Startups are always looking to transform themselves into a repeatable and scalable business model. As startups’ products are at a nascent stage, they still might not have the features for which they would be known for when they become a reputed and trusted brand.
Onboarding the first few customers might be easy but retaining them and getting more customers is the challenge that startups predominantly face. So, they constantly aim for continuous and non-linear growth with minimum churn rate. This helps them in enticing funding opportunities and keeping investors happy.
Growth of a startup depends on how well it manages and measures its customer engagements. Because good customer engagement levels lead to better customer relationships, resulting in increased share of wallet, profitability, revenue, and growth.
Below, I have mentioned the tactics that startups must utilize to master customer engagement:
Know Your Customer
An in-depth study about your customers is crucial before you develop your engagement plans as it will help you to solve problems from the customers’ perspective. You should study the following things about your customer:
- Their online presence such as website
- How they are engaging in Social Media and what are they posting
- Who is the Decision-maker
- Which industry do they belong to and its latest trends
- Who are their customers
- How they can utilize your product
A comprehensive analysis of your customer’s website will enable you to gain optimum knowledge about it. Also, if you notice that one of their customers is complaining about their product because the product is a temporary fix and you have a more scalable solution, pitch it to your customer right away.
Another instance could be- suppose you have proposed your solution and it’s been long that you heard anything from your customer. Find out the reason for this. Is your mail lying with a person who is not the decision-maker? If yes, then find out who is capable of taking decisions in that company and approach him at the earliest.
Listen to Your Customer
Listening to your customers during a conversation is a crucial part of effective communication. You need to understand the concern of the customers and for this you will have to make a conscious effort to listen to them. Talking too much, interrupting them frequently and trying to complete your customer’s train of thoughts will ruin the chances of upselling and gaining referrals.
It is advisable to set aside some time everyday for listening to your own calls from the previous day. This will help you a great deal in tweaking your pitch, getting rid of those awkward pauses, improving the tone and manner of speaking. Try to keep yourself in the customer’s shoes to listen to them in a better way. It will enable you to write the best call-pitch which you can use more often.
If you are implementing better and new practices to engage your customers but not measuring them, then it’s of no use. But the ones who measure and analyze might face certain problems such as
- Not having enough resources to collect and analyze data
- Lacking the right tools to collect data
- Unable to understand which data is relevant
Implementing an effective CRM solution, having a unified dashboard and proper planning etc can solve the above mentioned problems. Measuring relevant data such as missed customer calls, unanswered emails, first call resolution, open tickets and nature of queries will aid in determining and improving the customer satisfaction levels.
Design an Effective Customer Onboarding Process
It is essential to make the end user aware about your product capability. If the actual user of your product doesn’t know how to use it and get the most out of it, you can witness a greater churn rate. Set up proper onboarding process with effective online tutorial sessions for your product users where the basic and advanced functionalities of your solution are displayed in a step-by-step manner. Ensure that the sessions are personalized and customized for every user and has a “call-back” button configured into it so that the user can immediately schedule a call-back in case he faces an issue.
Also Read, 7 Mistakes Startups Make with Social Media