Over the last few decades, the world as we know it has undergone a major change in the way that people communicate with each other. With the invention of the Internet and more recently, social media, our planet is more interconnected than ever before. A byproduct of these changes is that new rules need to be written and new practices discovered.
One area that has seen a massive shift is the world of marketing. Gone are the days of Mad Men, where the end goal of every customer relationship was “The Sale.” Now, the sale is just the beginning. Brands today need to focus on not only selling their products, but engaging their customers after the fact in order to keep them around and reduce churn rate.
However, not everyone has the time to singlehandedly monitor all customer relationships. It’s simply too big of a task at this stage in the game. Thus, a solution must be found to help in this aspect. The solution we are referring to is a customer engagement platform. In this article, we are going to teach you the basics of what you need to know about this latest software solution. Let’s get into it.
Why do we need customer engagement?
As we mentioned, gone are the days of signing up a customer and then hoping that they forget about your service while you continue to charge their credit card every month. In 2017, companies and brands need to constantly offer value to their customers at every step in the process to avoid losing them to a competitor.
Not only that, but according to Kissmetrics, “engaged customers stay longer, actually pay for your service, upgrade more often, and refer more customers.” The paradigm has shifted from providing customers with the right product at the right place at the right time to getting them actively involved in your community and engaging them at every turn.
Where does a customer engagement platform come in?
Unless your company is using some form of customer engagement platform or retention marketing strategy, you might soon find yourself in the dust of your competitors. Customer engagement has gone from an afterthought to what some have called the most important part of marketing today.
But you still might be wondering, where does a customer engagement platform come in? Like we stated at the beginning, unless you have an entire marketing team at your disposal there is no way you will be able to keep up with everything your users and customers are throwing at you. You need help. Well, a customer engagement platform is that help.
By automating various tasks and personalizing your messaging throughout the engagement funnel you can give your customers everything the need to be successful. Once this is done, the rest is pretty simple. After all, like we have said before, giving the users what they want isn’t exactly rocket science.
“Okay, so how do I use it?”
Now that you have a greater understanding of what is at stake, you might be wondering how you actual employ a customer retention technique like a user engagement platform. Don’t fret, we have you covered.
Have you ever gone to a restaurant and just as you were about to enter, you received a branded message offering a discount? If you haven’t, the first time can be a little creepy, but once you understand what is happening, you understand the benefit.
Customer engagement platforms can make use of technologies like SMS marketing, geo-location waypoints, and push notifications to get your branded messaging to your customers when they need it most. By establishing your company as being there when customers need it most, you are able to convert more customers than ever before.
Customer engagement is not just about getting the sale, which used to be the case, but creating a sustainable customer relationship. One great way to do this is through post-sale positioning. When a customer buys from you, think of this as the starting point.
Ideally, there is no end point, but realistically you want to make sure that you are engaging these customers from the time they start working with you until they move on. Whether your post-sale positioning means engaging sending a thank you email or reminding them about offers similar to their purchase is irrelevant.
As long as you are providing additional value after the sale, depending on the customer, you can position yourself however you need to in order to keep them as a customer for years to come.
Getting customers involved
Another way in which you can keep customers engaged through a platform is by getting them involved with your company. Again, you can employ mass text marketing campaigns to get the word out to your customers about how they can get involved.
Whether you are doing community service in your local area or hosting a networking event, getting your customers involved with your company at multiple different points in their daily lives is a surefire way to boost engagement.
What comes next, if everything goes according to plan, is the ability to build a community with your customers. Brands that have dedicated the time and resources to building a community have seen wonderful results.
For example, many gyms and fitness studios have created a community Facebook page for their members to share their fitness journeys and offer encouragement to their fellow members. The best part about this is that if you give your customers a place to have community, they will often do so without much work from you.
Whatever you decide to do in order to make a community environment with your users, try your best to stay positive and let customers come and go as they want. Instead of relying on old methods of blowing away your customers and then not providing, you need to be consistent and show a continuous dedication to them. Once you do this, the rest, as they say, is gravy.
Co-Founder, Gleantap & Mastera