The speed of development and the profitability of a business depends on the number of clients. For these reasons, companies are spending more and more resources on attracting new customers and increasing the loyalty of existing customers, and on converting consumers from the “user” category to the “business partner” category.
Some methods have already proven to be successful, some are just starting to be introduced, and some have not even been invented yet.
What Is a Customer Engagement Strategy?
Customer engagement means encouraging customer interaction with the company through feedback to create a stronger brand. For maximum effectiveness, it is important to treat customer engagement as a sequence of steps.
The Importance of Customer Engagement in Your Business Strategy
The importance of the need to create a customer engagement strategy is very simply explained: no company can exist without customers. In addition, a correctly selected vector helps to reap additional benefits:
- Profit growth: the main goal of any business. The greater the interest in the company, the higher the likelihood that the number of partners generating revenue will increase.
- More reviews: the more positive feedback you get, the more attractive your product or brand becomes. It is especially important to note that the opinions of customers are perceived by other people as more independent, as opposed to the image that the company creates on its own. However, it is necessary to consider that it is much more difficult to control the users’ attitude than to attract them.
- New horizons: the more new opinions, the better. In this case, it is easier for the company to improve the product, pricing policy, and other aspects of its activities.
The Goal of a Customer Engagement Strategy
The best customer engagement strategies aim not as much to make a profit as to create value and something more than sales: quality service, interesting content, etc.
Influence, fame, recognition, and brand loyalty ultimately distinguish a strong strategy from an ordinary one.
10 Best Strategies to Encourage Customer Engagement
As practice shows, the vast majority of customers will choose a company that will view them as individuals first of all.
Since each person is unique and there can be no single approach to choosing an engagement strategy, let’s consider a number of best strategies to build customer engagement and ways to improve customer engagement:
Customer experience is the priority
Studying user experience makes it possible to improve the quality of the product and service, thereby increasing customer loyalty to the company as a whole. The vast majority of clients are willing to pay more with the appropriate quality of service.
In your business model, you have to consider the timing to best meet the demand. Develop relevant and timely offers such as seasonal or pre-holiday discounts.
Customer orientation: know what really matters to them
In the initial stage of development, it is advisable to involve existing clients in the research. This can mean spreading information about the product through social networks and blogs, participating in surveys, and providing feedback in the form of reviews. You can even create a small selection and simply track the actions of users on your site for several minutes.
Humanize your brand
“People do not buy from companies, they buy from people” are words that any business owner should heed. As successful customer engagement strategies show, the product should inspire in the client a wide variety of emotions:
- a sense of uniqueness and understanding;
- good spirits.
Being as close as possible to the customer, without lies and tricks, is the main rule of this strategy. Try to talk more about the client than about the sales, because everyone’s favorite topic is their own person.
Personalize customer communications
At its core, it is a dialogue between a buyer and a seller, which can take on a variety of forms from a simple birthday letter to complex algorithms that determine the best recommendations.
Create useful content
According to Google’s research, 48% of users are more likely to buy smartphones from companies that provide video tutorials on their sites. Such content was not previously used widely, but it’s growing more popular every year.
Listen to your customers and community
Another possibility offered by social networks that can and should be employed is their use for surveys, listening to complaints and providing an answer or consultation.
Feeling secure and important for the company, the partner will undoubtedly show great loyalty to both the business and the product, while the issue of the price will fade into the background.
Such a strategy is effective if the client has already been sufficiently personalized and all their needs have been identified as precisely as possible. It is important not to engage in spam mailing, but to direct the user’s attention to what is of interest to them. Otherwise, poorly fitting offers will only cause irritation, which may lead to a decrease in loyalty to the company as a whole.
Build and develop your online community
Creating your own community allows you to conduct a variety of interactive research in the form of dialogue or discussion. On the Internet, people are more relaxed than in real life, which gives greater credibility to these events.
In addition, experienced users will start to talk to newcomers. Since they themselves are firmly convinced of the benefits of the product, their testaments will inspire trust.
Share customer stories on social media
The stories of your customers, especially those related to the use of the product, are another kind of “unbiased opinion,” because they bear little resemblance to accentuated and boring advertising.
In addition, this is another factor adding to a brand’s down-to-earth image.
Appreciate engaged customers
The chances for a user to convert from the status of “interested” to the status of “partner” significantly increase if the response to their action or request occurs as soon as possible.
Harvard Business Review notes the surprisingly long response time of most US companies:
- 37% answered a potential client within an hour;
- 24% took more than a day;
- 23% ignore all requests.
A callback or a chatbot on the website allow you to significantly increase the likelihood of a sale. Moreover, working with a “warm” client is much more effective than “cold” calls.
Developing a Customer Engagement Strategy
Despite the fact that there are many options for classifying strategies to drive customer engagement, the most accurate way is by the sales method. The following types are distinguished:
- Passive attraction based on advertising. These are the media, social networks, affiliate programs. The bulk of the money is spent on promoting and maintaining customer interest, sellers barely participate in the process, and close contact with the consumer is unlikely.
The classic customer engagement strategy examples of such a strategy are ads for everyday goods.
- Active strategy – sellers actively looking for new customers. Here, the most famous method is cold calling where the main disadvantage is low efficiency: only one percent of the calls end in a successful transaction.
Modern customer engagement strategies use a combined approach that maximizes the positive aspects and minimizes the negative aspects of each option. For example, along with passive sales, supermarkets use various bonus programs, which connect the buyer with the store more.
How to Implement Customer Engagement Strategies in Your Business
The choice of engagement strategy in a particular business depends on many key factors:
|Active||Weak||Exclusive distribution||Thrifty, take time to compare products||Hi-tech, exclusive|
|Passive||Strong||Wide distribution||Wealthy, choose fast||Simple, no after-sales service needed|
Having studied the competitive environment, the standard methods of engagement used in it, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of your own product, you can adopt one of the strategies to your product.
How to Measure Customer Engagement
The following parameters are used to determine truly effective customer engagement strategies.
Guest checkout rates
Comparing orders from registered users to unauthorized ones. A strategy is considered successful if the former begin to prevail over the latter, which means an increase in the number of customers willing to make purchases on an ongoing basis.
Purchase frequency (PF)
The surest sign of commitment to a company or brand. If the customer constantly returns for a purchase, it means the purchase satisfies their expectations (product quality, service, etc.)
Average order value (AOV) and Repeat purchase rate (RPR)
The dynamic indicators of loyalty: the more products the buyer starts purchasing and the more they are willing to pay overtime, the higher their satisfaction and brand loyalty.
The Role of the Customer Service Team in Customer Engagement
Most companies work to minimize communication with customers by automating processes so that ordering is basically reduced to one click.
The main task of support service is to stimulate a positive interaction with a partner, which increases their sense of significance for the company. To do this, use the following tools:
- proactive support – take care and help the client before they encounter a problem;
- positive attitude – thank the client for reaching out, whatever the situation. Send letters of gratitude for the commitment to the company;
- feedback – helps to identify truly loyal customers. If a person leaves reviews of any nature, it means that they care about the fate of the product. If the partner is silent even when unhappy, then their loyalty is very shaky and unstable;
- quality service – constant and prompt assistance to the user in any situation.
As you can see, the process of customer engagement is very multifaceted and versatile. Understanding it without the proper experience is not an easy task. It is even more difficult to choose the right development strategy.