The Importance of Customer Engagement
Customers are your company’s most valuable asset.
This might sound like a corny overstatement, but the truth is that the success of your business depends on whether your customers will be satisfied with your products and service. As a matter of fact, 86% of people are willing to pay more for a better customer experience, so if you want to keep your customers happy, make sure to consistently wow and impress them.
This also includes customer engagement, as it’s one of the most important factors in determining whether your customers will reward you with their loyalty and repeated purchases.
Let’s discuss why it’s essential to engage your customers and how to do that.
What Is Customer Engagement and Why Is It So Important?
There are many definitions of this concept, but each of them boils down to describing it as the process of interacting with your customers using different channels of communication to build stronger and more meaningful relationships with them.
Customer engagement starts with the first interaction every customer has with your company, and it doesn’t finish after the purchase has been made – you need to engage them beyond that point to stay on top of their mind.
Establishing regular interactions with your prospects and customers via email, social media, blog posts, customer support, and other channels ensures that they are responsive and engaged.
It is crucial to keep the doors of communication open and encourage your customers to reach out and share their opinions with you.
As a result of your efforts, you will be able to forge emotional connections with your customers, keep them interested in your brand, and get them to purchase from you again.
Given that the probability of selling to an existing customer is between 60% and 70%, it’s evident that working on your customer engagement strategy is worthwhile. Especially if we pit these stats against the ones referring to the likelihood of selling to new customers, which vary between 5% and 20%.
Now let’s talk about the best ways to keep your customers engaged and in love with your brand.
Personalize Customer Experiences
Isn’t it great that Netflix knows what you like and shows you recommendations for the next show you can binge-watch? Or when you want to purchase something on Amazon, and personalized suggestions for the items you might like start popping up?
Well, your customers expect something similar from you.
You can show them that you’re not creating generic content but instead actually know their preferences and pain points and understand what they need. And that’s key for boosting your customer engagement rates. Collect and analyze all the data you have on your prospects and customers so that you can hyper-personalize their experiences. Addressing them by their first names in emails, segmenting your campaigns based on their activity or behavior, and making your VIP customers feel particularly valued are some of the ways of targeting your customers with tailored messages. This is where a data-driven customer loyalty program can play a vital role.
Machine-learning-based algorithms can segment customers to users based on the type of content they consume, their favorite channels of communication, previous purchase behavior, etc. to deliver meaningful one-to-one experiences. Over time such meaningful experiences instill a sense of loyalty towards your brand. This loyalty can be further nurtured by pampering the top customers through a tiered loyalty program. With a tiered loyalty program, you can take the personalization game up a notch for your VIP customers. The higher-tier members also serve as an aspiration for lower-tier members which further increases their engagement in your loyalty program.
Raise Your Customer Support Game
Exceptional customer support is the secret sauce for maintaining an engaged audience.
Your support agents need to know your product or service inside out so that they can help callers solve their problems or assist them in finding the right solution. Patience and empathy are equally important. Some people might be annoyed or nervous, while others might have a number of questions, so support agents need to handle each and every one of them in a professional manner and do it consistently.
In order to help them maintain the same level of service at all times, it’s a good idea to implement conversational chatbots and automate your customer support efforts. This doesn’t mean you should fire your agents and start solely relying on bots. These algorithms can handle repetitive, boring tasks, thus allowing your human reps to focus only on more complex calls that require critical thinking. Besides, bots are available 24/7; they’re never tired, sick, or nervous, which means they always provide consistent customer service.
Add Value to Your Customers
The single most effective way of engaging your customers is putting them first and adding tremendous value. Simply meeting expectations is no longer enough. Brands must go a step further to ensure their customers are excited with what they have to offer.
It could be small gestures like wishing customers on their special days, invites to exclusive events, surprise and delight gifts, or even handwritten thank you notes from the CEO. Every brand must figure the best way to delight their customers. This strategy too will have to be personalized for every member based on their likes and dislikes.
Reward Your Best Customers
Your best customers are those who have been with your company for quite some time, repeatedly purchased your products, as well as acted as your fervent brand ambassadors on social media. Research has shown that loyal customers buy more and are also more likely to become brand advocates.
People are 7 times more likely to buy when recommended by a friend as compared to when they see your costly ads. By rewarding your customers for referrals, you can acquire new customers through word-of-mouth recommendations. This is the single most efficient way to acquire new customers.
It’s essential to understand that customer engagement is an ongoing process and that you should spread your efforts across different channels. The trick is not only in delivering what you promised but in exceeding their expectations and making them feel special. If you want to take your customer engagement to the next level, make sure you have a loyalty program in place to consistently engage with your customers and boost revenues. In addition to that, this approach will also allow you to win more customers with the help of your loyal brand advocates.
– By Michael Deane
Michael has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael’s work at Needle.