Reaching out to customers isn’t enough, MSMEs will have to engage with them to grow fast

Published: December 18, 2019 12:15:05 PM

Technology for MSMEs: When choosing mobile engagement tools, not just staying at the top of the mind of the customer would be their priority, but also keeping the customers engaged with relevant and personalized experiences.

Customers today prefer instant responses and information easily available with a few taps.
  • By Deepak Goyal

In this competitive era, it is imperative for businesses to have a positive image amidst their existing and prospective customers. The changing trends in marketing help SMEs build positive and high brand recall. Implementing and selecting from the plethora of available marketing technologies to quickly scale and achieve business goals is yet another way of growing quickly for startups today. Technology has made it easier for us to study business behaviour and trends and accordingly interact and chalk out strategies for customer engagement.

Customers today prefer instant responses and information easily available with a few taps. This is only possible for a business to achieve with a mobile-first approach for any sort of customer engagement. So, whether an SME is trying to woo customers and generate leads, through paid ads on social media, or a startup that believes in generating engaging messages, to organically attract customers to their website or app, they need to make sure all content packaged for mobile users is easy to consume and is also available in various formats.

Businesses today need to be agile and think out of the application and website ecosystem to connect with the customers. Instead of waiting for the customers to reach out to them, they are engaging with customers on channels they already use and prefer such as WhatsApp and social media messaging apps. Thus, mobile engagement is helping SMEs broaden their horizons and scale up quickly.

So how do businesses go about selecting their channel mix for their customer engagement strategy? Let me share some tips to help businesses and budding entrepreneurs to get started: 

User Behaviour

The company needs to dive into buyer personas and their current interest and find out where they are more active. Is it messaging apps? Is it social media? Do they prefer getting reminders through recorded calls? Investing in a new messaging channel can only be justified if the customers are likely to spend enough time and are responsive to those channels. The statistics can be prepared on the basis of demographics, online surveys conducted by the companies or through available industry databases.

Also read: Small business credit woes to end? Loans to MSMEs likely to more than double in these many years

Customer Engagement

Businesses today are moving towards a customer-centric strategy by providing a more personalized and richer customer experience. If companies are looking at serving customers at scale or personalized communication or a mix of both, they need to review their current customer engagement strategy. Using a marketing automation tool can give them a unified view of the customer, analyze large sets of customer data and personalize communication and use various channels to disseminate your message.

Channels for Engagement

Figuring out the right channel mix might take some time and perhaps also some trial and error. Every channel also serves a different purpose. For example, one can consider SMS and email for transactional and OTP alerts, voice IVRs and chatbots for customer support, social media and push notifications as part of their digital promotional strategy, and messaging apps such as WhatsApp to share information on demand.

Instant Messaging

The channel mix also needs to be reconfigured based on changing user behaviour and marketing trends. Businesses are leaning towards messaging apps as they want to reach out to customers where they are, instantly. Therefore, businesses are leveraging messaging apps, social media ads and push notifications for reselling and providing customer support.

Ensuring Resources

However, if companies do decide to invest in any channel or marketing automation tool, they need to have the resources and technology expertise to ensure that they can deliver a rich customer experience to the customers who opt-in to receive messages and offers.

Once the companies have settled on their channel mix and decided on the customer strategy they want to adopt, they are halfway to building a long-term relationship of trust with their customers. When choosing mobile engagement tools, not just staying at the top of the mind of the customer would be their priority, but also keeping the customers engaged with relevant and personalized experiences should be a business goal to engage the customers of today. Whatever strategy and channel mix the business adopts, they need to make sure that they have the technology expertise onboard to scale as the company grows.

(Deepak Goyal is the COO at Karix Mobile. Views expressed are the author’s own.)

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