Podcast E115 – Customer Engagement Ideas

kswp-e115This week I share a few ways to engage with your audience/customer

Upcoming Events

Segment 1: In the News

Segment 2:  Way to engage with you audience

Segment 3: Tool of the Week


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This is The Kitchen Sink WP Podcast, episode 115. [ Opening Music Sequence]

Why hello there, this is Adam Silver, the host of The Kitchen Sink WP Podcast. Thanks for being here, let's get started. All right, first and foremost upcoming events. We have next weekend Word Camp St. Louis, the fourteenth and fifteenth, Word Camp Maine, if I'm not mistaken, thirteenth and fourteenth, and Word Camp Porto. I did not know where Porto was, it turns out it's in Portugal. Sorry, I just didn't know, I had to look it up and Maine … is this Maine? Yes it is Maine, I had a typo in there, so it said Main. But it's Maine, M-a-i-n-e.

Once again I love, love, love the sites designs that all the camps do. I mean I said it before, maybe twice before, third times a charm. At a bare minimum check out the site, click over in the show notes and check them out. I think the designs and the team behind them is pretty cool. I'm always impressed, really, consistently impressed.

Like I said, we have WordCamp Maine, thirteenth and fourteenth of May, Word Camp St. Louis, fourteenth and fifteenth, and Word Camp Porto, which is in Portugal. I don't know why I say it Porto (with an accent), I just feel like I have to. All three had tickets available at the time of this recording, which is Sunday evening.

Actually, in the upcoming … it's not upcoming, but in the news, it's Mother's Day. So Happy Mother's Day to all the … it's Mother's Day here in the US. I'm not sure how that works in other countries obviously. Happy Mom's Day to all the moms out there for today, by the time you hear this it will be yesterday, or weeks ago for that matter. Anyway, all right, so those are the upcoming events.

Moving right along. Segment one. In the news. Word Press 4.5.2 came out, it's a secondary upgrade. Increase there of the .2 and added and fixed the additional bugs that were squashed that weren't found that first round for the 4.1, 4.5.1. If you have automatic updates turned on it should have already happened and it did across the board for all my sites and it's fine. I was then do a backup as well, consistently right afterwards and also, I set it up to go daily anyway. Always have a good backup and you should be fine.

What else in the news, couple more things in the news. WP Lift has sold, it was, I mentioned this a few weeks back. The gentleman who owned it wanted to move on. He sold it, so it sold for just shy of what I was bidding for it. I missed out, it sold for $205,000.00. Actually I didn't really bid on it. Little above my pay grade. So it has a new owner, it should be doing awesome things. Check it out, Wplift.com.

Last thing in the news here, Word Camp Chicago. I was there last weekend. It was awesome, I know I prerecorded before I got there. It was a little bit cold, little bit rainy, but I had a great time. I enjoyed meeting the new people, reconnecting with some people from Los Angeles that had moved back to Chicago. People listening to the podcast, so if you're listening right now, thanks for listening. It was a really good time.

I went to the Cubs game and that was awesome. Paid twenty bucks to get in for a relatively inexpensive seat, we got upgraded for free down to the first base line area. It was just a great time. Carrie Lee and I went and I got say, that might have been one of the highlights, pre-Word Camp events, so it was pretty cool.

Anyway, so moving along. Sponsor this week, want to thank a sponsor. Which I don't have one, so no one to thank. But I mention this to you on purpose because I have a couple sponsorship openings coming up in the near future. I'm talking to some new people coming on board in the next few weeks, so if you're interested in sponsoring the show, by all means, one episode or more, you can. There's a form over on the website itself, on the top navigation bar. Fill out the form, I get an email, we'll talk, figure something out. Hopefully it will work for everybody and we'll go from there.

All right, moving right along. Segment two. This week I'm going to talk to you about ways to engage with your audience. And audience here is ideally, in theory, going to become your customer. Obviously we have a Word Press website and that's great. You built a site. You offer a great service or product, but it doesn't mean people are going to show up and buy, or subscribe to what you are selling, or offering in some capacity.

I've seen it and I think we all kind of agree with it, people like to do business with people they trust, it's that simple. The build it and they will come doesn't necessarily work, ever. People think it did, but it really doesn't. Think of more of a building … you're trying to build a community, a tribe here. You want people to trust you.

I did some research, I asked about ten people, and it came up because a client of mine asked me, how do I engage … how do I get more people to come to the restaurant that they have back in the Midwest. Which I thought was interesting, they have a restaurant but they live here. There's a couple different ways to get answers here, and to get engagement going. I came up with … I think there's four or five and we'll just go through them real quick here.

First and foremost, you could just do a form, a basic, simple form. Have a question? Send a form, contact us, basically. You know, Contact Form 7 is free, Gravity Forms is paid. It can do a lot more with logic and implementation of things. Basic Form will work for a lot of things. But the drawback there would be the delay. If you send a form in and if you want a response right away, you may not get one right away. It's that simple.

