Consumers have never had it so good. Shopping across borders from the comfort of their sofa, office desk or while commuting from one point to another is a fact of life. In the age of IoT, it's not quality or price alone that dictates preference. Above all, it's the quality of engagement brands have with their target audience. In a nutshell, customer engagement is a demonstration of the brand's interest in nurturing their relationship with the target audience. It's a dialogue where, unlike in the past, the voice of the customer isn't only heard on specific occasions, such as when the brand wants to conduct market research. Thanks to social media, consumers can make themselves heard and listened to when they want to. Consumers not only buy 24/7, but they can also express their thoughts and opinions 24/7. Some businesses may choose to see the digitally articulate consumer as an inconvenience. But at the same time, we can regard it as consumer participation in the marketing of the brand. Their feedback and input can contribute to making things better. It's a treasure trove of ideas. So, on this note, the question is how can customer reviews be generated and gathered to improve engagement? 1. Ask The most basic step is to ask for a review - warts and all. Sure, we may not like to receive negative feedback that may be shared. Nonetheless, it's better to discover a weakness from reviews than from declining sales and dwindling market share. The fear of not knowing can be crippling. Hence, make it a part of the customer journey to ask for reviews. 2. Make it easy When it is easy for customers to share their experiences with a brand, it shows a real commitment to elicit their thoughts and feelings. From quick post-purchase surveys to actively encouraging customers to share their feedback on social media, showing interest and sincerity in listening to your customer is a significant portion of the battle won. The easier you make it for them, the more likely they will be heard. 3. Create multiple platforms Your customers' social and digital media behaviour is dynamic and versatile. They may be on Facebook one moment, LinkedIn or Twitter the next. In today's marketing environment, omnichannel presence is highly valued. On that note, customers should be able to give reviews on any platform that is convenient to them. 4. Be responsive In a study published by Harvard Business Review, it was shown that responding to customer reviews improved a brand's ratings online. Be they good or bad reviews, consider these opportunities to improve engagement. Responding to them underscores the brand's desire to meet customer expectations or embed their suggestions in future ideation and innovation undertaking. People love feeling valued by another. Responding to customer reviews will communicate this. The brave new world of customer participation in your marketing is just over the horizon. Good or bad reviews, they don't matter - it's showing your willingness to listen and act that does. To develop tactics to facilitate this in your social media strategy, connect with us here.