These days, customers expect more than just a functional product. They want to feel appreciated and nurtured. But how do you go about it? It is all about customer engagement and customer-oriented communication. As customer engagement becomes an integral part of who you are as a brand, it will result in your customers becoming long-term loyalists, supporting you in the long run.
Here, we will explore the steps you need to follow to become a customer-oriented business and drive customer engagement.
Before we get into how being a customer-oriented company can drive a company's success, it is essential to understand what customer engagement is.
Simply put, customer engagement is all ways you communicate and interact with your clients. The outcome of these interactions should ideally be positive. Let's see; customers contact your customer support, read your newsletter, or follow you on social media. That, like many others, are examples of customer engagement. Going about them correctly is crucial for ensuring your business goes forward.
Companies that focus on customer engagement create value for their customers, not just revenue extraction. There has to be something meaningful you offer other than the product. A strong customer engagement strategy boosts customer loyalty and growth of sales when executed well.
The concept of customer engagement is even more vital, considering we live in a digital age. With competition leaching from each corner, it can be challenging to establish your business as the best option. Engagement as two-way communication between customer and company became more visible and prevalent, especially for brands developed over online channels.
Today, maximizing customer engagement is vital. This is where customer engagement strategies come in place. It is a set of practices that a company employs to keep customers returning to them. With the ever-increasing number of brands competing, it is essential to be the best in earning and maintaining customer attention.
Remember that a significant aspect of customer engagement is keeping an emotional connection between the customer and the brand. The first step you should consider is exploring the quality of this relationship, whether it is positive or negative. Ask yourself: how customer participation occurs and how often it happens. Also, explore how customer engagement relates to success in terms of loyalty, sales and wheater the customer is a promoter or detractor of the brand. Highly engaged customers buy more, endorse you more and demonstrate more commitment overall. This is why your customer engagement strategy should be focused on providing a high-quality experience.
The idea that customer engagement is broadly associated with positive business outcomes is not new. A frequently cited research by Hall & Partners found that up to two-thirds of a company's revenue comes from effective customer engagement.
To fully understand customer engagement strategy's positive outcomes for your business, it is necessary to investigate what types of engagement predict desired results. The way you target your efforts is about making sure they are profitable and able to maximize sustainable outcomes.
Before you focus on becoming a customer-oriented company, you need to engage customers, and provide an exceptional experience, you must take several crucial steps:
Step 1. Research
Start with collecting data. Understand what engagement looks like for your business. You can begin with collecting operational data like social likes, comments, shares, customer feedback and complaints. Here, make sure you find out about the context of engagement from your users' perspective. Research what motivates customers to engage with you by collecting their experience data via surveys or other feedback channels.
Step 2. Analyze
The next step is to associate them with business outcomes. Start by analyzing your performance: for example, get an insight into your team's activity and utilization—also, study industry trends, competitor's work and the market.
Step 3. Innovate
Now that you have done your research and analysis, you're ready to put your findings into action.
The type of customer engagement you choose will depend on your research findings, resources, and industry. It's also essential to boost customer engagement on each channel you use. For example, there's a vast difference between online and offline engagement. How your customer engages also has implications for how you nurture the relationship. This is where you'll need help from an omnichannel solution that will allow you to support your users on multiple channels simultaneously.
Remember, it's all about communication: the customer talks, and the company listens. Then, it is up to you to provide valuable points that encourage further discussion. This ongoing process continues until the customer is satisfied and buys something, or the company fails to convince the prospect and loses the sale.
The way you go about customer engagement will depend on your business. Regardless, we suggest you follow these steps to drive customer engagement with customer-oriented communication:
If you need evidence that customer experience is essential to customer engagement, here it is: among companies who focus on improving their customer experience, 84% report increased revenue.
Making sure to deliver excellent customer experiences means mapping out all the ways you interact with customers first. Do a thorough analysis of each interaction and see where you can improve.
