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Your New Year’s Resolution should be to boost customer engagement

Published December 31, 2013 at 7:25 am

The year is almost up: soon, people will be clinking champagne glasses and counting down in unison. Some will no doubt be offering up their personal resolutions, things that they plan to do or change in the coming year. This is a worthwhile practice for business as well. While there’s no magic to the flip of a calendar, a new year can be a good time to evaluate and improve your marketing strategy.

One way you can help yourself is by encouraging your customers to get more involved with your company. Online review sites are a big part of a potential consumer’s decision making process: for restaurants, a half star improvement in Yelp rating yields a 19 percent increase in reservations,  according to a study in the Economic Journal.

Of course, you shouldn’t just demand that your customer’s say good things about you — this sort of pushiness is likely to turn people off and disincline them from promoting your business.

Instead, foster an atmosphere where you listen to their input and go out of your way to give them a positive outcome. Then, after you’ve proved that sharing their experiences is valuable to both of you, you can direct them to forums where they can best do that.

Fostering this relationship is especially valuable in localized businesses. Word of mouth is an effective marketing tool for these sorts of companies, but what if your best customers don’t talk to people looking to use your services? Review sites give them a platform to share appreciation for your services with people who are in the market for them — which is a great way to encourage conversions.

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