conversations.
3. WhatsApp Campaigns
WhatsApp-based campaigns have a huge impact on mass audiences and can generate engagement like no other platform. WhatsApp marketing campaigns such as Hellman’s, Absolut Vodka, Sanderson Bank, and more are the evidence to it. Users on WhatsApp find it easier to engage with brands for their campaign and hence generates maximum impact. Moreover, WhatsApp is used by a diverse user group and keeps all conversations between its users discreet. Thus making it a more comfortable platform for individuals to engage with brands and businesses.
4. Updates and notifications
If you think your customers will stay loyal to you just because you have the best product or customer service, you just might be wrong. Customers these days have thousands of options for everything. In order to beat the competition and get their attention, you need to engage with them regularly through product updates, offer notifications or content that may be relevant and useful for them.
By including appropriate CTAs in your notifications, you can ensure that your customers engage with you without much pushing around and can help you get more deals. Customer inclusion through WhatsApp-based notifications and content updates not only gets your customers’ interest but also ensures their long-term retention.
5. Social influencer marketing
People no longer believe in staged commercials. They need real people to tell them if a product is good or not. This has given rise to a whole new technique of marketing known as Influencer marketing. Using this latest trend in digital marketing, brands can reach out to a large group of audiences and use their fan base to promote their product. Influencer marketing through WhatsApp will allow two-way engagement and can help you get more customers to engage with your brand.
Keeping your customers at the heart of your marketing strategy and engaging with them can help you gain their trust and build a strong relationship with them. Customer inclusion not only helps you understand them and provide a better customer experience, but it can also be a major contributor in shaping up your production or marketing pipeline. A happy customer spells loyalty and earns you long-term retention hence yield higher CLV.
Want to know how to send updates and notifications to hundreds of customers with just a click? WhatsApp Business API SocialEpoch could be what you are looking for! Click here to know more about it or drop us a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free demo.