10 Simple Tips to Improve Your Customer Engagement

CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT is a buzzword among businesses these days, but many struggle to define it and implement it.

In a world of instant response and digital transactions, customer engagement is fast becoming the most important aspect of customer experience. There is a huge opportunity for businesses to improve their communication with customers and analyze current engagement techniques.

10 Simple Tips to Improve Your Customer Engagement

Customer engagement helps to build a relationship with your customer that is long-lasting and customer-centric. The better you can nurture that relationship, the better your chances of being the first one to know when something needs attention.

According to a recent Nielsen report, average engagement per loyal customer has been trending up since 2014, though it still remains lower than it was in 2014.

The cost of not engaging with your customers can be high. In a recent study, researchers found that customers who receive a poor customer service experience are 10 times more likely to cancel a service contract. That translates to annual revenue losses of $24 billion for the average business. The good news is that consumers have the power to effectively influence their experience with companies.

For example, a study by the University of North Carolina found that merely imagining a positive interaction makes customers happier.

This article will look at how businesses can use customer service and engagement to build customer relationships that are strong enough to survive the current economic crisis.

Content Summary

What is customer engagement?
Why is customer engagement important?
How to measure customer engagement?
Factors that influence customer engagement
Tip 1: Listen and learn
Tip 2: Transparency
Tip 3: Reward
Tip 4: Right Expectations
Tip 5: Social Media
Tip 6: Reputation
Tip 7: Put your customers first
Tip 8: Contact
Tip 9: Interaction
Tip 10: Common mistakes to avoid
What’s next

What is customer engagement?

Customer engagement is one of the key concepts in the customer experience. It is defined as the process of creating, delivering, and managing valuable, relevant, and consistent experiences for the customer. It is the process by which individuals and organizations—including employees, customers, partners, and other stakeholders—interact with each other, the organization, and its products and services. The best organizations today are becoming very proactive about engaging their customers. The goal of customer engagement is to create repeat business by creating a positive experience with a company and its products and services.

A customer engagement paradigm is a holistic view of the customer relationship that emphasizes the customer experience as the key to increasing customer lifetime value and sales. The paradigm has evolved from a focus on sales and marketing to one that focuses on the entire customer experience. The new customer experience paradigm is being driven by new customer demands, technology advances, social media, and a shift in consumer behavior. The change is shifting business operations from a focus on the product and the company to an emphasis on the customer and the experience.

Why is customer engagement important?

The value of customer engagement cannot be overstated. Historically, the focus of the organization has been the product, and the company has controlled and defined the customer experience. Today, customers are in control. The way that customers interact with a company and its products is defined by the customer, not the company.

A recent report published by OC&C Strategy Consultants and Toluna Group shows that those companies that are more engaged with customers achieve significantly higher returns on investment. In fact, the report notes a 50% return on investment (ROI) on customer engagement.

Similarly, a study by Forrester Research notes that organizations that focus on customer experience have much higher customer retention rates than those that don’t.

This makes sense, as a more positive customer experience results in greater loyalty and retention. Customer engagement is the new frontline in customer experience, and it requires a different level of focus and investment.

How to measure customer engagement?

Customer engagement is a key metric for businesses of all sizes. It gives a comprehensive view of how customers interact with the company and allows you to more effectively allocate resources to improve customer experience.

By understanding how customers interact with a company, based on the metrics that matter most to each business, businesses can focus on improving the most important areas. Metrics give businesses a way to track and measure customer experience, which is key to driving success.

There are some basic things you need to know about your customers:

  • Their demographics
  • Their preferences
  • Their previous purchases
  • Their buying habits
  • How much they spend

After the launch of a new product, a company can track the amount of time before a customer-first uses it, the frequency of use, and the number of times a customer returns to the product over a given period. Companies can use the data to figure out how to improve the product, including ongoing A/B tests.

As experiences become more personalized, businesses can use metrics to consider all aspects of a customer’s experience, and even to use it to measure the success of specific projects. You need these basic data to create a personalized experience and to be able to give them a good reason to come back otherwise they will always have the option to go to your competition instead.

