According to a recent State of the Connected Customer report by Salesforce, 83% of customers expect immediate engagement when they get in touch with a business. Even after the purchase process is complete, customers expect instant gratification and constant engagement.
Simply put, people are increasingly growing impatient towards the idea of waiting. No wonder, businesses have no choice but to accelerate their customer engagement and connect with their audience in real-time.
However, customer engagement is a huge goal. This is especially true for small businesses that often find it difficult to engage with their customers because of a lack of capital and resources.
So, if you serve small businesses, they could surely use some help from you! We have some straightforward tips for helping your clients optimize their customer engagement.
Let’s get started!
- Study Your Clients’ Customer Journey
A customer engagement strategy begins with knowing the customer journey. You need to study who your clients are targeting and their buying behavior. For instance, you should know how customers are interacting with your client’s brand.
Map your client’s customer journey to point out all the critical touchpoints, bottlenecks, pain points, and motivations. That way you’ll know more about their needs, attributes, behavior, thereby uncovering unique opportunities for engagement.
Check out how Spotify, one of the world’s most popular audio streaming services created a detailed customer journey map to boost their music-sharing experience.
Understanding customer pain points and requirements are key to maximizing value through the lifecycle. We’ll see more about adding value to customers in the subsequent sections.
But for now, it’s important to understand the buyer cycle and create a journey map and spot the key areas and stages where your client can boost customer engagement.
- Optimize Their Digital Experiences
Our reliance on digital channels has exploded over the past few years. Also, the digital customer has become accustomed to a certain level of sophistication when it comes to online customer engagement and experiences.
One in three customers says that they will walk away from brands they love with just one poor digital experience. So, merely adding multiple digital channels isn’t going to boost the digital experience. To achieve that, brands need to offer relevant experiences on these channels.
Further, encourage your client to invest in tools, technologies, and talent that not only drive compelling websites but also deliver necessary data, analytics, and insights to the team. This will ensure that teams deliver relevant digital experiences and make apt decisions.
For instance, visual engagement tools like co-browsing, video chats, mind mapping, and others can help your client engage customers while creating a human experience.
Gmail’s AI-powered predictive text is an excellent example of an awesome digital experience. Google incorporated this feature into its service to make the process quicker and communication more succinct.
As a coach to small businesses, you can assist your clients in improving their DCX (digital customer experience). A business management app for SMBs, vcita recently rolled out a new partner program called xperts. The program aims at enabling consultants to effectively guide their clients through the process of building superior customer engagement and experience workflows.
Participating xperts can use the platform to help SMBs set up triggered messaging sequences across email and text, to accept bookings for services, to automate appointment reminders and invoices, and to ensure that all of these interactions are optimized for later retrieval via the built-in CRM. Consultants can also use their vcita xperts dashboard to track their SMB clients’ progress on these fronts at a glance.
- Encourage Clients to Obsess Over Delivering Value
Regardless of their niche, businesses that prioritize customer engagement focus on creating value for their customers. The value that they add to a customer’s life is their sales pitch.
Today, 68% of customers expect brands to demonstrate empathy and 66% want them to understand their unique needs and expectations. But, as evident in the chart below, few brands are able to match these expectations.
To nurture customers as loyal brand advocates, businesses should put customers first, listen to their questions and concerns, and aim to resolve them. Brands like Amazon top the chart when it comes to customer engagement. They offer end-to-end customer experience, value-adding content, real-time customer support, and more to engage and retain customers.
Check out how UPS, a premier shipping company, has achieved an image of being a brand that offers value to its customers. The firm offers a wide variety of shipping methods and has built a global shipping infrastructure. Thus, UPS can handle everything from international to local deliveries of all sizes.
Similarly, Shopify offers a comprehensive and flexible ecommerce platform for all aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners. The first thing you’ll notice on Shopify’s page is their value proposition - sell, ship, and process payments anywhere.
Your SMB clients do not need to invest a lot to achieve these objectives. They can invest in easy-to-use and affordable tools that can help their business grow.
For instance, POWR is a full library of free and customizable plugins designed to fetch businesses more conversions, engage customers, get followers, collect information, and support customers.
- Launch Affiliate Programs
Introducing affiliate programs is one of the best ways to keep customers engaged. In fact, eMarketer confirms that the revenue from affiliate programs have jumped 52% with a turnover of $6.8 billion last year. Thus, most online businesses are using affiliate marketing to drive online engagement and sales.
A well-designed affiliate program will have these components:
- An effective call to action on the affiliate sign-up page
- An attractive commission rate to motivate affiliate sales
- Clear terms and conditions
- Resources to help affiliates and marketers promote business and track success
- A way for your client’s team and affiliates to quickly communicate with each other
- Website cookies (especially important for B2B businesses because their sales cycle is longer)
Here are a few affiliate marketing programs you can draw inspiration from.
- Capture and Monitor Your Clients’ Business Analytics
Customer engagement drives business growth and overall success. Hence, customer engagement is the strongest indicator of whether your marketing efforts are successful in reaching your customers and addressing their needs and wants.
Capturing and tracking performances is the backbone of a sound customer engagement strategy. This will help you understand:
- What’s working and what’s not?
- How are they interacting with the brand?
- What exactly do your client’s customers like or dislike about an experience offered?
Gather data from customer engagement metrics like CSAT (customer satisfaction score) and NPS (net promoter score) surveys to understand how the customers are responding to your client’s marketing efforts.
Different marketing campaigns will require you to track different metrics. For instance, if your client is running an email marketing campaign, the key customer engagement metrics to track are open rates and click rates.
Similarly, for a paid advertising campaign on social media, you may need to focus on the click-throughs on the call to action (CTA) button.
Without a doubt, highly engaged customers contribute to more sales, active participation in product launches, and strong brand loyalty.
As a consultant, your role is more than just advising clients about improving customer engagement. You need to partner with them to help them achieve their business goals.
Use the information and tactics shared in this post to drive your clients’ customer engagement.