“Hey Google, what’s the weather?” These days it’s that simple to get the precise information you seek the moment you desire it. The seamless product experiences provided by tech trailblazers like Amazon and Google have conditioned consumers to expect services on demand. It’s no secret that today’s consumers have high customer experience expectations.
“64% [of customers] find the customer experience more important than price when purchasing something.” –Gartner
We expect that brands not only provide relevant value, but also respond to our desires with complete solutions. We even expect them to anticipate our needs. Streamlined customer experiences are now an expectation. Businesses that fail to adapt to this high bar risk losing customers to their more adaptable counterparts.
With this in mind, companies are leveraging customer engagement platforms to effectively acquire and retain customers.
Customer engagement platforms empower businesses to understand consumers’ wants and needs deeply. This allows them to connect with customers at the right moment with the right messaging to delight customers. Happy customers = happy businesses.
How can businesses best engage customers and encourage opt ins across different communication channels to provide the best customer experience? We dig into this topic and give you actionable tips so you can start engaging with your audience more effectively.
1. Create Messaging with Laser Focus
“More than half, 63 percent, of consumers expect personalization as a standard of service and believe they are recognized as an individual when sent special offers.” –RedPoint Global
Content today needs to be engaging, informative, and valuable. Because not all customers are created alike, brands must be intelligent in how they connect with their distinct market segments. Additionally, to effectively engage customers, companies’ messaging should be specific in the incentives it provides to different groups. Finally, the messaging cadence should be varied and intentional.
Targeting to Improve the Customer Experience
- Customer engagement platforms segment and analyze purchase and visit trends across demographics, age groups, and more. This means you can identify which segments are likely to respond and convert with your messaging. By A/B testing copy, you are able to test and discover the offers and messaging that is most effective. With this information, you can automate winning marketing or engagement strategies using ongoing campaigns. As new members fall into a segment, they receive automated targeted messaging at the right moment throughout their customer engagement.
Automate Messaging at the Right Moment
- Another way to be laser focused in your approach is to automate messaging based on milestones throughout the customer journey. This is a powerful strategy that ensures your customer’s wins are celebrated, promoting brand loyalty and strengthening the relationship. Meanwhile, automated campaigns gather data over time, enabling prediction of drop off, so that it can be reduced. For example, fitness clubs are notified of members’ declining check in trends over time. Automated campaigns engage customers before they cancel their memberships to keep them coming back. This targeted engagement makes customers them feel valued, understood, and motivated to keep coming back. The win for your business? Reduced churn rates and amplified customer lifetime value. It’s a win-win all around.
2. Be Flexible in Your Communication Channels
While consumers’ preferred channels of communication may vary, virtually all consumers now expect fast and personalized service. This is true whether they’re engaging with a company via text messaging, email, or Facebook chat.
To boost your customer experience, you should be flexible in making communication channels that your customers prefer available to them. With messaging apps growing in popularity, businesses that adapt to this channel are staying ahead of the curve.
Respond in Real Time for a First-Rate Customer Experience
- The ability to respond to a customer’s inquiry in real time is powerful. More likely than not, your consumers are perusing Facebook regularly. In fact, it’s estimated that 2.7 billion people use Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, or Facebook Messenger each month. Imagine this: while they are chatting with family and friends on a messenger app, your loyal member is also chatting with your company. On the other end is your customer service rep or even a chatbot. You may be aware that utilizing chatbots to automate customer support can save you time and money. Not only that, but chatbots utilize machine learning to get even more effective over time, so that your customers can quickly get the information they need on the fly. This can help you scale your business while ensuring your customers have an open line of communication whenever they want to engage with you. Leaving your customers hanging when they want to engage with your team is not ideal. Having Facebook and messenger channels open lets your customers know you’ve left the light on for them whenever they choose to reach out!
The social channels that Gleantap can help you leverage for your customer engagement efforts are SMS, email, Facebook messaging, chatbots, and push notifications. Depending on the nature of your business and the personas within your customer base, Gleantap’s expert marketing team can consult with you to determine the best fit. Whether one or multiple channels is the right move for you, you can fully cover your bases in empowering an open dialogue to promote the best customer experience.
