Tips For Getting More Involved With The Community Of Your Small Business

small business getting involved in community

In business, there is no success without customers. Recognizing this is just one part of the equation, serving and providing excellent products is another major facet, but there is another factor that sometimes gets sacrificed: customer engagement. 

Attracting customers is a huge part of generating business, maintaining that customer base is a whole other skill entirely. Generating brand loyalty is an art form that marketing firms and trend-setting influencers have become very good at. While the business being run may not have the youthfulness or the gimmicky trends and videos that are so often associated with a younger customer base, there is much that can be learned and applied from the strategies used. 

This is not an article set on promoting the adoption of otherwise fad-like marketing trends, but is an opportunity to open up discussion about how to re-engage the community of small businesses. 

Here are some skills for success to maintain while managing and growing your customer loyalty in small businesses. 

All About Customer Engagement 

Customer engagement refers to the means, methods, and tools by which a business can attract and garner customer attention, hopefully, eventually turning that attention into a profitable customer base. There are plenty of ways by which this can be accomplished, but choosing and keeping those channels is a task in and of itself. 

The communication necessary to lead customers (potential or otherwise) through the sales pipeline always requires a smart, informed, and consistent demonstration of the mission, branding, and product or service. What ends up separating great companies from those that just get by is genuine customer engagement. 

Loyalty can rarely be bought; it must be earned. Customer engagement means lasting relationships, brand recognition and support, natural referrals, and customer loyalty that feeds great reviews. If a brand can do all this and still be true to themselves, they will grow into recognizable companies like Trader Joes, Apple, and Patagonia. 

Each of these have remained true to themselves, their missions, and products to such a degree they now have cult-like followings to show for it. 

Strategies To Engage Customer Communities 

Rewarding Customer Engagement 

It is unfortunately all too common nowadays that some businesses have demonstrated themselves as just simply not caring much about their customers— other than a source of revenue. This can be clearly seen and heard from any number of customer service horror stories: waiting on a phone call for hours at a time; manipulative contacts; no support for faulty products, the list goes on. 

However, for those companies that consistently show themselves to be decent human beings interested in acutely caring for their customers, they earn the reward of customer loyalty. 

For those companies that have reached this tier of accomplishment, they are likely to have a customer base that is going out of their way to speak positively about their experiences. The reviews they leave, the stories they tell, and the other customers they attract are valuable, very valuable. So much so that it has the potential to generate its own momentum where marketing becomes almost unnecessary. That type of customer loyalty doesn't need to be rewarded, but it is a good idea. 

It is a matter of simple psychology: rewarding good behavior means that it is more likely to happen again. Discounts, free gifts, promotions, and loyalty points generate basic brand loyalty. Every business could use more of that. 

Monitoring Social Media Chatter 

Social media tools have changed the business world for good. The feedback tools that are built into these platforms allow for trackable, measurable insights into customer behavior and attitudes. Whether it is a complaint or a stellar review, the feedback being posted by customers is not something that should be overlooked. The insights and understanding into what, why, and how often a customer base responds to the fluctuations in a business’s products, services, marketing campaigns or announcements holds a few of the keys to generating further customer loyalty. 

Nearly half of all customers that generate and post a complaint about a product would like to have a timely response, ideally within a few minutes. Don't let potential successes go to waste by ignoring the valuable systems that maintain these chat features. 


The number of products that are built to fail is a shrewd, ultimately toxic, and unsustainable business model— not just for customer retention, but for the planet. Anyone who has ever been excited about a new product only to have it break or fail typically goes through the process of trying to fix or be compensated for the quality they hoped they were paying for in the first place. 

While engineering and producing products that are made out of good materials is one way of doing this, another way of maintaining reliability is just to do a good job keeping promises. No business will generate lasting brand loyalty and success by purposefully ignoring customer complaints. The business that makes quality and customer care a foundational part of the business means that customers that may otherwise be lost because of a faulty feature can be turned into an even stronger loyalist. 

Other customers will hear about the reliability of that service and automatically compare it to every other bad experience they may have had. People go where they are treated best and that comes from reliability. 

Customer Forums 

This is not for everyone, let alone every business, but a great way to get more involved in the customer community of a small business is to create a space where the community can coexist. People who are passionate about the brands and products— like sustainability, politics or community health services— have a natural infectious energy about them. 

Giving people the opportunity to share stories, discuss problems, and feel heard on forums provides a fun, safe environment where such loyalty can be heard and reciprocated. This same platform can be linked to other social media platforms, and even more data and customer engagement can be generated with business community outreach.

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