Customer engagement can be one of the most daunting tasks for marketers today. But why?
Increasing customer engagement and maintaining it underscores the main goal of marketing: building relationships with your customers so they continue to choose your product or service over the competition, and keep coming back for more, and most of all, telling their friends or family about it too!
Let’s talk about how to increase your customer engagement
Brands these days are no longer able to rely on a catchy slogan or celebrity endorsements. Thank you social media. Now, businesses and brands have to always be ready to take on new opportunities to engage with their customers anytime, anywhere.
The main result of customer churn is a lack of customer engagement. Once your customers stop using your product or service, there is no real reason for them to be interested in your emails or correspondence anymore.
The key to avoiding churn rates is to maintain happy and engaged customers. It may be daunting to find a new way to interest your customers but it will be well worth it. It’s crucial to maintain a lively interaction with your customers as well as offer support and nurture your client list.
The more you grow the harder it may seem to maintain, but it is crucial to keep these relationships well and alive. Keeping your customers engaged doesn’t necessarily mean it will be difficult, but all you need are some key strategies to help you.
A general rule of thumb: the better engagement, the happier the customers. Engaged customers are more likely to stay, recommend and buy more of your products or services.
So if you’re wondering what the key strategies are to increase customer engagement, let’s get started.
Back to the Basics
Getting back to the foundation of how to increase customer engagement, let’s define what is customer engagement. Customer engagement is the way you and your brand interact with customers, both online and offline. Ideally, your customers will leave these interactions with a positive and lasting impression of your brand.
For example, a customer may receive a newsletter about a new product release and clicks through to the company’s website to see it. Or a customer calls the support line about returning an item. For both interactions, a customer should leave with a positive and personal feeling after them.
Businesses that are focused on how to increase customer engagement, not just revenue extraction are proven to be more successful in the long term. They provide people with something more than a basic sales pitch. When well-executed, a strong customer engagement strategy will foster customer loyalty and even more revenue growth.
Remember that your customers are the ones who decide how they engage with your product or service. Even if you have a specific strategy, you still need to make sure it’s pertinent to your customers and what they want.
Here are 5 amount of steps to increase your customer engagement:
1. Create great customer experiences
Did you know that companies that work towards improving their customer experiences have an 84% increase in reported revenue? If you think about it, we have all had a negative experience with a company at some point in time and vow never to return. Be it long wait times, or a checkout that was way too complicated, all these instances are prime examples of engagement killers.
By making sure that your customers are always given first-class treatment, start by mapping out all the ways you interact with customers. Whether you are working within a webspace, social media page, emails, customer support, or anything else where you can interact with customers, do a thorough analysis of each medium to see where you can improve.
Create a great customer experience with your social media
Customers are your golden ticket to understand relevant information and experience. Customers probably have the same challenges, issues, and successes so they can relate to one another. They have also found a way to overcome specific challenges that can also help others that may be going through the same.
Create a sense of community and your customers being able to share ideas and information with one another. But it’s not a forum, it is managed on its own. Rather, you need to curate conversation and spark topics within your followers. Be attentive to what is being discussed within your community and offer your guidance or solutions when needed. You’re also able to use your social media outlet as a way to celebrate your brand’s milestones and share important information such as new updates, new services, or training programs that can help your community.
By fostering an active customer community via social media, it is an amazing way to increase customer engagement and inspire trust and loyalty with your brand. Especially when customers see that you are transparent with them and recognize their needs or pain points. There are genuine people behind your brand, and it gives an even greater personal connection.
2. Know Your Customer’s Journey
If you don’t know where your customers stand with your brand or how they interact, you will never have a successful customer engagement strategy. A great way to start is to map your customer’s journeys is to find all important touchpoints, bottlenecks, and challenges they may face. This information will help you find out more about their needs as well as how they move through your site to identify opportunities to increase customer engagement.
Mapping out your customer journey
You will start by sketching out a map or timeline that portrays every stage of your customer’s experience. As we mentioned above, these are called customer touchpoints and they are basically any time a customer comes in contact with your brand. When customers interact with your touchpoints (AKA an Ad or on your website). For example, you can see where your customers are engaging with your brand which includes
- Social media reviews
- Website searches
- Customer service team
- Clicked email links
- Follow-up customer feedback surveys
Make sure you’re taking into account the AMQO, the actions, motivations, questions, and obstacles. These will help better define how your customers move through your brand.
- Actions: after mapping out the stages of your customer’s journey, ask what the customer is doing at each stage.
