Announcing our conversational customer experience platform.
Announcing our conversational cx platform.Get the scoop
Want to know what one of your biggest assets is?
For instance, consider these numbers:
It’s clear that the best customer engagement strategies will probably result in many business benefits. But most importantly, your customer engagement strategy should create a customer-centric organization which, in turn, fosters growth and customer loyalty. Getting there means giving customers value that goes beyond a simple transactional relationship.
To help you develop your own overall customer engagement strategy, here’s a guide on the nuts and bolts of customer engagement and eight strategies to try out.
Hubspot says customer engagement comes from ongoing interactions between company and customer, offered by the company, chosen by the customer. Different brands may define customer engagement in various ways, but, in essence, most of these definitions revolve around loyalty and lasting relationships.
This clearly brings the focus on the impact your interactions with customers have on their impression of your brand. Is a conversation with you just a fleeting online chat? Or is it part of a longer-term relationship that both customer and business benefit from?
We already looked into the hard numbers: customer engagement has direct and positive effects on multiple business outcomes.
In general, a great customer engagement strategy is what sets your business apart from competition. Some go as far as claiming customer engagement is the new marketing. Going above and beyond regular customer experience is the way to make your customers smile.
And one of the most important benefits to consider is simply, word of mouth.
Loyal customers are the best advocates. Word of mouth marketing drives $6 trillion of annual consumer spending and is estimated to account for 13 percent of consumer sales. Impressions from word of mouth result in 5x more sales than a paid media impression. People are even 90 percent more likely to trust and buy from a brand recommended by a friend.
Engage customers across multiple channels and offer unique experiences with Acquire's customer experience platform. Request a demo to see how.
Customer engagement is related but not synonymous with customer experience – it is a consequence of great customer experience.
Consumers are ready to pay more for better consumer experience. The question is, what exactly constitutes good consumer experience?
That’s the tricky part.
According to Deloitte ,"every consumer wants a different experience when shopping and that ‘experience’ has become the differentiating factor for many successful business models. However, businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to predict what consumers want as their expectations continue to change."
Deloitte also says that consumers are growing "less tolerant of brands that do not provide an easy and seamless experience."
So, where does customer engagement start?
Let’s check out a standard customer interaction route to find out.
Tom came across your brand’s advertisement on Facebook. He likes your offering and how you offer it. Next, he decides to visit your website for more information. Here, while he looks around, your chatbot initiates a conversation to help him understand your product better. Tom is now convinced, adding the item to his cart (or, sign up for a free demo if you are selling a service).
These steps show different levels of engagement on various levels. It begins the moment a customer starts taking action, perhaps having a conversation with your team or signing up for a product.
Customer engagement strategies aim to involve your customers in the evolution of your brand to the point of becoming advocates. Yet, in one survey, more than half of the companies interviewed had no formal customer engagement program in place.
To remedy that, here’s a list of eight top customer engagement strategies:
Here’s more on each strategy and how to increase customer engagement:
You can't start developing or implementing any customer engagement strategy without knowing who your customers are and how they interact with your brand.
A good way to start is to map your customer journey and find all important touchpoints, bottlenecks, and challenges your customers may meet. This will help you find out more about their needs and behavior as well as identify opportunities of engagement.
Concurrently, you can start constructing customer profiles or personas. Choose characteristics that make sense for your company. For example, if you are a SaaS company, returning visitors spending a long time on your pricing page may indicate a strong customer profile. For a financial institution, a specific credit score or financial history may work better.
Also, look into other important signals like location, income, motivations, or even what questions they ask can be useful to help you build personas and determine how to engage each one.
Books are often judged by their cover, especially when it comes to businesses. Users don’t have time to hang out on your website and dig up information about you. Businesses that speak clearly and concisely about their product are better at engaging customers.
For example, don’t design a site for yourself, design it for your customers. Tell them clearly who you are and what you do. Offer real-time support and be pro-active about starting conversations while you have their attention. More chance of a conversion. Live-chat support or face-to-face video calling to introduce your company will make prospects feel good about interacting with your brand. Remember though, don’t focus on the transactional value of the relationship. Instead, create a narrative showing what they can achieve with your product. Let them make the decision.
