Drive Better Customer Engagement
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Digital playgrounds that brands are playing on today is focusing a lot of attention to customer engagement. Another buzzword that became a part of the customer experience philosophy, opened the new pathways to understanding customers and customer behaviors online.
Along with the dazzling long lines of customer experience metrics and definitions, one is quite simple. Companies with strategies to engage customers in between the purchases, strengthen the emotional connection with them over time. Both B2B and B2C companies can no longer afford to be transactional brands, with a one-time wonder. Instead, consumers demand to extend the relationship through social media, customer support and beyond.
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Serving as a part of the much wider customer experience strategy, better customer engagement can help you drive new customers. And as well to retain the ones you already have. Having in mind that customers no longer buy just products, but the overall brand experience, companies need to demystify the definition of customer engagement.
What Is Customer Engagement?
Some experts define customer engagement in simple manners by stating that it is the emotional connection between a brand and a customer. Though it may sound simple, above all other customer engagement definitions, it holds the core point and important outcome of a successful customer engagement strategy.
Brands today hold the key to customer engagement, inviting customers through website, social media and many other channels, to interact and engage. When companies let customers decide how they’d like to engage, they hold a better sense to uncover the interactions that they find valuable. Brands using omnichannel communication strategies make it easier for consumers to engage with a company using their preferred models and channels of communication.
Beyond the choice of communication, customer engagement is also about the different levels of customer engagement. Some consumers will have a deeper and more repeating level of communication, as opposed to others.
For example, a new shopper might engage by downloading your e-book or following you on social media, but this engagement is rather different from someone who’s placed 7 orders in the last year and has referred your service to a colleague or a friend. Frequent and valuable engagement with users ensures long-term, loyal customers according to a study by Ray Wang of Constellation Research.
“Companies who have improved engagement increase cross-sell by 22%, drive up-sell revenue from 13% to 51%, and also increase order sizes from 5% to 85%.”
Picture 1. Customer engagement
The Value of Customer Engagement
The ultimate goal of your customer engagement strategy is to encourage customers to involve themselves with your brand, up to the point of becoming the brand advocates. But let’s start small.
The rise of digital platforms such as Shopify and BigCommerce empowered growth in every industry and every niche. Today it is easy for everyone to quick start a small business. Having in mind that almost all industries are crowded with clicks and conversions, the acquisition of new customers is harder than ever. With so many different brands to choose from, companies must find ways to engage with customers in between the purchase to strengthen the bond.
Gallup research shows that a fully-engaged customer represents 23% more revenue than average. Having that said, companies with engaged customers have a more steady revenue stream and organic growth. Long-term, these brands hold the strategic advantage of investing more in the acquisition of new target audiences and customers.
More importantly, the Gallup study supports the connection between how engaged are your customers and how profitable your business is, and will be in the future.
The three items of the Gallup CE3 are:
Picture 2. Gallup CE3
Customer Engagement Strategy & Solutions
High customer engagement is the outcome of both emotional bond with customers and intuitive customer experience. While the emotional bond engages customers to see beyond the meer price and features, amazing customer experience enables them to act upon this emotional rationale.
As a part of your bigger customer experience plan, customer engagement strategy has to reflect your target audience and your industry or niche. Marketing scale of your outreach can vary from innovative content production, full-scale advertising campaign, to simple enhancements in your customer journey map. Let’s explore the ways to better customer engagement.
Gamify Your Customer Experience
The gamification market exceeded the worth of $6 billion in 2019 and we see the use of the gamification techniques in the customer experience marketing. Companies delivering services, as well as those that are selling consumer goods through apps and web stores, can use the immersive and addictive world of gaming to engage with their customers.
Some of the recent Garneter studies show that gamification will be an essential element for brands to drive better customer engagement and loyalty in the digital era. There are four main elements in the marketing gamification that drives better customer engagement: competition, potential to go viral, customer support and the mobile-friendly experience.
New user onboarding and training can be executed in a user-friendly, gamified environment that encourages customers to engage and interact with brands. One basic method used in a B2B context is to apply interactive game elements in explaining how a customer can make the most out of the service or a product. Beyond onboarding, this model can also be used to recommend updates for the existing customers when you have a new product or an upgrade to your service.
Dropbox gamification strategy promises customers to get extra space for sharing their referral link with their friends. While at the same time it rewards the onboarding process of watching the tutorial. At the same time, the customer is rewarded immediately for sharing your company with others, and for learning more about the product.
Read more about Customer Experience Gamification.
Show the Human Side of Your Brand
According to Gartner’s CX pyramid, customers no longer expect to solely solve problems using companies products and services. Above all, they want to relate to the company in a more valuable and authentic level. The good customer experience from the people perspective ‘make customers feel better, safer and more powerful’ according to Gallup.
Picture 3. Gallup CX pyramid
To foster that kind of relationship with customers, brands need to get in the customer’s shoes and make them feel like they really understand their needs and problems. Empowered with digital tools, companies like Shopify use their big data to deliver personalized content and advertising campaigns. Others decide to show the human face of the brand using the micro-content on their webpages.
Picture 4. Shopify advertisign campaign
A great example is Chubbies’s playful copy that caught the eyes and ears of the Millenial market. Using the smart buttons, CTA-s and more, they have created excellent branding.
Picture 5. Chubbies social share
Engage Through Social Media
Picture 6. Social media reviews Paldesk example
User-generated content is also one of the ways to engage with customers more authentically. Every time a customer shares a positive social media post about your brand, it means they were satisfied with your products or services. Why wouldn’t you amplify their message further by sharing it across your own channels?
Picture 7. User-generated Paldesk photo example
After all, following your customers on social media is also one way to build a stronger relationship. It’s a lot like following a friend. And, you’d want a friend to follow you back, right?
Engage Your Most Loyal Customers
Driving positive customer engagement doesn’t have to happen solely between a customer and a brand. Moreover, engagement is more authentic when it is happening between customers.
Loyal and returning customers hold the opportunity to become a referral network to win over the hearts of new prospects. Empower your current customers to easily share your brand with friends and family, and help you attract new customers. While doing them, showcase the benefit they get with fun incentives.
For every customer referred, RunGum’s loyal customers get $5 credit on their user account.
Picture 8. Uber refferal program
How Do You Measure Customer Engagement?
There are numerous ways of measuring customer engagement, which is why we are highlighting the most important ones.
Guest checkout rates
The number of customers who have finished shopping on your website, without creating the account. Customers who create an account on a brand webpage are more likely to come back to make another purchase.
Calculate it: number of guest orders / total number of orders
The purchase frequency (PF)
How often a customer makes a purchase of your shop. Understanding this number helps you determine how long it takes the average customer to make another purchase.
Calculate it: number of orders in previous year/number of unique customers in the previous year
Repeat purchase rate
What is the percentage of customer who made more than one purchase with your company, in a specified period of time? This number indicates how well is your retention strategy working and what can you do to improve it.
Calculate it: the number of customers that bought from your company more than once / total number of customers
Drive Customer Engagement
The road to loyal and engaged customers is hard, but the reward is an amazing – steady company (and revenue growth), along with customer advocacy. How do you keep your customers engaged?
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