Factors that influence customer engagement

The purpose of customer engagement is to increase the customer’s loyalty, interest, and trust in the product or service in question. The ultimate objective is to maximize the customer’s satisfaction. To achieve this goal, it is essential to understand the various factors that affect customer engagement.

There are a number of influences that affect customer engagement, and understanding these will help you to determine how you can influence and improve customer satisfaction. It is important to understand your customers and their needs, as this will help you to design products or services that will be of most benefit to them. It is also important to understand their current experiences and how those experiences are influencing them to make decisions about what to buy and their level of engagement.

Tip 1: Listen and learn

The most important thing you can do to improve customer engagement is to listen to your customers. In most companies, there are two ways to collect customer feedback. Some companies rely on the feedback they receive from customers through their call centers. Others run focus groups and surveys. For how to learn from your customers, it is important to ask the right questions. At the end of the day, it is up to you to determine which feedback, call center, or focus group, will be most effective.

Tip 2: Transparency

Make your business, your customers, and your employee engagement strategy as transparent as possible. Why? If you as a business keep your customers in the dark about your internal processes and strategies, they will assign you a negative sentiment or will misinterpret them. In other words, when your customers don’t know what’s going on, they will fill the gap with their own imagination. And who wants to deal with a company that is in chaos? Nobody!

Tip 3: Reward

Offer them a reward, which is an incentive or a motivation, is a powerful tool that you can use to improve customer engagement. When you give your customers a reward, they feel that they are getting something special and they are more likely to return to your business.

Offer reward to improve customer engagement.

However, you need to make sure that the reward is not too expensive. You can also try out a loyalty program app that will help you effectively manage your rewards program.

Tip 4: Right Expectations

Give your customers the right expectations. In order to improve customer service and engagement, it is very important to deliver on your promises and to give your customers the service they expected. And then, the customer will be more likely to take action. If the customer is happy, he or she is more likely to take positive action, such as recommending your product to a friend or writing a review.

Tip 5: Social Media

Motivate your customers to engage with you through social media platforms. Once you’ve identified the social media channels that are the best fit for your customers. The next step is to motivate your customers to connect with you on social media. This is a great way to encourage your customers to connect with you on social media, as well as a great way to get more people to follow you. If your company offers a discount for following you on social media, you should post about it with pictures or a video.

Use social media platform to improve customer engagement.

A good way to advertise your company is by creating infographics that are easy to share on social media. If you want it to be more viral, you should add it to your email signature. If your service is in demand, offer a free consultation and if the client decides to hire you, you should create a special discount code for them.

You can easily learn from your competitor by looking at what they are doing on social media. You may want to try to get more followers by offering giveaways or promoting your business to your competitor’s followers. If you’re going to respond to a competitor’s social media post, make sure that you’re not doing it just to get attention. You need to actually have something to say.

Make your posts unique and relevant to your followers. For example, then using Twitter, don’t just blindly retweet anything you see. It’s frustrating to follow a company that just does that.

Sharing relevant content is one of the most common social media activities to improve customer engagement. This can be done in a variety of ways including retweets, sharing links on Facebook, product demo video clip on YouTube, professional industrial advice or article on LinkedIn, or other social channels. Create a Facebook page where you can interact with your customers and build a community of fans who will help you market your products and services.

Tip 6: Reputation

Work on your company’s reputation. To be successful, you have to know your customers and their needs. The key to working out what they want is to look at your company’s reputation.

You can do this by checking out the below queries:

  • What your customers are saying about you on social media, forums, and online review sites like Yelp, Google Places, and Angie’s List.
  • How do you compare to your competitors?
  • What are they saying about you?
  • What are you saying about yourself?
  • Are you saying the right things?

This is a tremendous opportunity to take neutral comments and turn them into positive comments. This will help you with your search engine optimization efforts, your online reputation and will help you improve customer engagement.

Tip 7: Put your customers first

Start by looking at your customer’s perspective. You should take the time to understand your customers’ motivations and the problems they are trying to solve.

  • What’s your customers’ primary needs and concern?
  • Are they worried about something?

