We can all think of businesses we’ve abandoned. Maybe it was a rude customer service agent that sealed the deal. Or maybe said business wasn’t delivering relevant products or services. Whichever the experience was, you probably made sure to tell everyone you know, who then spread the word to others.
To understand user engagement, you must put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Think about what a brand did to retain your business. How was your bond with a brand strengthened or weakened?
Re-thinking how you keep your customers engaged is essential—especially in the digital age. Today, consumers are inundated with messages and stimuli that pull them in many directions. So it’s crucial to employ strategies that keep them locked into your brand.
In this blog, we delve into user engagement and go over critical metrics to help you determine how engaged your customers are. We also discuss methods to put your business on the path to success.
What is User Engagement?
Customer experience is your customer’s perception of your brand based on multiple touchpoints. The greater your customer engagement, the more likely they will continue doing business with you or refer your brand to friends and family.
How do customer experience and user engagement overlap? User engagement is a part of the customer experience because it encompasses customer interactions with your business. It’s the relationship the customers have with your brand based on their experience. So when we mention customer experience, we’re also discussing engagement.
User engagement aims to measure the leading indicators of whether your customers find your business valuable enough to continue purchasing. So to understand your user engagement and metrics, you must grasp ways to increase customer satisfaction.
It would be much easier and more convenient to have a crystal ball that told you everything you needed to know about how to keep your customers happy. Unfortunately, however, figuring out customer engagement isn’t that straightforward. But luckily, there are software products, or customer relationship management tools, that give you a glimpse of what’s working and what needs sprucing.
How to Measure User Engagement
With all the work brands put into upgrading the customer experience, many don’t know how their efforts pan out. This leaves them guessing what works and what doesn’t—wasting time and resources.
Establishing a system to manage critical indicators (KPIs) is crucial. As discussed above, CRM software gives you a rundown of the customer’s journey. But which metrics help you figure out if your customer engagement is up to par?
Session length is the amount of time a user spends on your app or website in one session. During a session, the user typically performs a series of actions before they exit. We can learn a few things from session length. First, you can identify which stays on your website or app the longest. And those who spend the most time are the most engaged.
Conversely, if it seems like no one is using your app or website as long as you hoped, you may need to make some adjustments. App developers and IT specialists can use session length to uncover where problems exist. For instance, your checkout process may be too complex, causing users to exit the session early. Or the visit may have issues finding the information they need quickly, thus leaving your site.
Session frequency refers to the time between two sessions. This metric shows how engaged your users are while on your website or app, and session frequency shows how often users are coming back.
When you analyze session frequency, pay close attention to trends in how people use your website or app. If you notice a decline in session frequency, take steps to improve the user experience. For example, you could add new features or make it more mobile-friendly.
Acquisitions measure the number of new users who sign up for or use your service. By tracking this metric, you gauge the effectiveness of your engagement efforts. Analyzing acquisitions also helps you determine whether you are reaching your target audience.
You can measure acquisitions through various channels. Some include paid advertising, organic search, social media, and referrals. Knowing where your users are coming from allows you to adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.
Retention rate is the percentage of existing customers who continue to do business with you. A high retention rate indicates that customers find your products or services valuable.
Analyzing your retention rate lets you gauge what needs improvement in your business. Some improvements could be offering relevant content, personalizing recommendations, or offering a rewards program.
Look at churn rate as the opposite of retention rate. This metric refers to the number of people who’ve moved on and gone to a competitor.
When looking at churn rate, it helps to measure it against your retention rate. Determine how many customers are leaving vs. coming back and understand why.
Consider asking for feedback if the answer isn’t clear from the available data. For instance, when a customer ends their membership with your gym, send an exit survey collecting feedback.
The conversion rate represents the number of people who go from prospects to customers. You can also look at conversion rate as the total number of users who take the desired action.
For example, if your website has a 2% conversion rate, that means that out of 100 people that visit, two sign up for a gym membership. Conversion rate can apply to any action, but it typically measures sales or sign-ups.
To increase conversion rates, take steps to improve customer experience. For example, ensure that all relevant information is easily accessible and that the checkout process is streamlined.
Why is User Engagement Important in the Fitness Industry?
The fitness industry has seen significant changes because of COVID-19. And some workout locations have seen dips in memberships. In addition, at-home workouts and fitness equipment sales have skyrocketed in the last two years—creating stiff competition for brick-and-mortar fitness centers.
Not only is there more competition, but consumer habits are changing. According to data from the IHRSA, the average gym has an annual attrition rate of 28.6%. Another study found that customers at risk of ending their membership were 45% less likely to cancel the following month if they received a “successful commitment interaction.”