3. Maximize Voluntary Opt-ins
How can you attract your customers to opt into receiving periodic text or Facebook messages from you?
Well, one way to do this is by displaying a standee at your front desk to encourages opt ins. Our clients have seen success with high opt-in rates when they offer an item of value such as a free drink to those who agree to receive texts. Additionally, offering people a chance to win something of high value by doing a raffle is a great way to get them excited.
Leverage Existing Channels
- Don’t forget to use existing marketing channels to ask customers to opt into other channels. For example, you can email a free guide or interesting infographic on your website when people enter their email address into a popup window. Once you have their email address, you can then email your customers asking them to opt into receiving texts via email. Another simple, yet key way to maximize opt-ins is to build in language into a waiver that customers sign when they consent to receiving your services. All new customers will be opted into your updates, unless they specifically desire to be left out.
Whatever your preferred method is, whether one or a combination of these, do remember to focus on providing value, entertainment, and personalized content that your customers will actually enjoy receiving. The benefits of having people opt into receiving content from you is that you are targeting a group of individuals who are excited to engage with your brand. You can now enable a dialogue to learn more about what your customers like and dislike about your products and services, allowing you to grow your business while staying top of mind and strengthening the relationship with your customers.
4. Embrace & Leverage Social Proof
“There are 3.2 billion social media users, which is 42% of the world’s population” –Emarsys
People are wired to be drawn to nurturing and maintaining a sense of community, which helps explain the exponential growth trend of social media apps.
The Proof is in the Social
- Social media is a ubiquitous tool that allows people to connect globally and to share their experiences and stories. Social proof is more powerful than ever. Brands that have a strong following convey higher credibility than those without a following. We know that recognizing and rewarding loyal customers is key to retaining these strong relationships that drive positive reviews and referrals, in turn, bringing new customers to your product and service. Did you know that referred customers tend to have significantly higher lifetime value than those who are not referred to a product or service? So, how can you boost social proof to drive new customer acquisition? You can use testimonials, case studies, or powerful metrics the size and satisfaction of your customer base. You can also use expert opinions in guest blog posts, and showcase how many people are following your brand or engaging with your brand online.
Your most ardent customers are the promoters of your brand, spreading the word about your value proposition without you having to lift a finger. In the world of social media, every customer has a voice that they can broadcast to the masses, whether in the form of a Yelp review or 280 character tweet. The psychology behind social proof is powerful, and how you respond to criticism can make or break your brand. The next time you get a negative review online, use it as a chance to improve your offering. Publicly respond to a detractor with humility and establish yourself as a business that truly cares about what its audience thinks and is dedicated to improvement.
How NPS Can Help your Customer Experience
- The Net Promoter Score is an index that ranges from -100 to 100. It measures the willingness of customers to recommend a company’s products or services to their networks. Gleantap has powerful business intelligence tools that allow companies to analyze their customer base using the Net Promoter Score. You can drive business growth by tailoring your messaging to improve the overall sentiment of your brand. Our clients deploy personalized campaigns with incentives rewarding promoters for their long tenure and loyalty. Gleantap automatically recognizes which customers are detractors and are likely to spread negative sentiment about their brand. Clients are able to reach out and learn where their customer journey can improve in order to provide a better customer experience.
By now, you know that delivering a solid brand experience is paramount in nurturing relationships with customers. This transforms them into brand advocates, which ultimately drives higher lifetime value.
Consumers expect brand messaging to inspire them, not just to sell to them. Brands will need to find new methods to incentivize customers to share content, refer friends and family, and to remain lifelong enthusiastic members. Your competition is not just other businesses within your industry. Your competition is any B2C experience that has left your customer feeling understood and delighted. Using these steps, you’ll be leaps and bounds closer to evolving into a business that consumers just can’t wait to recommend to their friends and family.