Every interaction you have with a customer creates another interaction. And in this case, not engaging with the customer also counts as an interaction.
For instance, let’s say you eat at a particular restaurant and have a wonderful meal. You’re so happy with the experience that you decide to hop on Twitter and tell the restaurant directly.
If the restaurant never responds, how does that make you feel? Unappreciated? Invisible? It probably leaves a bit of a bad taste in your mouth, right?
On the other hand, if they respond, it feels like they value you as a customer enough to take the time to thank you, right?
Hey Rick! We’re so glad to hear you had such a great experience. Thanks for letting us know. Hope to see you back in again very soon.
— Olive Garden (@olivegarden) April 20, 2018
I am always talking about the idea of Rewarding the Beahavior You Want to Encourage. The idea is simple; when someone does something that you want them to do, you find a way to ‘reward’ them and encourage them to do it again. If someone compliments you, you thank them. If they buy your product, you go out of your way to communicate to them that they made a smart purchase decision. If someone comments on your blog, you respond so they will do so again.
The idea is to validate the behavior that they just engaged in.
Every Sunday night I run #Blogchat, we’ve been having #Blogchat for almost 10 years now on Twitter. Every week, someone will mention that this is their first time attending #Blogchat.
I always always ALWAYS respond to this person directly and THANK them for coming to #Blogchat. This is because I appreciate them taking the time to come to #Blogchat, but also because I want them to RETURN! If you come to a Twitter chat and no one talks to you, you’re probably not coming back, right? I go out of my way to communicate to first-timers that I appreciate them showing up, and want them to return.
— Mack Collier (@MackCollier) October 8, 2018
Julia tweeted it was her first time joining #Blogchat, I thanked her and let her know how much I appreciated her taking the time to join us.
When you respond to others, it also sends a message to everyone else. Notice that after I reply to Julia, Zarina does as well:
2 weeks ago was my first time too, I was so excited! Was pleasantly surprised how fun it is to have a #blogchat on Twitter. Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for your participation! 🙂
— Zarina (@ZarinaBlogging) October 8, 2018
I made a point to welcome Zarina when she first joined #Blogchat as well, and now she’s helping me and welcoming new members as well! This sends a message to both Julia and Zarina that they made a smart decision in joining #Blogchat, that we are going to look out for them, and help them solve their blogging problems.
Think about what behaviors you want your readers, clients or customers to engage in. Maybe it’s commenting on a blog post, or subscribing to your newsletter, or buying a product. In fact, let’s just run through each right now and how you can ‘reward’ that behavior.
Commenting on a blog post – This the behavior you want your readers to engage in. So how do you ‘reward’ that behavior? The most obvious way, is by RESPONDING to their comment. People leave a comment because they want other people to REACT to it. By responding, you validate to that person why they left the comment to begin with. You ‘reward’ them with a respond and that makes them feel good about leaving the comment to begin with. It also increases the chance that they will comment AGAIN, and it communicates to everyone else that if they leave a comment, they will probably get a reply as well.
Subscribing to your newsletter – Often when you subscribe to a newsletter, you soon find out that it’s not as valuable as you hoped it would be. So there’s a sense of ‘buyer’s remorse’. What I’ve done with my Think Like a Rock Star newsletter is I help subscribers immediately see value from the newsletter. I’ve created an email trigger funnel for new subscribers, so as soon as they subscribe, over the following 5 days, they get a total of 4, daily emails that are packed with in-depth advice on how to create and cultivate fans of their brand. This is the ‘reward’ for these subscribers engaging in the behavior that I wanted to encourage. It communicates to them that they made a smart decision in subscribing to my newsletter.
Buying a product – ‘Buyer’s remorse’ can be literal here, especially as the cost of the purchase increases. You can offset these feelings and make the buyer feel smarter about the purchase by making customer support available to them post-purchase and by staying in contact with them to make sure they know precisely how to use their new products and that they fully understand how to use all its features. Often, customers simply aren’t aware how to use a new product correctly, and if they figure out how to use the product correctly, it can greatly increase their satisfaction with the product.
Remember, a big part of rewarding the behavior you want to encourage comes from making the person feel SMART about engaging in the behavior that you ultimately want to encourage. If they feel smart, then they will probably have positive thoughts about interacting with you and/or your company.