Make a list of questions to ask your customers during feedback surveys. What questions help you uncover your customers’ motivations and the problems they are trying to solve. It’s also important to learn about your customer’s environment.

  • Are they using other products?
  • What is their cultural background?
  • What are their demographics?
  • What is their age?
  • Do they have kids?
  • How are they using your product?
  • And how much time do they spend on your product?

The answers to these questions will help you determine what your users need and how they use your product.

Tip 8: Contact

When to contact a customer depends on the purpose of the call. There are three purposes of contacting customers:

  • Prospecting: when you have a new offer or want to remind customers about your company, e.g. send information about new products or services, send a newsletter.
  • Relationship management: when you want to keep in touch with customers, e.g. send a thank you note or send a birthday card.
  • Retention: when you want to keep customers loyal to your company.

You can create more involvement in your business and the people you deal with. For example, you can send out a note when they are having a problem with their product or when you offer a special promotion to keep customers loyal to your company. Overall, people want to feel like you care about them.

Tip 9: Interaction

The best way to win customer loyalty is to interact with your customers. Face-to-face contact with customers increases the chance of providing better customer service or of resolving customer problems. The face-to-face interaction in a retail shop or at a trade show enables the sales staff to provide a better level of service to existing customers and to market products to potential customers. For example, a salesperson can provide better advice to a customer about which product to buy and which accessories to match. The more a salesperson knows about a customer’s product needs, the more the salesperson can provide customer service.

face-to-face interaction with customer to improve customer engagement.

Tip 10: Common mistakes to avoid

Customers expect you to know them more than you actually do. They expect you to care about their experience and they expect you to have all the answers… but they do not like being sold. The key is to connect with them on a human level, not a sales level. It is easy to oversell, but you cannot over-serve.

Over-marketing to the customer. When customers receive so much information from a company, they get tired of the same message. This is because we are overloaded with information all the time.

One of the most common mistakes that companies make is to view customer engagement as a one-time or short-term project. It is not a project, it is a process that requires a continual and systematic effort to listen, understand and adapt to the changing needs and expectations of customers.

This third mistake to avoid is focusing on lowering prices. Companies should start by examining their price strategy. If they have one. It is important to know if you are charging too little, too much, or just right. Having a price strategy that is based on being the low-cost provider is short-sighted and unlikely to create real value for the customer.

Focusing on the idea that customers are willing to spend to get what they want. Actually, it’s just the opposite. The reality is that what keeps customers coming back is the quality of the relationship they have with their service provider. It’s not how much money or time they spend but how effective and efficient they are, how well they treat the customer. If you want to improve customer retention, focus on the customer experience, relationships, and satisfaction.

Don’t try to win your customers over with discounts and other incentives. The key to a strong relationship with customers is not to think about what you can get out of them, but what you can give to them. Customers will come back to you because they know that you genuinely care about them and the way that you conduct your business is the way that you treat them. Show your customers how valuable they are to your business. It’s all in the details.

Do not expect to engage your customers by performing an A/B test. The point is not to have a strategy that works, but one that delivers a great experience.  The simple reason is that you are just testing the impact of variations of the same thing you are already doing. This is like testing the impact of a new color on product sales. The only thing you are testing is if your customers are colorblind.

Many companies prefer to either hire a big company or an agency to build and manage their customer community, social media and blogs, and/or a customer feedback system. This is the wrong approach for a few reasons:

  • The company will not really know what is going on.
  • The company will not have enough resources to cover the additional channels effectively.
  • The company will not see a return on its investment.

In the new world order of business relationships, this approach to managing customers is just not a good idea.

What’s next

Always ask yourself, How can I improve customer engagement? It’s important to not only ask this question but to also ask it often. Every time you make a decision or take an action that impacts your customers, ask yourself how you can improve customer engagement. You can ask this question even on small decisions. For example, if you want to increase the amount of time your customers spend on your website, you might ask yourself what you can do to improve the experience of your website.

In summary, a successful customer engagement strategy is a combination of customer centricity, customer lifecycle management, the use of customer data, and its impact on the business. If you have all of these in place, you should be on the right track.