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Simple things make a difference in customer engagement

by on ‎10-27-2010 09:08 AM (1,372 Views)

We’ve been looking at a lot of big things in how we engage our customers, prospects, partners, etc. We’ve revamped our contact strategy; re-implemented and restructured nurture emails; looked at the design, format, and branding of invoices; tested creative head-to-head in large scale, fairly complicated A/B testing scenarios; planned themes, variations on themes, non-theme items; and so on … just to name a few. And we’ll keep doing these big things too.


But paradoxically, I was reminded the other day just how the small things can make a big difference in customer engagement. I was told a story of how a simple act of sending a confirmation email to a blog commenter (after it had gone through moderation), had made a very large percentage increase in the return visits to the site, and therefore increased customer visits and engagement metrics. The people went back to look at their own comments posted on the site! It’s seemingly a small thing, but so elegant in its simplicity and effectiveness.


Made me think of some of the little things that need our attention again:


  • I’ve for years harped on the auto-responder emails (those emails that are automatically sent when someone submits a form) from our websites. We’ve slacked off on them and many are out-of-date, need better language and usability improvements, and lots of design help. It’s time to revisit them. It’s another of those small things that make a really big difference in a customer or prospect’s perspective. Don’t have auto-responders from your forms? Perish the thought! Get them now.
  • Making sure there are no dead links on our websites. That means checking all the hyperlinks to ensure they still work. It’s tedious but well worth keeping a visitor to your site from being frustrated by a non-working link. It’s especially important for links that link to third-party sites as you just never know if they’ve kept their pages up and/or the links the same. And also for links to documents; sometimes the documents accidentally get deleted from the database and cause a broken link.
  • Creating customized 404 (Page Not Found) pages for links that point to your site. If a link to your site is broken, you can create Page Not Found pages that have customized content (instead of the basic browser version) and help direct people to other areas of your site that might have similar content to what they’re looking for.
  • Double-checking client lists on websites, in brochures, etc. to make sure they’re still accurate. That goes for both getting new ones that would be better to highlight, to ensuring any clients you might not have anymore are removed from lists. Nothing worse than having someone mention a customer they saw on your list and it’s no longer accurate!


Those are just a few of the things I can think of off the top of my head right now. We’re also going to take a look at the “Comment is live” types of emails to people who post reviews, since the reviews and comments do go through a human moderation process. It’ll be interesting to see if it changes any of our stats that help us monitor site visitor engagement. Good luck on your list of simple things too!