Address customers’ needs and interests!
I think you already know that, but the question is, “how to help them?”. Is offering customer support, loyalty programs, telling stories, driving conversations, and involving them in a sustainable relationship something they want?
The way you treat them, the experience they receive will result in your business. 73% of customers consider customer experience as an essential factor in buying decisions. If it’s good, 72% will share it with six or more, but if the experience is unsatisfactory, 13% of customers will share it with 15 or more people.
So don’t simply insist on shoving sales pitches; make them a part of your business. As a print business, you can integrate web to print software and interact with them with content, print designs, or more.
Try these approaches for better engagement.
1. Connect Emotionally
Everyone is concerned with customer satisfaction. However, it’s not enough to make you stand out. You need to connect customers emotionally to your brand. You can do so with the help of content marketing – blogging, and social media.
As a print business, you can use storytelling and real-life anecdotes for customers to relate to your designs or services – How a particular design turned out to be. Sometimes a mishap turns into creativity – share that story, the motivation, etc.
One effective way to build an emotional connection is to prove that they deal with humans and not a faceless web to print storefront. Here are a few ways to develop emotional connection:
- Introduce yourself
It can be a welcome email to a new member or a personalized message sharing about your print business. In the About Us section, you can share your story and how the business started instead of just saying that you provide print services.
- Show your face
When a customer has a query, they should know that they are dealing with humans. A chatbot won’t have a more substantial impact as much as a reply from customer service or a tweet from the team. So, use team members’ images on social media. Reply to customers on Facebook and other social handles from a real account. Add the author’s bio on your blog for customers to know you.
Take Wendy’s for example. They have this iconic, sarcastic Twitter personality where they keep interacting with their customers. One of the best customer engagements is with a 16 years old kid, Carter Wilkerson. He asked the company about the free chicken nuggets for a year. Wendy’s “18 million” reply got a huge hype. They showed their human personality and that helped them get a following of 3.8 million people.
2. Build a Community
“A key part of engagement is to give customers an opportunity for dialogue, not only with the brand but also with each other.” – Mohanbir S. Sawney, Clinical Professor of Marketing.
As a print business, you can start this conversation by asking about their opinions and insights, the latest trends, and bringing everyone together in online social communities. You can answer their questions regarding print services, printing methods, and other industry-specific, and keep them updated.
Take Nike, for example. In the past, they relied on traditional media advertising to promote their concept. But recently, they shifted to personalized customer service. Rather than investing all in a single sneaker ad campaign, they advertise by giving fitness advice and helping build communities around fitness. Nike+, a website that helps track the fitness’ program, is part of this initiative.
Another example is Quora. Its foundation is to provide answers, i.e., help customers solve their problems. Similarly, while demanding a print, customers have a lot of doubts. A community would be a better place to solve those questions and keep them connected to you.
You can leverage social networks such as Facebook Groups, Google+ communities. Though online communities and forums help engage directly, these social networks make it easy to build a customer base because customers are already present on these social channels.
3. Inspire People
People value inspirational information, but they also want to be inspired.
One way is to share exclusive content that reflects your brand vision. Corning, a glass company, shared a video, “A Day made with Glass,” to showcase the possibilities of a day in the future when its high-class glass is in every customers’ office and home. You can paint a picture of your future and show that you play an important role in the future.
For the print business, the future is vibrant. Everything we see is connected to print, and yet we don’t connect it with print. With the increase in online shopping, the demand for custom printed packaging boxes has increased. Personalization has further expanded the reach, and you can showcase that via blogs, videos, or other formats. Inspire them with all the possibilities of printing services.
Another way is to be a part of the social cause. Patagonia, a sustainable clothing company, gives 1% of their sales or 10% of their pre-tax profits (whichever is more) to environmental grassroots groups. You can promote environmentally-friendly printing or provide free services to change-makers. You can also take the initiative like Toms, an eCommerce company that promises if you buy a pair of shoes, it will give one pair to a needy child somewhere in the world.
4. Foster Partnership
In addition to being inspired, customers also like to be a part of the team. If your customer has recently launched a new product or started a new business, you can promote them on your social media accounts. You can highlight your loyal customers on your channels every month.
If you have started an initiative like free printing services to NGOs, you can ask your customers if they would like to be a part of it. What if a t-shirt store business wants to sponsor plain t-shirts? When you do that – share that story about you and your partner with your other customers.
If you’re celebrating a tenth anniversary or a festival, celebrate it with your customers. Offer a discount or coupon or invite them to the party. Make them feel like they’re part of your business while thanking them for their loyalty. You can do so by offering discounts or gifts on their special day.
Finally, you can ask customers to create their designs using a product designer tool. Integrating a designer tool into your web to print storefront will give them the freedom to be the sole owner of their designs. To make it more intuitive, you can provide them with options to share their designs with the public, just like Urbanic, a clothing brand that allows creating collections and sharing them with the public. Adding more fun to it, you can tie-up loyalty points with the designs, encouraging customers to create designs and share it with the public.
You may get a new printing order based on one of your client’s designs.
5. Entertain Them
Everyone wants entertainment in life, customers, too.
Isn’t that why Tim Cook pull-off a high-security heist for the launch of new iPad pros?
When customers find something interesting, thrilling, they are likely to connect with it. And that’s a huge opportunity to improve engagement.
How can you do that? By engaging customers through online games such as “Where’s My Wallet,” a game CommonWealth used to promote its cardless cash technology in Australia. Or, you can partner with games to create branded content. Take examples of EA games. In 2019, they partnered with Jeremy Scott and luxury fashion brand Moschino to create in-game stuff packs. It can unlock virtual Moschino garments and fashion-themed career options.
Similarly, you can partner with a gaming brand and allow customers to customize their designs. Many fashions, packaging, or design illustration apps nowadays give customers a chance to unleash their inner artist. You can partner with them and offer digital printing.
Other than games, you can leverage AR and VR and create 3D printing tours, color-mixing, effects on different materials, and so on. You can host events, run contests in person and on social media platforms. Promoting user generated content, i.e., designs are a great way to engage with your customers. Whenever a customer gets their designs printed, you can promote it on your social media handles.
In short, create a wow factor and heighten their dopamine level along with interest and excitement.
Consistency is the key. So, keep trying and exploring new tactics based on your customers’ preferences and the data you gather. Maintain a steady stream of two-way communication where you and your customers can connect. The key to engaging customers with your web to print storefront is to have a constant presence. Be there when your customers need it and even when they are not looking for inspiration.
Don’t forget to hand-over the supreme power. I mean give them freedom to design and choose you. Bring in a product designer tool, set up a web to print storefront and provide everything from designing to printing.
Don’t leave a loophole for them to leave you or think of you as just another printing store.