Having a robust focus on engaging with your customers and providing a favorable customer service experience along every touchpoint should be the aim of your business.
In order to meet customer expectations, a solid customer engagement strategy is a must.
Customer Engagement Strategy Defined
An effective customer engagement strategy orchestrates all interactions and activities into an efficient plan to create the best customer experience. This includes the events experienced before and even after the purchase. The entire process comprises many communication channels that work together to build a relationship, boost satisfaction, and consistently nurture your current customer base.
A customer engagement strategy that is successful is not only measurable but also responsive to customer needs. It enables you to collect feedback and critical customer performance data in order to make changes to your plan accordingly.
Why Is Customer Engagement Important?
In an age where customers do not lack product and service options, having a more “customer-centric” strategy helps your business gain a more competitive edge. Not only does it enhance customer relations, but it also greatly improves conversions.
When customers have a positive experience, they are more likely to purchase from a business. However, this outcome does not happen right away. Many times, a customer needs to engage with a particular brand numerous times before they even place their first order.
Conversely, it only takes one negative customer experience to discourage customers from coming back. Although customer experience and customer engagement are sometimes used interchangeably, they do have their distinctions.
The customer experience has to do with how a customer “perceives” your brand. More specifically, how the brand is viewed from their perspective. However, customer engagement is the way that a customer interacts with the brand and the experience.
It deals with the decisions they make and how they communicate and react to your services and products.
Customers are more likely to purchase from a brand that they both know and trust. A Gallup research study indicated that customers are 23% more likely to spend their money on brands that they personally trust.
At the end of the day, business is about building relationships. And all good, solid relationships are built on a give-and-take philosophy. When it comes to customer engagement, it re-focuses the mindset from what you are getting from your customer to what value you are providing for them.
Proven Strategies For Customer Engagement
Your customer engagement strategy must be perfectly aligned with your customer’s interests. Develop a customer-centric approach that offers your customers value and encourages them to engage with your brand a lot more. Here are more proven customer engagement strategies you can implement today:
1. Communicate your company’s story, vision, and mission
By sharing your mission, vision, and story, you are essentially humanizing your brand. Aim to communicate your “why” for the business. Ensure that you feature your customers as the center of your story. Take the time to relate, listen to your customer’s pain points, and develop a shared vision.
2. Make interactions more personal
With all the noise of social media, every brand is vying for the attention of potential customers. However, your approach should be to make customers feel important and valuable. This can be done by offering a more personalized experience.
It is important to really listen and offer customers a unique way to connect with them. In order to make this happen, you can conduct customer surveys. The data gathered from these surveys can provide valuable insights from a buyer’s perspective.
This will assist you in tailoring customer interactions that will offer their “preferred cadence” and format. You can further communicate that you are in tune with their needs and wants by offering customer communications and virtual events specifically created with them in mind.
When it comes to customer needs, customers can be very outspoken. As a business, your role is to practice “active listening”. What this involves is being attuned to what they are saying about your business, both good and bad via social media and e-mail messages.
Find out how they are comparing you to their competitors. Make it easy for them to get in touch with you with any concerns or feedback they may have. Once they have shared their experiences, take the time to record all of this information and provide timely follow-up. This communicates to your customers that you have heard what they have said and that you are committed to improving the customer experience.
4. Provide valuable content
One of the most important things to remember is that customers are not out to buy products, but solutions. Customers are not on a quest to buy your product as they are on the lookout for solutions to the pain points they are currently dealing with.
When you provide helpful and resourceful content, you are portraying yourself as a solution to their problems. In order to reach your customer base, ensure that you are wisely and strategically distributing this content throughout all major communication channels. Create blogs, videos, and social media posts that offer proven tips and techniques that your customers will find valuable.
Implement These Customer Engagement Strategies Today
Building a loyal customer base will not happen overnight. Although there is no agreed-upon number of times a customer must engage with your brand before they purchase, one thing is certain, having an effective and proven customer engagement strategy is crucial for moving your prospects through your “buying cycle”.
By implementing the aforementioned strategies, you will be well on your way to getting the process started.