Winning Customer Engagement Strategies
You may imagine that providing 5-star customer service and support is enough to keep your customers engaged with your brand, but it's not enough to guarantee customer loyalty.
Today, it's essential that your customers feel appreciated and valued, which requires a relationship-building strategy.
Implementing an omnichannel by offering multiple options for global support makes engaging with customers much easier and more efficient. Your options could be to blend email marketing, live chat, and social media channels from one console.
One significant benefit is that an omnichannel keeps customers engaged in one place, which reduces the chance of customer distraction if they leave one platform for another because they cannot find the support they want.
And remember to always ask your customers what support they want, rather than assuming their needs.
In this post, we'll discuss how to build brand loyalty by engaging with customers.
What is Customer Engagement and Why it Matters?
Customer engagement is a process of using a variety of channels to interact with your customer, with the intent to build and strengthen your relationship. You may engage with your customers via your website, social media, email, live chat, or anywhere your customers engage with content.
The purpose of your customer engagement strategies is to offer exceptional value independent of your products or services. Attracting customers is the easy part but retaining them is where the real work begins.
Often referred to as emergent marketing, your marketing efforts focus on providing personalized, relevant, and timely content to make your customers feel valued. Unlike the hard sell of direct marketing, you invite and encourage your customers to feel engaged with your brand. It can help to reduce customer churn, which, as a result, leads to a better ROI for your efforts.
The First Steps to Engaging with Customers
It's not difficult to implement customer engagement strategies. The following five tips will help get you started.
1. Start with Mapping your Customer Journey if you Haven't
Where does the customer journey begin, and have you prepared for the entire lifecycle of your customer, which starts before they buy?
Before implementing your customer engagement strategies, identify the customer's challenges on their purchasing journey. Be brutally honest in your assessment of the buyer's process and take appropriate steps to improve it.
For instance, are you receiving support tickets after the sale from customers expressing confusion on using the product? If so, you know to send a 'how to use' email immediately after the sale. You could create a short video or a PDF, making it easier for the customer and reducing support time for your team.
Get to know what matters to your customer. Learn their habits and motivations etc.
2. Optimize your Website and Focus on its UX
Your website is the face of your business. If a buyer has a poor experience on your website, the chances of converting to a sale or any CTA is improbable. When you're too close to a website project, it's easy to have blind spots, making it harder to put yourself in the buyer's shoes.
If possible, get an independent website assessment to highlight roadblocks or challenges, such as how easy it is to navigate the website.
Here's a brief website checklist
- Do you have organic inbound links so the buyer can find associated products and services easily?
- Is the metadata fully optimized for search engines?
- Are your titles and subheadings enticing?
- Does the content align with your headings?
- How easy is it to buy?
- Can the buyer easily understand the buying and checkout process?
- Have you optimized the checkout process? (Businesses lose a lot of business in the checkout stage)
- Are shipping costs transparent?
- How visible are support options?
- Does the site load quickly, and is mobile friendly?
- Is the design clean and uncluttered?
- Have you an (up to date) testimonial page?
There are dozens of other things you can do to improve the buyer experience on your website but check the above, and you may see a significant improvement in sales.
3. Focus and Track Customer Retention
Finding out where you are losing buyers is a positive step towards improving engagement with customers. Setting up data analytics can track improvements, or not, in customer retention.
Ask your customers what they love about their buyer's experience and invite negative feedback. Focus on continual improvement from customer feedback. Not only does this improve your business processes, but it engages customers because they feel heard when you implement their requests for improvements.
4. Personalize Customer Experiences.
Gone are the days when a business could succeed with a generic marketing campaign. Today, customers expect personalized service for every step of the buyer's journey.
The focus is on building strong relationships with your audience by showing them you care and listen to their needs.
Every aspect of your customer engagement strategies must include personalization.
The following are the main areas to improve engagement with customers -
Building relationships – find out what your customers want and give it to them. Set up an omnichannel and offer conversational customer service by training your team to focus on the relationship with the buyer instead of treating them as support tickets to be resolved as quickly as possible.
A warm, conversational approach leaves the buyer feeling good about the interaction, building reasons to stay engaged with your brand.
You can use software to track customer issues, which improves the buyer experience. For instance, imagine a customer has a problem and comments on social media, sends an email and then complains to live chat. The live chat team member opens the conversation with, 'Hello, Mrs X. I see you have had an issue with X, which must be very frustrating for you. I'm here to help you resolve this issue today."
It's a fabulous way to build loyalty because the customer –
- Doesn't have to repeat the story multiple times
- Feels understood and important to your company
- Feels they can trust the complaint system, which leads to trust in your brand
There's nothing more frustrating for a buyer than to report their issue repeatedly—the warmer your approach, the greater the chance of improving customer engagement.
Video chat – engaging with your customers via video chat is a unique way to create a personal connection. As most companies use text-based communication, video chat helps your company stand out. It offers tons of value on so many levels.
For example, if a customer has a product they're struggling to put together, a video chat can look at the problem and guide the customer through the process. Even retail stores can implement live video communication to improve the buyer experience.
Human beings are instinctively visual. Video chat forms a deep connection with your customer instead of text-based support, which can be open to misinterpretation by the customer.
Great account managers & support who know the worth of relationships – A friendly customer service team leads to happy customers because they associate a positive experience with your brand. Data suggests that 73% of buyers love a brand because of the friendly customer service they receive.
Take care of your team and train them to see the value of building relationships. Give them the best technology to make their job easier. Offer ongoing training and rewards for best practices. If your team is happy, they are more likely to contribute to greater engagement with your brand.
Be data-driven & don't forget to set engagement goals – without analytics, it's impossible to track progress. How can you learn what your customers like and dislike about their experience with your company without data?
You can set up CSAT surveys or NPS, but the best insights come from your customers. So a customer experience platform can be an invaluable source of data.
Establish your KPIs, set SMART goals and track progress.
Examples of essential data could be –
- What page of your website has the most live chat interactions?
- Which product or service has the most support issues?
- Who is the best-performing support team member? Analyze their results.
- Where are you losing buyers?
- Which social media channel has the most engagement and results?
- Which pages (or content) are getting the best search results?
Engaging with customers is the way to improve your ROI, but it's an ongoing process. Buying habits change over time, so always ask your customers what they want.
Align everyone within the company with your customer engagement strategies. Focus on improving the buyer's journey and watch brand engagement improve over time.
Consider adding video chat and setting up an omnichannel as a way for your company to stand out. Engaging with customers is a lifelong process for a business. The secret is to make it easier and more pleasant for customers to buy your products or services and contact support.