Is it possible to know what our customers think all the time while they browse the website?
Honestly, no company has the means to learn what their customers are thinking or feeling all the time. But should that stop you from learning more about your customers? That’s why it is important you formulate customer engagement strategies.
With the help of right customer engagement ideas and strategies, you’ll understand their concerns, pain points, and growing expectations from service experience. Such information enables you to personalize a customer’s engagement experience and give customers more reasons to re-engage with your brand in future.
Just in case you were looking for multiple customer engagement marketing strategies for your business, then we’re here to help you out. In this article, we aim to explore what is customer engagement, why it is important to improve customer engagement, and different strategies that will help you do so.
What is Customer Engagement
Customer engagement helps you define ongoing interactions that take place between a customer and company. This customer engagement definition includes the first interaction between the customer and company and exists beyond the point of purchase. As a business, you have multiple options to interact and engage with customers such as live chat, social media platforms, website, community forum and more.
Whereas, customer engagement strategy is a process where a company makes an initiative towards building strong relationships with customers by understanding their journey so far and how they communicate with the brand across all channels. Customer engagement ideas may vary on the basis of your business and the target audience you deal with.
Why Customer Engagement is Important?
Customer engagement forms the emotional connection between a brand and its customers. The more engaged your customers are, the more they buy and promote your products and services. Engaged customers demonstrate more loyalty towards your brand, making it an important component of your overall marketing strategy.
Even studies reveal that a fully-engaged customer accounts for 23% more revenue as opposed to non-engaged customers. If you don’t have a proper customer engagement process in place yet, you could very well be missing out on opportunities to interact with your customers and carve out a productive relationship with them.
Properly executed customer engagement strategies help to prolong the customer journey beyond conversions. In fact, 63% of marketers agree that customer engagement results in renewals, repeat purchases, and retention.
That’s why it is important to work on customer engagement strategies that enable your business to achieve such results.
11 Powerful Customer Engagement Strategies
If the question ‘how to engage with customers’ takes up all your thought process, then it is time we work on a solid customer engagement plan with you. This plan will help your business and all customer facing departments engage with customers efficiently. You will also find some useful customer engagement strategy examples that will help you understand how to implement them better.
Let’s get started.
1. Create a Powerful Impact on Customers with a Statement
Stand for ‘Something’ that’s Loved by Your Customers
Most brands take the easy way out when it comes to engaging their customers either in the form of attractive prices (discounts) or a promise for awesome quality.
But Allbirds takes a different approach to stand for something that will make their customers connect faster with them.
Allbirds is a brand that makes shoes. But how do they differentiate from their competitors in the market? Well, they use recycled and natural materials that enables their brand to reduce its overall carbon footprint in the production process.
To get this word out, Allbirds not only publicizes its initiative on the home page but throughout the website, resonating the same message for visitors to read and connect with. That not only helps them to engage their visitors but also helps them send across the message that they too stand for a cause their customers love.
Empathize & Connect
It’s the emotional appeal that drives engagement, and not price.
An important part of your customer engagement strategy requires you to figure out ways to captivate customers by offering them an emotional reason to empathize and connect with your brand.
Just like Paul Mitchell does.
The brand knows the art of keeping their customers engaged through the deadly combination of fear of missing out (FOMO) and adding a sense of empathy at the same time.
Their messages “we’ll let you move on” empathizes with the recipient of the email. They understand that sometimes customers need a break from constant offer specific emails. At the same time, they don’t want to lose their customers and keep them engaged with their brand. That’s why a hook like that says “Wait! I don’t want to miss out on style inspiration, new product announcements and upcoming events!” reels back the customer and helps them engage with the brand again.
Understand that you aren’t only engaging with the customer but also empathizing and connecting with them at the same time.
Be Bold & Make a Heartfelt Statement
Decide on the qualities that your brand wants to be recognized for and stand for what it embodies – no compromises. Being decisive is a good thing. There may be fears, initially, that taking a clear stance could alienate some people, but that may not be a bad thing. After all, for every person who thinks you are not quite their cup of tea, there will be another who will say, “that’s the perfect brand for me!”
Such a customer engagement marketing strategy will help you understand customers better and connect with them every time they approach your business for service.
2. Personalize Your Brand Messaging for Improved Engagement
Did you know that 80% of consumers are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalized experiences?
Personalized engagement experience can help you bring in more business efficiently. That’s something an art supplier, Arteza, took seriously and ended up with more delighted customers.
The brand believes that how you interact with customers when they first start engaging with you matters a lot. Keeping that in mind, the brand sends out beautifully designed emails with bright colors that create a strong first impression on customers and connect with Arteza’s brand image.
This shows how Arteza went one step ahead to create a valuable first connection with the customers. They not only offer points for engagement but also personalize their messaging from the beginning of their drip campaign.
You can personalize a customer’s experience too.
