Customer engagement is about establishing a meaningful connection between a customer and a company or a brand. This can be achieved by interacting with customers through various channels. If you just keep encouraging customers to spend more money on your business then this would make them feel more transactional. On the other hand, the ultimate goal of a brand should be to build and strengthen an emotional human-to-human connection with its customers. In this article, we will decrypt everything about customer engagement, its benefits, strategy, importance, and many other aspects.
Importance of Customer Engagement
A highly engaged customer is likely to spend 23% more as compared to a less engaged customer. This will help in an exponential increment in sales and revenue numbers. Even after that, a lot of businesses ignore this fact, and the result is an unrealized loss in sales and profit.
An improved engagement is beneficial for both customers as well as for business. After implementing a perfect engagement strategy, companies have witnessed a significant improvement in the close rates. If the interaction remains stable throughout the customer journey then it could motivate the buyers to consider a brand more valuable and in turn, provides excellent customer insights.
Do not misunderstand the term customer engagement with visitor/user engagement. A user is just an anonymous visitor who is interested in your product or service. There are limited ways to interact with them like a chatbot and blogs. On the contrary, a customer is someone who is in genuine need of your product and willing to pay the price if they find your product appealing. However, if they don’t like your product then chances are they will never buy it from you. Consider customers as a subset of users. There are plenty of ways to influence customers and compel them to buy your product.
Noteworthy Benefits of Customer Engagement
Now you know what is customer engagement and why it is so important for your business. It’s time to see the benefits a company can be awarded after implementing an effective strategy. Keep in mind that every business and industry is different and thus requires different approaches that can increase engagement. Without further ado, let’s delve into the section.
Improved Loyalty means more strong and firm customer relationships
The rise of online businesses around the world has completely diminished all the major characteristics of offline business and their strategies. Now, businesses don’t interact with their customers like they used to do a decade ago, and on some levels, customers also prefer this.
But like any other thing, there are some downsides as well. As you have guessed by now, online businesses lack human-to-human interaction which leads to short-term and unstable relationships with customers. The key to profitability and loyalty is the sustainable and deep-rooted bond between customers and the company.
This is one crucial aspect that online businesses are due to conquer. An impactful engagement strategy can assist in mastering this too. There are a few elements that you can apply pressure on to get the desired results.
First of all, you need to be completely aware of the different channels on which your customers are active and then put in genuine efforts to connect with them through these channels. Secondly, there are some vital touch points throughout the customer journey on which customers are highly likely to make purchase decisions. You need to have a keen understanding of such points.
The secret lies behind what more you have to offer your customers apart from regular products and services. A study conducted in recent years suggests that customers are more likely to engage with a brand if they provide surprise gifts, coupons, or offers. If you keep the aim of adding value to customers then this feat can seem plausible in every manner.
Customer Retention and Customer Churn
Research suggests that even an increment of 5% in customer retention can improve the profit by a whopping 25%. And this statistic is not surprising at all, it has been proved again and again that a loyal customer tends to buy more than a regular customer. That’s the reason why big firms and eCommerce companies splashed money and resources on customer loyalty programs so they buy more often.
In the business marketing handbook, there are lots of strategies that will teach you how to retain more customers. Some of them are nurturing the relationship, providing offers on selected holidays, and some other traditional practices. But sometimes these methods are not enough, businesses need to offer more to customers.
The demand of today’s market is a more personalized approach. For this, you need to create a systematic customer engagement roadmap, which doesn’t end when a customer purchases a product. After doing an extensive analysis, we have found some factors that can improve the engagement level to a great extent.
For example, you need to reach out to customers via their preferred channels. Customers should be able to reach the company without any interruption. This is important because 67% of customers prefer self-service rather than the company’s representative approach to them directly. Also, you can inform customers about your products, and their USPs (Unique Selling Propositions), and tell them why using your brand is beneficial for them.
Highly Engaged Customers spread Positive Words of Mouth
If you start working continuously on your customers and they become highly engaged with your brands then will also start appreciating your efforts towards them. And soon there will be a firm and forever connection between your brand and its customers.
