Over the last few years, brands have begun to realize that customers now have far more power than they used to in regards to the interactions they have with companies. In response to this shift in dynamic, customer retention marketing and customer engagement have become common strategies for battling customer churn. Those who are late to the party will soon realize that without a sound customer engagement strategy will be left behind.
In the interest of helping you better serve your customers and create your own customer engagement strategy, we have put together this article on everything you need to know to get started. Our hope is that by tailoring your strategy with engagement in mind, you can get ahead of the curve and make the most out of your campaign. Let’s get started.
Why customer engagement matters
So, what is customer engagement? According to Aircall, engagement is a mixture of tangible manifestations of customer loyalty and the quality of the customer experience. Without actual metrics and data to back up customer loyalty, it can be difficult to know if your strategy is working. A customer’s experience can show exactly how engaged they really are with your brand.
Now, this may not seem important as long as you are keeping customers. However, as more brands roll out their own customer engagement strategy, you will soon be left behind. When you consider that 80% of consumers indicated they are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalized experience, you begin to understand just how important engagement can be.
Drawing up a plan
As you begin drawing out your plan of attack for your customer engagement strategy, it is worth remembering that a good customer experience is one where the customer feels an emotional attachment to you and your brand. It may help to keep the following ideas in mind as a goal for how you want your customers to feel as they engage with your company.
- This brand always delivers on what they promise.
- I feel proud to be a customer of this brand.
- This brand is the perfect company for people like me.
If you are able to meet these requirements, customers will not only feel loyal to your brand, but they will want to tell others about you as well. The ultimate goal of a customer engagement strategy is to provide value to your customers in such a way that they become advocates for your brand. However, this is easier said than done. Next, let’s take a look at a few ways you can improve your strategy in order to get the most out of customer interactions and engagement.
Stand for something
The first part of doing customer engagement well is to stand for something. Whether this is something like giving a percentage of your revenue to charity or simply volunteering as a team on the weekends, customers want to know that the companies they interact with stand for something more than just money. In fact, two-thirds of consumers think it’s important for brands to take a public stance on social issues.
Now, it should go without saying that standing for something purely to gain customers trust is not advised. Instead, businesses should begin to realize that transparency and honesty are more important to customers than saving money or earning ‘rewards points.’ By actually investing in social issues and trying to make a difference, you will not only earn the trust of your customers, but have an effect on the larger community. This is something that should be a goal for every organization.
Up next for creating a customer engagement strategy is to be human and remember that your customers are too. This goes back to a previous article discussing how UX and CX work together, but by focusing on the needs of the customer, you are able to offer a better experience. Not only that, but customers will come to see you as a value-add to their lives.
This, simply put, is what customers buy into in today’s market. Beyond a certain point, products and services can only go so far. Customers are more interested in how your brand can help them better their lives and only by remembering the humanity of your customers will your truly be able to do this.
Keep it simple
Although there are plenty of grand ways to improve the customer experience and further your customer engagement strategy, sometimes the best option is to keep it simple. For instance, if a customer makes a purchase, sending a quick email with a thank you and their receipt is all that is necessary to provide a good experience. When brands try to make a big show of everything, they can end up alienating customers instead.
This is an area where recent improvements in marketing automation can come into play. Whenever a customer interacts with your brand, automate messages and chatbots can be used to provide instantaneous responses with required information. Simple things like this can quickly turn a good experience into a great one.
Always provide value
While we have mentioned this early, it is worth repeating: when setting up your customer engagement strategy, try your best to always provide value to your customers. Throughout the customer journey, there will be opportunities for you to guide them along by providing them with tips and tools for success. By investing in customer engagement and ensuring that this guidance is available, you can take your strategy to a whole new level.
Keep in mind, this doesn’t just go for direct interactions, but your entire omnichannel approach. Part of providing a great customer experience is to be consistent across the board so that any interaction your customers have with your brand meets their standards.
Continuously reevaluate and grow
Finally, the last thing you need to know about creating a customer engagement strategy is that this is not a one-time thing, but a continuous part of your marketing campaign. As you start to get the hang of customer engagement, you will need to always be checking and reevaluating your user engagement metrics for ways to grow and improve.
Although this may seem like a daunting task, now that you have a better understanding of both the need for customer engagement and how to go about creating a strategy, you are well on your way already. As long as you stick to it and remember to provide customers value throughout the process, you will be just fine.
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