Either work on a personalized email drip campaign that helps customers connect with your brand in the first go or personalize communication during an ongoing conversation.
You can implement the second option by adding a live chat to your website.
With a live chat tool such as ProProfs Chat, you get the option to track and monitor how a visitor landed and interacted with your website.
Based on this analysis, you get a good ground to start a proactive conversation with your website visitors that can be personalized based on their browsing experience. And as the conversation takes place, you’ll get more opportunities to personalize their experience with your brand by:
- Creating a virtual in-store experience for your visitors and letting them know that they can ask anything about the product or service you offer while browsing the website
- Extending empathy towards visitors in case they feel lost and helping them find the right product or service instantly
Such a customer engagement platform helps you keep your customers hooked to the conversation and understand their intent to approach your brand better.
3. Harness the Power of Social Media Platforms for Online Engagement
The use of social media is longer restricted to generate awareness amidst our customers. Its use has diversified so far. Brands like Starbucks and Nike use their social media handles to address customer queries and challenges frequently. And that’s not all.
According to a study, 70% of customers who receive assistance through social media come back to a company being loyal in the future.
That’s exactly what happened in case of a customer who reached out to Starbucks at night with a craving for their signature pink drink.
Here you can take away two things.
One, how fast Starbucks was to engage with their customers, irrespective of the platform they were approached on. Through their prompt response they are also trying to offer a solution (in this case a suggestion) that meets the customer’s expectations.
Two, they do not forget to use their most powerful tool, empathy, while personalizing the conversation with the customer. This gives the customer the impression that they are valuable and the brand looks more approachable for the next visit. In a nutshell, such engagement marketing strategies will help you boost online engagement.
4. Use Free Trials to Engage & Boost Subscription Sign ups
Another customer engagement strategy that you should consider offering is free trials.
Brands like Playstation (PSN) have successfully engaged their customers and increased their PSN account subscriptions by offering them free trials on the purchase of their gaming console. On the purchase of the console, they offer a three month subscription to their customers where they have the liberty to add free games of the month to their account.
Yes you heard it right. All PSN account holders get access to 1-2 games every month for free that they can add to their account and play whenever they want. Now to increase these memberships, PSN gives a taste of how a subscription life may turn out for gamers through this free trial strategy and the result of this customer engagement strategy turned out to be quite beneficial.
According to a financial report of 2018, the brand successfully roped in 34.2 million members who signed up for annual subscription. Now that’s an unbelievable number which is only expected to rise as the gamers community goes strong.
5. Collect Customer Feedback to Identify More Engagement Opportunities
It’s not about letting your customers know that their feedback matters, but how you plan to use it to identify more opportunities to increase customer engagement. If anything, you can use the right feedback mechanism to increase engagement on your website.
For example, user feedback software such as Qualaroo can help you do two things at the same time.
- Engage with the visitor as they submit their valuable feedback on experience with your website
- Capture constructive feedback that helps you create better website experience in future and prompts customers to engage with your brand further
You also need to understand that constructive feedback mechanism also plays a role in developing trust and improving the overall experience for your customers.
But if you think it’s okay to stop there, then think again. Besides identifying how to increase customer engagement, you can actually engage with the customer using their feedback as a premise. Even if your day is as busy as JetBlue Airways.
You’ll notice how they are offering response to every challenge their customers are facing and working along their feedback diligently in real-time. They are working towards resolving the challenge and offering a solution to customers. At the same time, they are also engaging with the customer and letting them know that a solution is on its way.
Addressing negative feedback creates the impression that the brand takes users seriously and is willing to take the extra step to improve customer experience. This allows for a positive engagement even with the most disgruntled customers.
6. Create Self-help Content to Address Frequently Asked Questions
Did you know that your help center can be another point of engagement for your customers?
Well, that’s probably because 77% of customers end up using a self-service portal on a website before reaching out for support. A knowledge repository can help them find answers to some of the basic questions they have regarding a product or service in no time.
That’s more, the faster they find answers to their question, the easier it gets for them to arrive at a decision on whether they’d like to see more of your product or not.
In case you haven’t placed the link to your help center in the top navigation of your website, then we’d suggest you to integrate your knowledge base with live chat to show relevant article links in the chat widget. This will help you offer instant support to customers and help them know about your products and services better.
7. Surprise Your Customers With Engagement Rewards
So far we’ve seen how personalized conversations and social media engagement can help your brand really connect with customers efficiently.
Besides these, you need a strategy that really captures customer’s attention, takes them by surprise and prompts them to reach out to your brand and engage.
How about rewarding your customers for engaging with your brand once in a while (if not every time)? That’s exactly what Southwest Airlines did and their efforts in this direction did not go unnoticed.
Southwest Airlines has a dedicated social media team that looks for people who enjoyed their flight experience with them. And as a form of appreciation, the brand sends them little gifts at their doorstep that these people can find when they get back home. Just like the one you see in the image above.
