What do all your close personal relationships have in common? Whether it’s a best friend or a sibling, you can say you are close because you take the time and effort to maintain a certain intimacy in each other’s lives. The same goes for your customers. Don’t get put off by the term ‘customer engagement’. It’s not just a buzzword, and the good news is, you probably already know more about it than you think.
A spokesman for consumer engagement experts Feefo describes customer engagement as ‘the interaction you have with your customers’, adding: ‘You can decide which interactions add value to your business, but ultimately if you have a channel of communication with your customer you’re already off to a good start.’ You could be engaging with customers through email, social media, live chats on your website, or community forums – measuring which of these exchanges is beneficial to your business will tell you if it’s worthwhile or not.
Why Is Customer Engagement Important?
It’s getting easier for anyone to start their own business today. But the survival of the fittest in a world with tough competition depends on who customers choose to deal with and who they stay loyal to. Customers who are fully engaged show for 23% more revenue than average, so this is an opportunity you don’t want to miss out on. It’s not enough to invest in acquiring new customers – your business needs to think of how to retain them, gain their trust and continually engage them in a way that customer advocacy is maintained.
Let’s delve further into the importance of maintaining customer engagement.
Develop loyalty through developed relationships
Delivering excellent service does not mean customer loyalty is guaranteed. Make sure you invest in developing a relationship with them. Customers who feel like they have an outlet to voice their opinion, provide feedback and have their concerns answered in a reasonable time are more likely to come back for more.
Loyal customers are also more likely to become advocates for your brand. Not only will they resist your competition, but they will also ensure they spread positivity about your service and engagements.
Stay competitive, keep them coming back
Staying competitive ties in with our previous point of maintaining loyal customers who will choose you over your competition. Look for areas you can grow, improve and provide something for your customers before they even know it. Plan your customer-engagement strategy well to give your business a competitive edge. Take a look at what your rivals are doing, and find a way to do it better. Bonus tip: find a way to communicate with your competitors’ disgruntled customers and convert them to become your users. Keep your business one step ahead by researching trends and building relationships with customers for the long term.
Personal and relevant communication can lead to cross-selling
Taking a proactive approach to customer engagement will pay off in the long run. Communicate with your customer in a way that is real and relevant to them. This could mean researching your various customer profiles and finding out which stage of their buying cycle they are in. Customers will trust you when you speak their language and communicate with them in a way they understand. You can up-sell and cross-sell to customers who engage with you, as loyal customers are 50% more likely to try your new product or service.
Reduce churn and minimize product returns
Engaged customers are likely to be satisfied at a higher rate than those who are not fully communicating with you. Maintain customer happiness and satisfaction by looking at their purchase history and buying patterns. If your customer is satisfied from the get-go, they are less likely to return their purchase. Emotions tie in with our purchase decisions, and keeping your customer engagement is key to keeping them and your business happy. A 5% increase in customer retention can lead to a 25%-95% increase in profit.
Have open and honest communications with your customer and across the business. No matter which department your customer is dealing with, they should feel like your messaging is consistent and up-to-date. This will eliminate any misunderstanding and embarrassing communication errors between both parties. Your customer should feel important from all aspects of your business, making sure they engage and trust in you over the long run.
Customers’ needs and wants change regularly, and you need to stay on top of them. If they can’t find what they’re looking for with you, it will take them almost no time to head in your competitor’s direction.
Keep up with fluctuating trends, be flexible in your approach to embrace change and continually exhibit your commitment to your customer. An effective customer engagement strategy will boost conversion, bolster your brand awareness and ultimately improve your revenue.