Customer engagement has been a marketing buzzword for years. Customer engagement can help achieve higher customer lifetime value, loyalty, and revenue.
Understanding the benefits of effective customer engagement, many brands have started experimenting with customer engagement strategies. However, only a few of them are doing it right. Want to join the ranks of those who succeed?
In this article:
- What is Customer Engagement?
- How to Implement Customer Engagement
- Essential Customer Engagement Tools
- How to Measure Customer Engagement
Let's continue and further explain how you can build a customer engagement strategy the right way.
What is Customer Engagement?
Customer engagement is a brand's communication with customers through various channels. But can you call any communication customer engagement?
Does sending some marketing campaigns qualify for customer engagement tactics?
While you can count any interaction with a customer as a customer engagement activity, not all actions would meet their goal — engage customers.
Effective customer engagement activities help treat customers as unique entities — not as some record in your CRM.
Look at it this way — it’s all about offering unique experiences tailored to each customer’s needs and preferences. You can think — creating such experiences requires looking at each customer individually, and it takes a lot of time.
Creating tailored experiences for all your customers shouldn’t be a time-consuming task. But don't you worry! We will show you how it works.
How to Implement Customer Engagement
A few techniques will help you create an effective customer engagement strategy in no time.
First of all, use data to build customer engagement strategies.
For example, you can analyze your customer’s purchase history and interactions with your page. Next, consider how to segment your customer list based on those criteria.
When you have identified some patterns in your customer behavior, it’s time to make them into communication triggers. In practice, it can be sending an email after a particular action or displaying an ad to those who fulfill specific criteria.
Let’s have a look at an example. Imagine these two customer types — the first buy your products at least once per month, and the other is just an occasional buyer.
You can’t treat both types the same — send them the same emails, show the same ads, or send in-app messages.
To get both to buy more from you and increase their brand loyalty, you must create different communication strategies to cater to their differences.
Once you have figured out what way you want to communicate with different customer groups, it’s time to think of how you can speak to all of them as human to human. That’s the element brands usually miss, resulting in poor personalization, boring texts, and zero engagement.
You can start implementing human-to-human communication by understanding what matters to different customer groups and providing them with it.
For example, customers that purchase multiple times will appreciate you introducing an exclusive club for loyal customers and offering a small discount on future purchases.
Getting your employees on the same page regarding this strategy is vital. You have to establish specific communication standards and ensure everyone follows them, utilizing mentoring software to streamline knowledge transfer and skill development.
Pass the knowledge about these standards areas to new hires by launching a mentorship program and improving peer-to-peer learning.
Essential Customer Engagement Tools
When implementing your customer engagement strategy, some collaboration tools can be of help. Let’s have a quick overview of some productivity tips along with these tools that you can use immediately.
- Live chat — by setting up trigger criteria, you can display different messages to people visiting your website. You can drive the desired action by including call-to-action links or buttons — e.g., visiting a particular offer page.
- Social media- understand what customer segments interact with your social media channels and tailor your communication to reflect customer demographics and interests.
- Chatbots — you can automate your communication with customers using chatbots. For example, you can help them find the correct answers to questions without waiting hours for a customer support department to respond. You can do it by introducing canned responses in chatbots.
- Email — send different emails to different customer segments. Don’t launch campaigns for the whole customer list but let specific events trigger them — e.g., a customer abandoning their cart or revisiting your website. Email is also the best way to send automated payment reminders for overdue invoices.
- VoIP — use VoIP to easily connect with customers who prefer traditional communication with the customer support department. VoIP is a cost-efficient tool that can help cut your virtual communication expenses to a minimum, but it requires some initial employee training to make it work.
- Social media inbox — customers often ask questions on Facebook or Instagram. Timely response on those channels helps build positive customer relations and make them buy again. A unified social media inbox can be a great tool that helps manage all customer inquiries across all social media accounts.
How to Measure Customer Engagement
You can’t improve what you can’t measure. That’s why you have to choose the right success metrics to measure the effectiveness of your customer engagement strategy.
Here is a list and short descriptions of the metrics you can pick for your analysis.
- Email open rate — important metric to check if you are working on email subject line personalization. It will show you if customers find your subject lines engaging and if you send your emails to the right customer segments at the right time.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS) — this metric helps understand how likely customers are to recommend your brand to their friends. It gets customers to evaluate their experience with your company on a scale from 0 to 10.
- Page visit frequency — to check this metric, access your analytics data to learn if customers have started visiting your page more frequently due to your customer engagement activities.
- Session time — helps check if your page content is engaging enough to get users to stay longer on your website. If you are experimenting with a new chatbot or live chat, session time can be a good indicator of success.
- Specific actions taken — you can drive your users to explore more options on your page and find the right one for them. When implementing different tactics and tools to achieve it, measure if people click that button leading to a purchase or fill out a contact form.
- Customer lifetime value — helps measure if your customers spend more with you over the whole course of relationships with your brand.
- Customer satisfaction — you can ask customers to rate a particular interaction with your brand (e.g., last contact with customer support or their recent purchase). By evaluating the overall grade and reading their additional comments, you can learn what you can improve.
- Reviews — this is a proven way to collect qualitative customer feedback. You can also use it to build social proof of your brand online. Check out how PolicyMe uses reviews to analyze customer feedback and help future customers make informed decisions about choosing an insurance company.
Creating a successful customer engagement strategy for your small business is not a piece of cake — it doesn’t equal sending a bulk email marketing campaign to the whole list.
To make customer engagement genuine and see positive results, you must personalize your communication with customers and make it sound more human.
Stop treating customers as digits — treat them as individuals with unique preferences and needs. Communicating with your customers as you would talk to a friend will open up more engaged online communities and translate into more sales.