Engaging Customers is actually a bad idea

You heard it a million times: "Engage your customer". And you didn't really – didn't you? Simply because it is very complex if you look at your team of 1,000 employees. Engagement is actually a pretty complex process when you look under the hood. Blasting out some email shots and posting a 50 feet declaration of love on time square isn't cheap but it wasn't complicated. 


Now how would one engage a team of 1,000?

What exactly would you tell them to do?
Where precisely should they engage
Who should engage?
When should they engage?
Why would the prospects and customers actually want this engagement?
Which are the best ways to measure the success of this "engagement"?

And aren't you engaging through sales and marketing for over 40 years now with millions of marketing dollars?.

Yeph – screw engagement – nice idea but we won't pursuit this rout.

But does that mean a dead end? Does that mean we give up?

Put the whole model on its head.

Consumers don't want to be sold, don't want to be pushed – at the same time they want to be taken serious, they want to be heard, they want to get in touch with somebody in your organization whenever they need your help! Therefor let THEM engage with you! Not only it is much easier to accomplish but that is what WE consumers or business buyers want – including you yourself. Too many companies create a nifty social media campaign but your prospects still have no way of getting social with you – it's just yet another, expensive marketing gig.

Approachability is a very tiny but very powerful first step

OK some may say "We have no time or resources to take care of all our customers, we have to do other work as well" – Hey good for you! You are probably so successful and rich that indeed you have no time for customers – ignore everything I wrote. But for those who NEED new customers badly it's a different story.

Imagine your sales teams, marketing people, product managers, support teams, management would just share the social presence they are already on with customers and prospects like this one: Http://XeeMe.com/Yourname and let everybody get in touch. Instead of pumping thousand of advertising dollars in a fan page that people enthusiastically like and then frustrated leave because you are untouchable – have a personal touch if needed. Those who share their presence are instantly approachable – and the customers and prospects can engage.

Our First XBX

We demonstrated the approachability model with 10 small and medium business owners. Within 48 hours they received on average 1,000 visits to their social presence. More than many business blogs get in a month despite the marketing effort to promote that blog. While this was a team of 10 individual businesses – a team of ten employees could easily aggregate 5,000 visits a day! I will share more details about XBX next week but so far it already proved success. Not only in visits but actually in new community members, event registrations or whatever the attendees had to offer.

The Bad News:
1) You will be terribly disappointed when you figure out how hard it is to buy from your own business
2) You will be frustrated to realize that even if a prospect is "in the market" they can't figure out what you offer
3) You will be seriously annoyed that your internal processes are rotten and not customer friendly
Customers engage with you for a reason and if you don't make it obvious and easy – even all your marketing dollars can't help. That's no news – but it surfaces with a terrible precision when you turn on your approachability mode. I guess that was the second most important learning from XBX.


The most important learning is: Make sure that customers can engage with you! And they will – they always wanted. Every dollar spend in promoting your brand is wasted when people can get what they want. 

(get in touch wherever and whenever YOU like)


One Reply to “Engaging Customers is actually a bad idea”

  1. Alex, like we need to understant to hole world and ecosystem to get motivated to be egological and green generally – same is the sales and marketing. You had to understand customers minds, marketing and selling generally. When having deep experience, like you are writing then the diamond will show up A p p r o a c h a b i l i t y is quite important to corporation, experts and a person who is loaded with skills. When you are easy beach – then you start generating the right audience – no matter which level you are; individual or corporation. I´m hoping thta this will be the next new wave after ROI/ SEO and this engagement push marketing. I have used Xeeme.com/MarkkuTauriainen/ with good results. It is generating right audience for me – I recommend Xeeme as a basic, it works!

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