Customer engagement consists of various elements. Here is a short definition of the term and why a company must focus strongly on it if they are to prosper.
This is the means by which a company establishes customer relationships in order to promote brand awareness and loyalty. There are numerous ways in which customer engagement can be achieved and include:
- Marketing campaigns
- Continually creating and presenting new content
- Social media presence and activities
- Recognising and utilising means that attract the mobile and wearable device community
The importance of customer engagement:This cannot be underestimated. Processes must be put in place that actively builds, nurtures and onward manage relationships with customers.
Sustaining customer loyalty is of obvious benefit to a company and it will also help achieve growth in terms of an individual customers life-time value. Retention of customers is a must, but at the same time you need to actively work on engaging potential customers. To achieve this, you need to understand the type of customer you want and which groups of customers want you.
Customer engagement to increase customer loyalty:
Effective customer engagement strategies will prolong the customer journey beyond a single purchase. It can work effectively to reduce churn rates and the more a customer feels ‘wanted’ the more loyal they are likely to become.
This loyalty also has a knock-on benefit for companies. If an existing customer enjoys the experience they have while visiting your site they are very likely to advise their friends of this via emailed links and social media messaging. This is the perfect, cost-free way to increase exposure for your brand, products and services
There is no one-fits-all strategy:
Trends in customer engagement strategies are showing that implementing a one-fits-all strategy is not the best way to proceed.
It is very likely that your customer base and first-time visitors come from a diversity of backgrounds with a range of different interests and behaviours. Simply adopting one approach to please all customers leads to the alienation of others. Your customer engagement strategy needs to be diverse and cater for different segments of your audience.
To achieve this, you need to create campaigns specific to each segment. This will maximise the effects of the message you are getting over to each of the different segments.
Effective segmentation = increased opportunities:By taking a serious approach to the segmentation of your customers it offers the opportunity for you to deliver the right content at the right moment. You can begin by concentrating on the segments that are most important. From there you can broaden your attention to each segment in order of your priorities. By doing so you are creating multiple channels to engage customers.
Don’t dismiss social media:
Social media content is not simply a broadcast platform. To increase customer engagement this piece of your company’s marketing strategy must take a high priority. If you are not already doing so you should start to regularly post content and consider creating contests that can be launched through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Your brand needs to be seen as fun, noticeable, interesting and responsive. The more appealing your social media presence, the greater the chance of people visiting you, and as we stated earlier, the knock-on effect of increased visibility is the fact that users will share your links with others and create a self-perpetuating increase in the awareness of your company.
Customer engagement measurement:The efforts you put into engaging customers must be tracked, monitored and acted upon. While the exact science of measuring customer engagement against ROI is still open to debate, you can certainly understand the effects your efforts are producing by utilising metrics. These will show such things as:
- Traffic to your website: Numbers and types
- Activity relating to specific links offered
- Social media statistics, This includes the number of likes and shares relating to your content and which platform visitors are using
- Response times
- Resolution times
- Statistics relating to click-through rates in e-mail campaigns
- Audience and growth statistics
Analyse to realise! The analysis of customer statistics using effective metrics will help you understand exactly where your strong points are and what needs improving. These statistics need to be checked regularly and should also be gauged against past statistics over similar time periods. Once this is in place you will be able to set targets and goals for future customer engagement and track these through new initiatives you introduce.
Your reward for taking customer engagement seriously will be continued customer growth, increased brand awareness and ultimately an increase in sales.