This is a great example of how to make a powerful up-front connection.
In the video, Mintt provides information about who they are, what they do, and how they do it. All without being sales-y at all.
Introductory calls, instructional videos, customer testimonials – all these tools help customers see your value from the offset.
Personalization is quickly becoming one of the most popular customer engagement strategies. And it makes sense – customers want services and products that are tailored to them and their needs.
And thankfully, there are many ways you can apply the principles of personalized service. It could be simple, like showing them an ad of an event near their location or using their first name in an email. And, it could be much more complex, taking advantage of machine learning and AI to offer hyper-relevant services.
If you're still at the beginning, you can start small: for example, a pre-chat survey is an excellent way of gathering some information about the user, so your team will know who they're talking to. Live chat and chatbots can also use "triggers" to send relevant messages based on criteria such as location, time on page, or number of pages viewed. This can be the starting point of a more personable service.
Take a look at digital customer engagement trends, like AR/VR, to get ahead of the curve, too.
Analytics is the backbone of customer engagement strategies. How do you know what works and what doesn't? What exactly do your customers like or dislike?
The right customer experience platforms can easily give you insights that you can use. For example, which pages of your website result in the most live chat inquiries? Or, how is your support team performing when interacting with customers?
If you're wondering what to measure, see these four customer engagement metrics you can use.
Feedback is a gift. But only if you know how to use it.
Carry out customer surveys to understand what drives value for your
customers. What triggers them to take action? What value do they perceive in your
product or service?
Use short and frequent surveys to find out.
Consider asking the following questions:
To improve the click-through rate, share them via text or chat on your site
rather than email.
Unhappy customers want to feel understood. Simply offering an immediate solution may leave them feeling like there's no human touch – that you just want to close the issue and move on.
Accept your mistakes and explain how you are going to deal with the situation. Your customers will feel better if you apologize, too, whenever it makes sense.
Besides, your unhappiest customers are also your most honest critics. Mine their complaints to gain honest insights into internal processes and inform your customer personas. Use this information as opportunities for improvement.
A Forrester Research Paper reveals companies can leverage visual engagement – through solutions such as co-browsing, screen sharing, and annotations – to “cut through the customer conversation clutter, to be better understood, and to connect emotionally.”
According to Forbes, customer service interactions involving co-browsing show customer satisfaction rates of 89.3 percent. Six points higher than the average! Aberdeen Group reports that businesses using visual engagement tools experience up to an 83 percent increase in annual revenue, as well as other positive growth.
Cobrowsing allows agents to view and interact with a customer’s web browser in real-time. They receive instant support and guidance. A sales representative could help customers complete their purchase if co-browsing is integrated into your e-commerce website. This massively improves the customer’s online shopping experience.
When it’s time to provide credit card details, lots of people drop out because of security issues. With the help of co-browsing, a sales executive can assist customers in filling out an order form, reducing cart abandonment rate considerably.
Co-browsing also improves customer engagement, teaching your customers how to do things most effectively. This saves time and improves the efficiency of your team. Stats show some businesses have seen an 18 percent improvement in first call resolution and a 14 percent reduction in call handling times by using an integrated co-browsing solution.
Research tells us 73 percent of customers to fall in love with a brand because of friendly customer service representatives. Furthermore, according to McKinsey, 70 percent of buying experiences are related to how the consumers feel they are being treated.
Clearly, the staff plays a massive role in engaging customers. Maybe that’s why Amazon – that strives to be the most customer-centric company on earth – enjoys such massive success. Yet, according to the CMO Council, only 14 percent of marketers believe that customer centricity is ranked high within their organization.
Improving customer engagement rate means adopting a customer-centric business model. Don’t simply focus on selling. Develop connections that go much deeper. Equip your customer-facing teams with the right technology and emotional intelligence training to do this. Only then can you deliver the best possible customer experience.
Your strategic and tactical playbook for running customer support in the era of the modern consumer.