You could do a forum. If you're trying to build a community and tribe. You could do … it's a longer form of engagement, but you'd have a forum. There are forum plugins and software, bbPress, the other one just escaped … Buddy Press. There are a handful of other forums out there. You can do that as well. That's the second one.

And then, one's very popular here, and it works a lot inside the Word Press base as well, is the Live Chat. For pre-sales or even support. The key here is this, if you're gonna offer that, you have to make sure you offer awesome support and you're really there. You don't give the customer service person doing it too many windows to run at one time. We've all that experience where you do a live chat and they say, Hello, please hold, and then they come back. By then you ask the question, they answer part of it, but then it's like six, seven, ten minutes later, it's because … you know why? It's because, there's usually four, five, seven chats going on at once. They're bouncing between windows. That can be a problem, in my opinion.

It's good for the aspect, if you're the person asking the question … this is what Carrie Lee had said actually, I asked her this earlier today. She can multitask. While she's waiting for the answer, she can do other stuff as well. That is one way to look at it, but I think, if you're going to offer live chat, be specific, be there, and don't take on too many chats at once.

Actually, I have an intention here to try live chat for my concierge service for pre-sale support, for questions and that kind of thing. But it would be specific hours when I'm going to be at the computer. Or maybe I have it integrate with Slack, so I get a message saying, hey there's someone there right now, and I get right back online. Again, live chat is live chat, you don't want those to be canned responses.

So you have live chat. You have forums. You have the form. If you want something even faster than live chat, well I don't know if it's faster, but in theory, I guess more public … I'm not sure how to word this. But, social media. Obviously, Twitter. Twitter is huge. You want to ask a question or you have a complaint or issue with a product or service, take to Twitter. Ideally just do it @ and then the company name. Only people will see it if they follow you and them, so kind of limit some of the exposure. You don't want to call someone out necessarily on a question, but a lot of companies have support or sales. Twitter counts as well, so you can do social media.

Facebook groups, another way of kind of doing longer form of engagement. Like a forum but … a lot of people are on Facebook. What is it, 1.5 billion people on Facebook any given day, any given time. Facebook groups is another way. Again, you have admins. You can have people moderate. You can get some great feedback that way.

Finally, this is kind of a short little, short list here, email lists. If you want to be engaged, or if you want to stay engaged, do you sign up for email lists. Email is great because you're getting permission from someone to send them information. So I'd say, I give you permission, yes, to email me when there's something relevant to what I might want to know. It's a great way to build trust, build rapport.

There's a gentleman by the name of Dan Miller who I follow. Another 48 Days is his brand. He's been doing his email lists, I think for twenty years. He's never missed a weekend, or I think it's a Friday or a Saturday it comes out, but he's never missed a weekend. I've been with it for a couple of years now. I don't read all of it, every single time, but that is his main marketing tool. He has a podcast. He's written books. He does seminars. But it's pretty impressive in what he can do with that email list. It's grown exponentially and then he markets to it because people trust him. He's not selling his list. He's not hard selling anything on the list. He's just giving information, valuable information, and going from there. Okay.

Again, live chat for pre-sale support, forums, the form, social media, Facebook groups or Twitter, and of course, the email lists, which is the grand-daddy of them all. If you can get someone to subscribe to an email list, then you get their permission to kind of let them know what's going on in your area of expertise.

Those are just a couple of ways to engage with your audience and like I said, I'm gonna very shortly here, install something over on Concierge WP and I think I might just try Olark as a free level and go from there. I'll let you know how it turns out. I'm curious if I can close any more potential leads by having some live pre-sale support questions available.

Let me know if you have any questions on that yourself. I'd be interested in knowing, or if you have any solutions, I would love to share those as well with the audience.

Segment three, moving along here. Tip and tool of the week. This week I'm talking about Kanguru. It's an iOS app. It's in alpha, right now. It's focused really on modernizing professional mentoring in technology. It's interesting. Actually let me go the site here for you. I had to look it up for a second there. It's actually kanguruapp.com. I had the wrong URL. It's cool. It's taking iOS alpha users. It's … what's the best way to describe it. So it's connecting people to other people for mentoring in a digital age.

They reached out to me. They said, hey take a look at this. What do you think, and I'm thinking, this is pretty cool. So I'm checking it out. I need to sign up for the alpha myself, just haven't had the chance. Check it out. It's kanguruapp.com, k-a-n-g-u-r-u-app.com. I will tell you, so it's … their basic breakdown is, it's convenient, organized, it's efficient, it's empowering. The site is pretty basic, like I said, they're in alpha. Looks really interesting and I think it's a great way to take the technology right now and combine things as far as looking for mentor-ships and maybe like, masterminds, and going online and doing this together, you know, in the the community online. So check that out. Kanguruapp.com.

All right, that is it this week. Like I said, I had a great time in Word Camp Chicago and had a fantastic week catching up with my own family. I was gone for like nine days total, from San Diego to Chicago. Anyway, if you have any questions go ahead and send it in via email, Adam@kitchensinkWP.com, or use the speak pipe functionality of the website. Thanks for listening. Have a great next week. Go out and do some awesome things with Word Press and we'll talk to you later. All right, goodbye.