In the last week I have come across two great examples of companies taking simple steps to engage well with their customers.

Firstly I bought a PowerAdd external battery backup for my laptop.  The laptop does not have an exchangeable battery (at least not without taking it apart) and on days when I was using it intensively away from external power, I was sometimes running out of charge.  The PowerAdd PIlotPro that I purchased provides enough power to recharge my battery and so see me easily through the day.  It also comes with adaptors and settings for many different types of laptops as well as USB output, so it is really flexible – and it looks good.

The simple step that PowerAdd took to engage me as a customer was to put in a small folded piece of card.  On one side there is a smiley face and on the other an unhappy face, with a short message of the reverse of each face.  On the reverse of the smiley face is a simple message to say that the company is pleased I am happy and a request to share a review.  On the reverse of the unhappy face is the message that their support team is ready to support me with details of different ways I can contact them.  The messages are shown on the image at the top of this page.

What is brilliant is how simply the message is delivered: Happy – please share.  Unhappy – here’s how we can help.

Many other companies try to achieve the same effect, but don’t execute as well – the messages are hidden in lots of documentation, or delivered at the wrong time, or swamped with questions that the company would like you to answer.  With PowerAdd the messages were obvious, quick to read and delivered at the time I was trying out the device.

The other recent example, was on the invoice of a company, CDRC Roofing, who did some repairs to my roof.  The invoice arrived with a request to review them via Checkatrade – a simple form to fill in was enclosed with postage pre-paid – or else to like them on Facebook.  Again, asking me for a review is a simple thing to do, but so few traders I use bother to do this.

Those who have just purchased are the most important people for suppliers to engage with. But so often we either forget to do so or do not work hard enough to make feedback easy.  Satisfied customers are our best source of future sales – via recommendations, referrals or follow on sales.  If they are dissatisfied, then the sooner we know, the easier it is to correct mistakes and turn them into satisfied customers.

The three key steps to engaging new customers shown in these two examples are:

  1. Make it clear how they can get support if they have any issues
  2. Ask them to recommend, refer or review
  3. Keep it simple

Starting with these, you can then build up further conversations with the customer over time.