Customer Engagement is a strategy to provide services to the customers, which far exceeds the value provided by the products that the brand deals with. It is a combination of two words, customer and engagement. Let us start by understanding these two terms.
A customer is a person or a hypothetical person who is paying to use our products and services. He is someone who understands and respects the value we deliver via our portfolio. He is now expecting better from us, and we must deliver.
Engagement is not just onboarding a potential client; it is a perennial process which continues till he/she/it remains a customer. For engagement, organizations use several channels which can be via social media, or any online medium as well as offline ones. Engagement is an organization’s drive to strengthen the customer relationship.
In this article, we will discuss the reasons to up your customer engagement game and tips to do it successfully.
The need for customer engagement
Organizations with active engagement with their customers retain a massive 89 percent of them in comparison to a mere 33 percent in case of brands that fail at it. Also, around 67 percent of the company’s profit is dependent on active customer engagement. Customer should be the base of every organization’s vision and mission, and there is no way that they can grow and sustain without catering to them.
Customer engagement is a part of the customer experience. Essentially experience is the end product of your multiple meetings with them, and that is a differentiating factor that differentiates several brands selling comparable products. If you do not give him a pleasurable experience, he will get a significant reason not to return.
Process of developing a customer engagement strategy
You need a customer engagement action plan to woo customers and make them buy your products and services. The process of developing a customer engagement strategy involves the following steps –
Understanding customer journey
You need to understand the customer journey for several reasons and for that you will have to analyze customer data. There are chances that if you sit down to decrypt all of it at a time, you will get no straightforward results. A better approach is to break them into possible segments and after that, read one layer at a time. It will give you some clear insights that can you design the strategy better.
Creating interaction platforms
The next step is to create points where you can interact with the customers. It can be offline or online, depending on the objectives of the interaction. You can create a meet-up where you can call all the interested people, or you can conduct online get-together of sorts to unify all the clients and make interaction a possibility.
After establishing the interaction points, it is time that you analyze the output from them. You also need behavioral analysis to target the right customer. Behavior analysis also helps you to adjust to the changing moods and affinity of the consumers. It also helps in facilitating the next step, i.e. personalized service.
The second last step of the cycle is the most important of the lot. In this step, you create relevant content, promotions, and offers to bring in more leads and to convert them into clients. You use the data from the previous step and mould it to understand how you can attract a particular customer segment.
Feedback and management
After the last step, it may seem that the development process stands complete. But we have already told you that it is not a one-time thing and goes on and on. So how do you refine the last plan to improve your conversions? By taking customer feedback and managing the work to teach the changes accordingly.
Even if the last plan worked wonders and you didn’t expect such a response, there is always a chance for improvement. You may not need to change the entire process; tweaking it a bit does the job too, at times.
Tips to increase customer engagement
For improving customer engagement, there has to be an action in place accompanied by an impeccable process flow. Only a sound framework is not good enough. Here are ten tips to improve customer engagement, be it e-commerce or in-store –
1. Give your brand a personality
Customer prefers to stick to a brand which oozes a character instead of one that lacks it. If you look at renowned brands globally, you will realize all of them specialize in something or the other. For example, Amazon is known for its fantastic customer service. Dbrand is known for personalization beyond limits. Personality makes the brand easily relatable and memorable for the consumers.
2. Try to spread your presence both online as well as offline
When it all began, there was no online business. Since the beginning of the 21st century, brands have started focusing on making their online presence felt. In the last few years, organizations have started realizing that being present in either one of these is not good enough. To grow, they must focus on both the markets.
3. Add a dash of personalization to everything that you do for the consumers
While designing your products or services, make sure to add in a personal element. If you have a big budget, you can do after analyzing customer behavior and catering to every customer individually, or you can add a general personalization factor based on surveys, quizzes, or any such technique.
4. Analyze customer history and create content that adheres to it
Analyzing customer history involves figuring out his past purchases and understanding the trigger points that led to such purchases. Once you have guessed it, you will then utilize it to create content that suits his need, like offers, promotions, etc.
5. Be authentic
Instead of going for extra profits by selling sub-par articles, go for authenticity. Create a brand that is known to sell products that are so pure that they resemble their home environment. Cheap products may give you higher profits for a while, whereas the right products will ensure that you get benefits continuously while earning the respect and trust along the way.
6. Make it easier to fathom
Whatever you are trying, if it is not understandable to your target customers, it won’t give you the desired results. Instead, make it easier for consumers to reach you and express. If the process is simple, it is you who is going to benefit. Often brands add too many options which end up ruining the customer experience; we suggest you serve it small and make sure you serve it right.
7. The strategies must be fun and compelling
Why will someone engage with you if they find your plans boring or bland? Instead of trying to devise multiple strategies, make sure that the ones you create are catchy and appeal to the consumers. The best way to do it is by gamification. It makes the process all the more enjoyable while maintaining efficiency levels.
8. Practice it at home
You are unlikely to engage your outsiders if you are disengaged at home. How you treat your consumers when they come to you often decides if they are going to buy or skip. the McKinsey report states that 70 percent of the buying experience is dependent on the treatment consumers receive. You must adopt a customer-centric business model first to reach more and more consumers.
9. Use better analytics
At times you may hamper our customer engagement by opting out of analytics services. It is time you realize their worth. Use better analytics to understand customer behavior better and react in a better manner accordingly.
10. Do not repeat past mistakes
Most of the time, unhappy customers are the ones who are misunderstood or felt ignored. Instead of repeating old mistakes, make sure to take the cue and rectify the errors. These mistakes can also be internal to your organization. Work out a way to ensure that your inner working is free from such mishaps in the future.
Leading corporate examples of customer engagement
Even though every brand is capable of benefiting from a fruitful customer engagement strategy, there are some distinct ones which are renowned for being the best. Here are some corporate examples –
- Starbucks – Every glass of your beloved cappuccino comes with your name engraved on it, and we all know people who go just to get a glimpse of it. Apart from that, there are several other strategies at play, like the Tasting Room and Reserve Roastery aimed at improving engagement.
- Coca Cola – Coca Cola introduced #ShareACoke in the USA which replaced the brand’s name on its bottles with 250 of the most commonly found names in the country. It was such a massive hit that people went berserk just to see the jars with their names on it.
Customer engagement is a continuous process and involves a lot of things along the way. You can either build your brand or destroy it, and most of it depends on what the consumers think about you.