You build user experience (UX) and customer experience (CX) from customers' first interaction with your brand. Keep customer engagement in mind when designing new or updating existing UX and CX elements. How your user interface looks, sounds and feels can have a massive impact on how a customer engages with your business.
Consider updating your design following feedback to meet your customer's needs. Ensure you're using UX and customer engagement metrics to provide a smooth experience on your digital platforms and in your physical spaces.
Let customers know you care about their thoughts and provide plenty of opportunities to be heard.
Make your input touchpoints easily accessible to get information on satisfaction without confusing their journey. You can even be open to online reviews on your website and social media platforms. However, make sure that you're moderating the feedback you get.
Customers are more likely to engage when a business with a strong identity that they can recognize, no matter where or when they encounter its services or products. By strengthening your brand voice through engagement strategies, your existing customers can easily find your brand and engage with you.
Identify the key reasons your supporters love your brand through customer feedback and develop your identity accordingly. Ask yourself: What do customers love about the customer service approach? Try to project a sincere and competent persona through your communication channels. Who are your products or services for? Make the tone of your customer service helpful and friendly.
By using your communication channels for building an emotional connection between your brand identity and your audience, you get an easy way to increase customer engagement.
You can enhance customer loyalty in the long run by using your customer engagement metrics as a guide. Note that there are also short-term ways to use metrics to improve the experience. Start by offering customized options to your customers after the initial interaction with your brand. Consider quick surveys on their personal preferences – they can help you to guide them towards products and services they'll love immediately.
Technology can help you empower your team to implement customer engagement strategies without adding unnecessary legwork. This way, you can deliver content or information tailored to your customers by using their data on other customer relationships.
Data collection and analysis can be exhausting if done manually, mainly if you operate through multiple channels. Because of that, make sure you invest in an omnichannel solution allowing you to interact. Still, your team doesn't have to implement the strategy to personalize customer experiences individually.
It is common knowledge that retaining customers is much more cost-effective than gaining new ones. Existing customers spend more often, spend more and endorse the brand or product to friends and relatives, some of whom also end up as customers.
Consider this: a customer will only return to a business or a brand if they have positive experiences with it. A consistent series of reliable, positive and fruitful interactions with a company will help keep customers engaged and satisfied and ensure they return.
Customers engage with brands repeatedly when they feel looked after, appreciated, and excited by new and personalized offers.
Reduced customer churn goes hand in hand with customer engagement. You can't have one without the other. So any solid customer engagement strategy must include retention plans – keeping customers satisfied in the long run and through the entire cycle of their interaction with a business.
Nothing is more aggravating for a customer than their interactions with a company disappear into thin air. Everybody has been there at some point. You call customer support, speak with someone for twenty minutes, and still don't get your problem solved. The next day, you must start over again with a brand-new agent because no information is saved and shared between representatives.
It's frustrating, and the same can be said for communication gaps across different channels. Let's say a customer that communicates initially through email and then later through phone call wants to have the context from the original interaction apply to the second one.
To help your customer communication strategy flow better, it's essential that you couple regular inter-employee communication with emotionally intelligent marketing platforms that can account for cross-channel communications. Omnichannel solutions, for example, let companies use real-time targeting that considers customer actions across all channels.
By ensuring that employees are constantly updated with relevant customer activities, omnichannel platforms help you address customer concerns immediately and let you communicate with customers on a personal level.
Improving how you communicate with your customers will have both short-term and long-term impacts on your business. You'll close more sales in the short term by adopting customer-oriented communication. In a long time, building a reputation for being accessible, communicative, and understanding will make customers trust your brand and position your company for success.
Remember that orientation to customers' needs will always inspire positive action toward your brand. Users will always pay attention to your business if you make sure they feel appreciated. Engagement is the result of good and long-lasting relationships.
Your brand proposition must feel right, make sense, and convey compassion.
Find out more information on how Live product family can support and enhance your CX strategy.