Such small rewards encourage your customers to return and engage frequently with your brand. And that’s what you need to aim for. Add a surprise element for customers so they feel the need to engage with your brand even when the transaction with you is over. This is yet another way to prolong the customer journey and make the most out of it.
8. Plan & Conduct Virtual Meets
Have you noticed how a lot of brands have started going live on platforms like Instagram to simply connect and engage faster with their customers?
Well brands like J.Crew, who bring awesome apparel to your doorsteps, are known for going all out and discussing their exclusive deals by going live on Instagram. During their Instagram live videos, they show a link to their exclusive sales that are only valid for a limited period of time. This tactic has helped them engage better with customers and gain more followers on their social media platform.
For your B2B business, you can give webinars a try. They are highly effective in times when everything is going online, including meetups. You can create short webinar sessions that discuss how your product upgrade can help customers and help them scale their business.
9. Be Prompt at Responding to Calls
Customers end up calling your business if they have an urgent issue at hand. If anything, voice calls are increasingly becoming a form of problem escalation service channel (though not primary).
That makes it all the more essential for your business to be prompt at not just responding to escalation calls but also resolving them as per customer expectations. But understand that phone calls are just one type of calling that your customers end up taking during the support process. Calls can also be referred to as feedback.
For example, when a customer reaches out to a brand on any of their social media accounts with a concern, feedback or just a comment, you need to be fast enough to reply to them. That will make your customers realize that their initiative to connect with your brand hasn’t gone vain.
And a lot of brands such as Starbucks, Xbox, Apple and those alike are successfully connecting and engaging with customers every time they initiate a conversation with them on such platforms.
10. Focus on Interactive Content to Put Customers into Action
Have you noticed how online content has changed from being all business like to an actual interactive piece of information?
Honestly, a piece that makes a reader believe that they are a part of a conversation can actually drive them into action.
According to Demand Metrics, interactive content pieces are one of the most effective ways to educate customers. And customers who are educated and know better about the deal that’s available in the market can help them arrive at a decision and move them into action.
*Note: This form of engagement isn’t supposed to yield immediate results but leave an impact on customers and puts them into action later on.
11. Create Interactive Mobile Apps for Improved Engagement
Finally, the last strategy that can help you bring in more engagement for your business is deploying an interactive mobile app for your customers.
Although this one may not seem to be like a huge deal anymore, still a lot of businesses are yet to adhere to this strategy. And it’s not like their mobile app isn’t available on Android or iOS stores. It’s just that their user interface (UI) doesn’t really feel interactive.
For example, the speed of the app may be a problem or how long does it take to show relevant results to customers on the basis of their search. These problems need immediate attention if you really want to conquer the mobile app user population who spends 87 percent of their time on apps, versus just 13 percent on the web.
Unleash the Never-ending Potential of Customer Engagement Strategies
Customer engagement today is more about creating stronger ties with customers. Yes, the bond you create reaps benefits such as better sales, more shoutouts on social media, new customers, and improved loyalty.
However, to reach such benefits you need to revamp your existing customer engagement strategies and focus on how you can reel your customers in every time they divert from your brand. Basically, create a solid customer engagement model to help you create positive experiences that prompt customers to return to your brand every time.
Now that we’ve seen how to improve customer engagement, let’s take a look at some of the frequently asked questions.
What is customer engagement marketing?
Customer engagement marketing is a strategy where businesses use a personalized message that encourages their target audience to step into the sales funnel. The personalized message is created with the aim to nurture a lead into a customer and that customer into a brand advocate. It gives business owners a chance to move ahead from simple communication methods to more creative and personalized approaches.
How to re-engage with customers?
There are various strategies that you can adopt to re-engage with your customers. You can start with sending valuable notes in the mail, wishing them on their special days, request for feedback regularly, call customers with a specific intent, share their feedback on social media platforms, and more. In short, there are various ways in which you can re-engage with customers effectively. Read full article here: Tips To Re-Engage Customers.
Why is customer engagement important for marketers?
There is only one motivation for the marketing team to work towards boosting customer engagement. Understand this, customer engagement is basically the connection built between a customer and a brand. If this connection maintains, the customer can end up returning multiple times to the brand, demonstrate its loyalty and even become a brand advocate.
How to measure customer engagement score?
It is simple to measure customer engagement score for your business. All you have to do is follow the three steps below.
Step 1: Pick out factors that impact your CES
Step 2: Assign points to each of those factors
Step 3: Calculate the score with the following formula
CES = w1n1 + w2n2 + …. + wtnt
Please note: wt - It is the weight of a random event
Nt - It is the number of occurrences of a random event
What are the customer engagement KPIs to measure?
There are a few customer engagement KPIs that you need to keep a track of to measure whether your strategies for customer engagement are working or not. These include:
- Conversion rate
- Website traffic
- Pages per session
- Session time
- Monthly active users
- Bounce rate
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