Once they start making purchases of your products and services, it won’t be too long after which your customers will start to corroborate your products to others. In addition to this, you won’t even feel that you will be forming an online community of satisfied customers and they will start conversations about your products and services.
There is a quote that says, “The best advertising is done by satisfied customers.” Let us tell you an intriguing fact, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends. We think this stat is more than enough to show you the power of positive word of mouth.
Customer Engagement Strategies
One of the founders of Apple Inc., Steve Jobs once said regarding customer engagement, “Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.” So one thing we learned from this statement is that we need to create strategies by placing customers at the center.
You need to provide unforgettable and unparalleled experiences to the customer. The aim should be to become a truly customer-centric company that can anticipate the needs of customers. Here are some strategies that you can follow while interacting with your customers.
Create a Distinguish Brand identity
In order to stand out from the crowd, you need to create a unique and appealing brand identity. One way to achieve this is by using an exclusive brand voice for your company. If you managed to create a unique brand identity, then it will surely leave a lasting impression on the customers.
Creating a brand identity of your own will set you as a trailblazer from the customer’s perspective. Shortly, you will be recognized as a market leader and innovator whom everyone wants to follow.
There are a few elements that collectively create a strong brand identity. As we said earlier, it should be distinct from your peers. Customers should be able to tell the difference between you and your competitors. Also, make your business visually appealing and memorable. You can do this with some stand-out design, and color. Just like Apple Inc. did with their logo. Every component of your business should complement one another. After hits and trials a few times, you will find something that resonates with your company and customers.
Always Prioritize Customer Experience
Personalizing customer experience is now almost a mandatory requirement for gaining customer trust and building relationships. Look at Amazon Inc. for instance, the entire business model is based on providing the optimum level of customer experience. Whether it’s same-day delivery or next-gen product recommendations to customers, Amazon has aced all the departments. We can understand, small businesses cannot afford to invest in technologies like Machine learning or AI (Artificial Intelligence), but there are some simpler yet effective ways as well.
You can simply ask for customer feedback to improve their experience. Many businesses around the world underestimate the importance of customers’ points of view. Maintaining a feedback look is as important as any other thing. For example, throughout the customer journey, you can keep engaging them with quizzes, personal preferences, and many other things.
Customer engagement is directly affected by the experience you are currently providing to your customers. If they don’t like what and how you are offering to them, they simply won’t engage with you anymore. Even worse, they could imprint negative impressions of your brand on others.
Analyze Customer History for improving content marketing
In the last point, we show the importance of customer feedback. You can utilize the content that you get from feedback forms or surveys. Furthermore, you can analyze the purchasing history and patterns to create more customer-oriented content. Create a buyer persona before you start spreading words in the market.
There are many platforms that you can use, for example, Google Analytics provides you with insights regarding the demographics of customers and audiences. Selling products and services through content marketing is very perceptive. You cannot be direct rather it should feel natural and instinctive as part of your content.
How to Measure Customer Engagement and ROI (Return on Investment)?
Customer engagement can be done through various channels like emails, social media, SMS, websites, etc. Due to such a diversified platform, measuring the exact ROI can be very difficult. But there are some metrics that you can look at to get a rough estimate of what your strategy is performing. From a business perspective, it is important to know where you are heading and how far you are going on the path of the ultimate goal.
- Check Engagement on Social Media Platforms: Keep track of how many shares, comments, and likes your business is getting through posts. If you are getting positive responses then it is a good sign for your business i.e. you are getting recognition.
- Bounce Rate: If you get most of the engagement through the website then the bounce rate is a crucial factor. From the analytics tool, you can easily see the bounce rate of your website.
- Frequency of Purchase: Maintain a log of when customers are coming back for making another purchase. If they are not doing so then you may need to nudge them through email marketing or any other means. If they are buying frequently then it means the customer engagement rate is high and your business is performing well.
The Bottom Line
By keeping your company or brand customer-centric, you can achieve the goal of becoming a successful online business. Before improving your customer engagement, you are required to establish a strong personal and human-to-human connection with your customers. Keeping a track of all touchpoints throughout the customer journey can be a great initiative. Interact with your customers on various channels through personalized content. All the points mentioned above can help in building an outstanding brand and a loyal customer base.