Customer engagement has always been important for the success of a business. After all, engaged customers generally buy more and are promoters of your business. Although everyone understands this intuitively, improving customer engagement is often overlooked when creating a business strategy. Companies often prioritize customer acquisition over engagement and retention.
Customer engagement- from a good-to-have to a must-have
The rise of social media and streaming platforms has set a sky-high standard for personalized customer engagement. Companies like Netflix, Instagram, and Tik Tok use behavioral data and data science to keep the user engaged. Knowing your customers, anticipating their interests, and serving them the experience they want- are becoming the norm. And so, customer engagement has become a must-have for business growth.
In their State of Connected Customer Report, Salesforce Research found that-
- 62% of customers say experiences with one industry influence their expectations of others
- 80% of customers say the experience a company provides is just as necessary as its products or services, and
- 63% of consumers expect businesses to know their unique needs and expectations (76% for B2B buyers)
What is customer engagement?
Customer engagement is the practice of interacting with your customers through multiple channels throughout their life cycle. This means instead of a one-time interaction, you communicate with them beyond the point of purchase. Social media, emails, SMS, community forums, and loyalty programs are some of the ways companies engage their customers.
The goal of customer engagement is to
- Deepen your relationship with your customer
- Provide them with value beyond your product or service, and
- Ensure that your brand remains top-of-mind when they’re ready to buy again
In today’s digital-first age, customer disengagement is the biggest risk to your bottom line. Business owners know that acquiring new customers is important. What’s more important is retaining them. Prioritizing acquisition over maintaining a good relationship with your existing customers is like trying to fill a leaky bucket.
Engaged customers are much easier to retain.
Why your business needs a customer engagement strategy
Actively engaging customers and nurturing customer relationships are key to improving retention and revenue.
84% of customers say “being treated like a person, not a number” is very important to winning their business.
No matter what industry you’re in, customers expect you to tailor interactions to their unique needs and problems. But how can you do this at scale?
The answer lies in your tech stack.
To personalize customer engagement, you need to know everything about your customers. From their purchase history to support interactions to browsing behavior, you need to know every important experience.
This requires an integrated CRM and customer experience solution that will give you a 360-degree view of all customer journey.
(You can read more on that, here)
This connected CX-CRM will give you to power to tailor engagement tactics as per your customers’ needs and expectations.
Customer engagement vs customer satisfaction vs customer experience (CX)
All three sound similar but are rather different concepts.
As we’ve explained, customer engagement is the practice of interacting with your customer through various points of their life cycle from a variety of channels. Some examples of this are-
- Your social media pages
- Sending relevant promotional messages
- Calling them up for collecting feedback, etc.
On the other hand, customer satisfaction is the measure of how satisfied your customers are with your product or service.
A satisfied customer may not be an engaged customer and vice versa.
For instance, a prospective customer may engage with your content on social media but not make a purchase. Similarly, a satisfied customer may never give feedback or follow your brand on social media.
But generally, a good customer engagement strategy can improve customer satisfaction.
Customer experience is the sum of all interactions a customer has with a company during the life cycle of his relationship with the company. This includes everything- from your ads to your online presence to your stores to word-of-mouth.
Customer engagement (CE) is a crucial part of CX. While CX covers everything a customer experience with your brand, CE is all about how they interact with you.
What customer engagement tools do you need?
We now know that your customer engagement strategy must be personalized and relevant to your customers. But since every customer is different, how do you achieve this at scale?
This is where your tech stack comes to the rescue.
A successful customer engagement strategy consists of several steps and requires certain tools to facilitate the process.
1. CRM and a feedback collection tool
The first thing you must do when starting a customer engagement program is to select a way to store customer data and feedback.
From free to high-end, there are many CRMs and CXM tools in the market. A good CX program will create a connected feedback loop with your customers, enabling you to understand them deeply.
2. Survey tool
Surveys are a great way of engaging with your customers. Be it in-app or SMS or email, they help you obtain more information about your customers. You can send surveys on your own with numerous free tools available in the market. But if you’re looking for a more sophisticated tool, CX programs like Numr will do all the work for you. They also go beyond just collection and dig out customer insights that you can use to improve retention and revenue.
3. Alert Management System (AMS)
Having a customer support team that can reach out to happy or unhappy customers is a great way of improving engagement. Generally, happy customers are more open to talking to you and can shed light on what worked. You can double down and replicate it to increase customer satisfaction. On the other hand, engaging with unhappy customers and solving their problems can prevent large-scale churn.
All you need to do this is a customer support team and a solid alert management system (AMS). Our Alert Management System is real-time and helps your team resolve customer tickets quickly.
4. Customer Experience Management Tool
Acting on customer feedback is the most important step for improving customer engagement. Even the deepest, most impactful insight is useless unless you act on it.
Customer engagement is not a one-time activity. It’s a continuous dialogue between a customer and your brand. A CXM tool with powerful analytics will translate raw customer behavior into reports and insights that you can act on.
Engaged customers are a gold mine. Your relationship with your customers is the most important brand differentiator that can never be stolen or copied. As per Salesforce Research, 78% of consumers will transact with a company again after a mistake if the company’s customer service is excellent. Do you want to bulletproof your business in 2023? Focus on engaging and delighting your customers and the rest will follow. As Maya Angelo famously said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.
Want to improve customer engagement, experience, and revenue? Contact us. Numr (New-mer) is an all-in-one CXM solution for all your CX needs.