- Motivation: What is encouraging your customers to move from one stage to the next? You should also think about what doesn’t motivate them to move to the next stage too. What emotions are they feeling in each stage?
- Questions: Where do customers get frustrated or hung up? Are they having questions and not finding answers? Uncertainty can cause customers to move to your competition if they find more clear answers. If your product or service is inherently complicated, is there a way to improve customer experience by addressing questions as they move through the stages?
- Obstacles: What kind of obstacles do customers face in each stage? Do they hesitate due to the cost? The return policy? Think about anything that could cause your customer to not complete the entire buying cycle while moving through the customer journey.
3. Reward Engagement
If you are committed to ensuring your customers and their loyalty, you may need to get a little creative. You can instill a rewards program for your customers who participate and engage with your brand. By having a reward program you will not only increase customer engagement but you will also maintain it.
What kind of rewards can you offer? Start by providing a discount to any customer who leaves a review for your brand on Google or offer VIP training sessions or recognize your customer’s achievements publicly. You can even share success stories from your customers after they’ve used your product or service, talk about a win-win scenario. You can offer prizes or customers who achieve certain milestones with your products or if they use it X amount of times.
When setting up a rewards program, make sure it aligns with your product and customers’ goals, and remember that a win-win scenario is always the goal. If you question what your customers value the most, ask them! People love providing their feedback and feeling heard by a brand.
4. Focus on Customer Retention
Remember to always nurture and value your current customers. There is a difference between your customer retention and customer acquisition. Let’s take a look at some of the statistics:
- Acquiring a new customer could cost 5x more than retaining a current customer.
- Increasing your customer retention by 5% can increase your profits from 25-95%!
- The success rate of selling to a current customer is between 60-70%, while a new customer is between 5-20%.
- Loyal customers are also 5x more likely to purchase again, 5x more likely to forgive, 4x more likely to refer your brand to a friend, and 7x more likely to try a new product or service from your brand.
- US companies lose around $136.8 billion per year due to customer turnover.
- American Express found that ⅓ of its customers would consider switching just after one instance of poor customer service.
So, as you can see, retaining customers is much more cost-effective than acquiring new ones. Existing customers are more likely to spend more, spend more often, and recommend your brand to friends or family. They have a deeper level of trust with your brand because you have proven to them you are reliable.
Another way of looking at it: a customer will return to a brand if they have good experiences with it. A series of consistent, positive, reliable, and beneficial interactions will keep customers satisfied and increase customer engagement to ensure they come back again.
Customer retention goes hand in hand with customer engagement. If you retain your loyal customers, you will also see an increase in customer engagement. You can’t have one without the other. The key is to keep customers satisfied for the long term and through the entire customer lifecycle.
5. Measure Your Customer Engagement
In order to increase customer engagement, you have to know where you start and where you want to go. You should be tracking and measuring your performance of user engagement. By measuring this you will be able to see, over time, how your customers are responding to your brand and activities to achieve better results.
There are several metrics you can use to measure customer engagement, they provide a strong indication of what and where your customers are engaging with your brand. You can use:
- Conversion Rates: the most essential measurement of how well your campaign or any marketing efforts. Whether the conversion is completing a form, buying a product or downloading a case study, the conversion rate will give a clear indication if your customers are engaged and interested to actively follow through.
- Time on Page and Page View: this is the amount of time that a user spends on your website and how many different pages they visit while there. This KPI gives a clear representation of what pages are being seen the most and how much time do users spend looking and reading your site. You can use this information to optimize your pages and put useful information on the most frequently visited pages. Pages that are less frequently visited can be analyzed and reworked to revamp engagement.
- Net Promoter Score: this metric will measure how happy your current customers are. This can be collected through in-app surveys or via email. However, in-app surveys typically have a better response rate, as long as you are asking users in the context of when they’re using your app.
So by taking a look and deep dive into these metrics, you’re able to get a better understanding and quantitative analysis of what’s going on in your brand. You are able to get a full picture of your brand through the eyes of your customers.
Before we conclude these tips on how to increase customer engagement, our secret bonus tip is to have a clean email marketing list. This is something that can sometimes be overlooked and forgotten about but it is crucial to keeping your customers engaged and happy. With a clean list, you are able to ensure that any relevant and important information is getting delivered to the right inboxes.
A clean email list starts at the core of your contact, with a service like Emailable they do all the heavy lifting for you no matter the size of the list, they have you covered. Make sure that your customers are able to clearly communicate with you and get all the important information.