“If you’re competitor focused, you have to wait until there is a competitor doing something. Being customer-focused allows you to be more pioneering.”
Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon.com What bigger and better advice would anyone want on customer’s importance and engagement to start improving their customer engagement policy and plans?
GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple) — the big four of the tech world — became the mammoth they are today by keeping their customers’ interests in mind.
Almost all of their designs, redesigns and communication puts the likes and dislikes of their present and potential customers before anything else. And, if there is one word that encapsulates all their communication strategies to skyrocket their growth, it’s customer engagement.
The power of this single phrase could be examined with this simple data: According to Gallup, a global analytics and advice firm, fully engaged customers represent a 23% higher share in profitability, revenue, and relationship growth.
Awesome, isn’t it — if you’re someone who is into data and facts for making important decisions?
But, with great facts and figures come greater questions. Such as:
So many questions and so many words to read. We’ll try keeping it short.
A good customer engagement — often called Customer Experience (CX) or User Engagement by some brands — strategy is about making your customers interact with you and encouraging them to share their experience with your brand.
No matter the kind of marketing plan, customer engagement strategies are one of the most sought-after metrics to measure a brand’s success.
In today’s competitive world, businesses, big or small, should not only work on their marketing, finance, and support but also work to create an environment and policy that keep better customer engagement practices as one of the cornerstones of the company’s vision.
A heads-up before we go any further: Though brands often use customer engagement and customer experience interchangeably, they are not the same.
The know-how of the differences may or may not change how you approach these topics or draft your user engagement policy, but it can certainly give you a better idea about how to make a difference by taking a different approach in both cases.
CX is more concerned with memories your customers make, starting from the point in time when they first enter your sales funnel till they exit. It includes factors such as: how long do they have to wait for their turn, what offers they received, how was the interaction with the app, website, or salesperson, and how quick was the point-of-sale checkout.
Customer engagement, on the other hand, is how your present or potential customer perceives your brand every time it comes to their notice. This covers discounts, coupon codes, tweets, retweets, tagging, marketing emails, in-app messaging, etc.
In sum, you can say that customer engagement covers and improves customer experience, which in turn is the leading cause of skyrocketing your sales and loyal user base volume.
Engagement with your customers impacts their loyalty. But that’s quite a simple statement, and so we need a few figures to wrap our heads around it.
And then, there are lists and lists of such insightful facts and figures that could further strengthen your belief in customer engagement.
What are the definitions are data without benefits that could help you profit? So, let’s see some of the major customer engagement benefits to understand how it adds value to your business.
As we saw above, customer engagement covers CX, hence CX enhances itself because if the customer engagement activities undertaken by small businesses prove fruitful. As users (both present and potential) keep listening about the positive impact your brand and products have added to the life users, it creates a positive perception in their minds.
And, once it leaves its mark, it’s hard for people to let it go, and they keep coming back for more because of the now more pronounced trust factor — which they find hard to look for anywhere else.
Customer engagement is not a one-day thing. You keep the communication channel populated with good messages, your users see and react to them, and share them with their friends (only in case when they find it interesting or amusing).
This helps in reminding everyone of the good work you’ve been doing while you keep reinforcing such belief with 1-on-1 calls, coupon codes, referral codes, price cuts, etc. Such continuous positive communication is more than helpful in creating a loyal user base that prefers your service and products over anyone else.
It’s a no-brainer. Once you have successfully checked off all the right boxes with CX and customer loyalty and trust, the sales funnel never suffers an unnecessary backlog either in terms of lead generation or conversion.
The first stage of a funnel, Awareness, is seldom a problem when your customers feel highly engaged with your daily activities.
The Second part, Interest, is again taken care of by looking at interesting updates and price cuts. All you then have to do is to give a compelling reason. And, if it’s compelling enough, it’ll automatically translate into the desired action.
Customer engagement is your way to interact with the buyers and receive feedback which can help to improve the overall experience with a brand.
Below are 5 useful tips on how to make a foolproof customer engagement strategy.
The message is important, but so is the messenger in today’s time. You can reach out to your users via emails, SMS, commercials, calls, etc., but nothing would give you the level of user engagement like in-product messaging.
Follow-up emails sent at the right time can boost conversion, but only when and if they are clicked by the receivers.
Also, it may take several hours, or even days, before they grab the attention of the inbox owner. This makes your energy and time for creative brand messaging and marketing strategy go down the drain.
Driving the point home is a marketing report by Oracle, titled DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION: 3 AREAS OF CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE TO INVEST IN RIGHT NOW, which says that leads from the web are 9X More likely to convert if they’re followed up within 5 minutes.
So, instead of sending out those long context emails to update your customers about recent product developments, prefer the in-product messaging option.
Personalization helps you connect with the customer to a deeper level. It should be a priority to create a great customer engagement experience.
There are many ways of creating a personalized customer experience, such as sending out the best landing page for conversion for sending a happy birthday message, suggesting related products your customer might be interested in, etc.
You can create some promotional offers for your most valued customers to connect with them at a much deeper level. Some examples of such offers are “Only for you”, “We want you back”, and other such email subject lines.
A report emphasizing the importance of personalization for business growth, by Accenture, highlights that 91% of consumers are more likely to shop (as per what they said) with brands who identify and give relevant. What’s better is, according to the same report, that 83% of these consumers are willing to share their data to make this happen.
Surprise your customers by offering them personalized and real-time deals and make them happy by creating a profound engagement.
Just like we use content marketing to get leads and make new customers, custom content can be used to train and engage the existing ones.
Big companies, the ones that understand how custom content works, create useful custom content for their customer engagement strategies to nurture their customers further and it also helps them effectively improve customer engagement. With the use of custom content, you can educate your customers about something specific or can solve their queries easily.
As per a report on content marketing and its importance by Demandmetric.com, “78% of CMOs consider custom content as the future of marketing. And, 61% of buying decisions are influenced by custom content.”
When a customer follows you on social media, it shows they trust you and expect good customer support over there. But, social media strategies and platforms are not for sharing content making people follow you alone.
As a marketer, you should understand that you can use these platforms in your customer engagement strategy as a great engagement tool. You can build a community to engage with the audience, identify your customer’s problems and provide them with immediate solutions, share the important updates, find the experts and influencers of your industry, connect with potential customers, etc.
People love rewards. Thus, you can offer your users the same in exchange for reviews, feedback, referrals, etc.
For example, in your customer engagement strategy, you can offer discount coupons in exchange for a review of the product they have purchased before.
This method not only helps you build positive reviews or feedback loops but also helps increase customer engagement. It improves customer interaction which helps to retain your existing customers and building a good relationship.
A thought-through customer engagement strategy is the key to drive business growth. It’s a journey with many milestones but no stops. If you follow the right strategy, you get highly engaged customers which is very useful for a business.
Tell us which strategy works best for you, and we’ll keep you updated on other customer engagement developments. Think we missed some, comment below and we’ll add it to the list.