Strategies to Increase Customer Engagement
Businesses are more focused on people than they are on products. This isn’t to say that your products shouldn’t be the very best you can offer, but rather that people are the ones supporting and buying your products, and if they’re unsatisfied, everything will crumble. Emphasizing people as a business means putting customer engagement at the top of your priorities and striving to deliver consistent, amazing customer experiences across all touchpoints. Finding the customer-centric approach that works best for your business requires trial and error, and you may wish to consider outsourcing support to streamline your customer relations efforts for maximum results.
An effective customer engagement strategy will positively impact your KPIs and increase your brand loyalty to the point where customers will engage with you solely because of their expectations of what the positive interaction will give them. Before we get into why customer engagement is important and how to increase customer engagement, let’s get synced on what we mean when we refer to customer engagement.
What is Customer Engagement?
Customer engagement is all about the interactions between you and your customers. It is the ongoing relationship between the company and the consumer and involves generating connected experiences that cultivate those relationships. Some of the key factors influencing customer engagement are immediacy, convenience, and quality. Consumers have so many options available at the touch of their fingertips, so how can you provide a valuable experience that makes them want to return? This is different for each business, and building brand advocates requires patience and consistency.
Two important practices in optimizing customer engagement are customer relationship management (CRM) and customer experience management (CXM or CEM). CRM solutions help you manage what you know about customers. They collect data about how you interact with customers to drive sales and improve customer support. The four components of CRM are loyalty, satisfaction, profitability, and customer retention. CXM is a more customer-centric approach and embraces engagement, satisfaction, and experiences.
Customer engagement is an ongoing strategy that spans across an organization and permeates everything from sales, marketing, and every other aspect of the customer journey. Keep reading to see why customer engagement is vital for increasing conversions.
Why is Customer Engagement Important?
Incorporating a holistic customer engagement strategy gives you a competitive edge by improving customer relations and driving sales. Highly engaged customers purchase more, promote more, and exhibit more loyalty. The benefits of engaged customers include:
- Increased customer retention
- Boosted customer loyalty
- Streamlined purchase cycles
- Improved customer relations
- Up-sell opportunities
- Increased users
The more engaged customers are, the longer you will be able to retain them. This helps to reduce churn and increase profits. So, how can you begin engaging your customer more online?
How to Increase Customer Engagement
1. Personalize experiences
The customer care that will make your company preferable over competition is to tailor experiences to each individual customer. Impersonal communication annoys consumers and it has a “brand spam” feel to it. In fact, 91% of consumers say they are more likely to shop and engage with brands that provide offers and recommendations that are relevant to them. (Accenture) Finding the balance between relevant, personalized messaging and experiences that don’t invade a customer’s private data or information enhances the customer experience and encourages them to engage with your brand - as they feel that the message pertains to them.
2. Create a customer community on social media
If you don’t yet have a social media account, consider creating one on a social platform that fits your audience. If you are available on a social network, there are ways to engage your audience and keep them excited about your brand: incorporate niche hashtags, CTAs, and cross-promotion in your content. Get the conversation going with unique content, and then keep customers engaged by responding to their comments, DMs, and reviews. If you notice your engagement start to drop, think about running a giveaway or contest. Not only does this turn followers into brand ambassadors, but it gives them the chance to be rewarded for doing so. In a fair giveaway, they won’t be frustrated at you for not winning.
3. Offer great customer service
Half the battle in delivering excellent customer service is the right attitude and the genuine desire to help. To cut down on problem-solving, your customer support agents should be experts on your products or services. Extensive product knowledge opens the door to discuss features and shows customers how the product can benefit them, while also providing insightful troubleshooting of anything that might need assistance. Having a sense of urgency when responding to customers is vital. It proves that you care about solving their problem. Our support team is available to assist your customer service endeavors if you’re ready to take the next step!
4. Create a customer loyalty program
87% of shoppers say they want brands to have a loyalty program. (Annex Cloud) Loyalty programs work because they make customers feel recognized and special. The entire idea behind loyalty programs is that the more your customers buy, the more rewarded they will be. Rewards programs encourage continuous engagement with your brand from loyal customers while simultaneously increasing conversions.
5. Collect and address feedback
When customers do engage with your business, it’s in everyone’s best interest to listen! Very rarely will reviews or comments be malicious slander simply to make your brand look bad. If customers are sharing their thoughts they want to be heard and in the process, they are helping you out by sharing problems they’ve faced, certain things they don’t like, or things they do like as encouragement for you to expand on them! A few ways you can collect direct feedback are through website widgets, email surveys or in-app surveys, or through social media messages or reviews.
6. Implement real-time engagement with chat support
According to Forrester, customers who use chat are 2.8 times more likely to convert than those who don’t. Besides increasing customer engagement, live chat has a multitude of benefits such as:
- Helping to build rapport
- Improving the support experience for customers
- Boosting customer service productivity
- Improving customer acquisition
- Reducing repetition for customers
- Gaining valuable data that helps inform product decisions
- Bringing success with 24/7 support
7. Focus on retention
Let’s face it - gaining new customers is expensive and time-consuming. But, taking strategic action and focusing on intensifying relationships with your current customers brings expanded engagement across the board. According to Quiq, 68% of sales come from current customers. With the resources required to capture new customers who are not familiar with your brand on a personal level, it’s essential to give the right amount of attention to your existing audience who are more likely to purchase again and engage with your brand.
8. Create great customer experiences
Providing a seamless user experience optimizes your operations unanimously. It means making your website faster and easier to navigate, syncing omnichannel support, and down to the smallest interaction with a customer, you leave them with something positive to remember about your brand. To further engage your customers, how can you provide value through the experiences and interactions you have with them? What are your competitors doing? And how can you make your CX superior to what they offer?
How to Use Social Media To Increase Customer Engagement?
Omnichannel experiences give customers the freedom to decide where they want to engage with you. With so many social networks available, it can be time-consuming to manage countless different accounts while creating unique and engaging content on each platform. Find where your audience is and create profiles there to better reach your target audience with the least amount of resistance. By knowing your audience and where they are, you can meet them on their network of choice and post relevant, shareable content that makes them want to engage with your business online.
Improving customer relations takes time, but the ultimate goal in escalating customer engagement is to offer your customers something of value beyond just products and services. Your high-quality products attract customers, and your relevant content will turn them into engaged repeat buyers. What tactics will you implement to increase customer engagement?