Here are other data points say about the shifting landscape in consumer experience:
- 67% of consumers say their standards for good experiences are higher than ever.
- 32% of customers are willing to leave a brand they love because of one experience.
- 65% of consumers said that one positive experience with a business was more impactful than advertising.
So to remain competitive and appeal to customers’ demands, retailers and gyms need to reevaluate their customer experience. And developing a sturdy foundation for gym member engagement is vital in this fierce market.
Ways to Improve Customer Engagement
We’ve talked a great deal about the importance of keeping customers engaged and how you can gauge their interest in your brand. But what are some ways you can improve the experience for your members?
Below are some tactics you can employ to enhance people’s perception of your brand:
Invest in Omnichannel Customer Engagement
Omnichannel strategies help fitness businesses craft a seamless customer experience. Synching each touchpoint also allows you to keep track of specific behaviors, helping you create a precise picture of the person behind the data. And with a more accurate customer persona leads to more personalized and engaging experiences.
Why is this engagement tactic so effective? Instead of giving customers fragmented interactions, an omnichannel approach ensures that the brand is consistent in tone. And this is vital considering 9 out of 10 customers prefer a seamless omnichannel experience.
The research also shows that providing a consistent digital experience can yield rewards. For example, one report found that 30% of companies that take an omnichannel approach improved customer lifetime value. On top of that, 23% see an increase in basket or shopping cart size.
Map Out the Customer Journey
Knowing your customer’s touchpoints is key. Why? It lets you know which moments matter the most and get people to purchase. People will interact with a brand long before they finally become customers. And those interactions are essential steps in their journey. This concept is referred to as, Moments That Matter (MTM), which is a practice that ensures that businesses are reaching customers at pivotal moments with the right content.
With MTM, you can tailor messaging for your customers. Think about it, consumers see tons of content daily. So when you offer something relevant to them, they’re more likely to accept your brand. Planning out the customer journey supports the ability to deliver personalized messaging and the right brand voice.
Take Advantage of Automation
Marketers and brands are jumping on the automation bandwagon. HubSpot research shows that 79% of companies use automation for marketing and 45% for sales. So many brands are utilizing this strategy because it drastically reduces response times—which could be a major deal breaker for consumers. In fact, 82% of consumers expect response times within 10 minutes.
Automating texts or emails can quickly keep customers updated or inform them on what to expect next. Chatbots are also practical automation tools. You can program them to answer basic questions on behalf of your customer service team.
Gleantap offers applications you need to get started with automation. For example, you can set up email automation that sends a welcome email when a customer signs up for a membership. You can also create a text message series that sends payment reminders. Customers like receiving important updates, and automation allows you to keep them in the loop.
Today’s consumers are mobile. They receive communications via SMS message, and it’s how they interact with their favorite brands. And they welcome mobile communications from businesses like yours. About 64% of consumers say they want companies to contact them via text message. And 75% of them want texts with special discounts.
The reason why texting works is that it’s a personal means of communication. It establishes a more personable brand tone—which creates a strong bond. So, if you want to reach your customer and keep them engaged, SMS marketing is the way to go.
Use the Power of Email to Its Fullest
Email marketing has been around for a while, but it hasn’t lost its luster after all this time. The data shows that 21% of marketing emails are opened within the first hour of delivery. Researchers also found that advertising emails influenced buying decisions of 50.7% of customers.
Including email in your customer engagement strategy also allows you to track key metrics—which gives you insight into customer engagement activity. Some essential metrics include open rates, clicks, unsubscribes, and deletions without opening. In addition, implementing tactics like personalization and email drip campaigns effectively keep customers engaged throughout their buying journey.
In addition, investing in email marketing software lets you keep an eye on KPIs while creating a workflow that delivers valuable content to your customers. Gleantap’s email marketing platform offers comprehensive data about your campaigns. And from the information you gather, you can create campaigns that deliver better results.
Track, Measure, and Enhance User Engagement With Gleantap
Looking at user engagement helps you understand the value users find in your brand. And when measuring engagement, every fitness business will have varying needs and priorities. To create a plan to track engagement, list goals, and choose strategies to help achieve them.
Of course, you will need a designated fitness business CRM to analyze important metrics related to engagement.
Gleantap provides what you need to implement engagement-boosting strategies, such as SMS and email automation. We also provide a simplified data display that gives insight into how your customers interact with your business and how you can keep them locked in.
Book a free demo to get started with better user engagement strategies for fitness businesses.