When your company publishes a new blog post or social media update, is it typically met with immediate likes, comments and shares – or do you instead hear the sounds of cricket chirps echoing across the internet? The former, of course, is preferred, as it indicates a brand that has a good handle on customer engagement, which ultimately leads to customer success down the road.
What is Customer Engagement?
Customer engagement refers to the level and type of interactions a customer chooses to have with your brand. Encouraging your customers to interact with your brand takes more than smooth talking, and it’s definitely about more than just selling products. You want to create a valuable and memorable experience.
This could include valuable content, real-time customer support, a user-friendly website, entertaining social media posts and anything else that ultimately leads to customer success while helping people fall in love with your brand.
Why You Should Care
When people fall in love with your brand, they’re more apt to interact with it. And when they interact it with it, amazing things can happen. Customer engagement has been shown to:
- Improve cross-selling, with the power to increase it by 22 percent
- Increase customer retention, with interactions able to help you discover and remedy dissatisfaction that could otherwise lead to defection
- Enhance brand loyalty, with customers choosing to stick with you no matter what the competition is doing
- Encourage brand promotion, with loyal, happy customers often turning into vocal brand advocates who spread the good word of your brand to everyone they know
One more reason to care relates to the bottom line. One research model has shown that up to 66 percent of a company’s profits may rely on effective customer engagement.
Signs that Your Customers are Engaged
Your customers can show engagement, or lack of it, in a number of ways. You can get a feel for customer engagement by looking at all the ways customers can measurably interact with your brand. These include:
- Number of account logins
- Total number and amount of purchases
- NPS, or Net Promoter Score, where customers are identified through surveys as supporters, neutral or detractors
- Number of website visits
- Total page views per visit
- Social shares
- Email open rate
- Submission of user-generated content, such as guest blogs or testimonials
The higher the numbers or ratings are in each category, the more engaged your customers tend to be. Not all forms of engagement carry the same weight, and they all can be increased with strategies to boost engagement across the board.
How to Improve Customer Engagement
If you feel your engagement levels are low and your customers are rather ho-hum about your brand, you can work to improve customer engagement with a few savvy tips.
Humanize Your Brand
We say engagement comes from people interacting with your brand, but they’re really interacting with the people behind your brand. Set up a website section that introduces your team members, providing names, photos and interesting facts about them.
You may also select a passionate employee who is a natural communicator to be a brand spokesperson in blogs, webinars and guest articles to serve as the trusted face of your brand.
Showcase Snappy Personality
Social media and micro-content, such as text on call-to-action buttons, are prime places to showcase a bit of delightful personality. Use a casual and humorous tone on Twitter and other social channels, and add a burst of fun to the same old CTAs. Brand personality can really shine when your CTA button says something a bit more entertaining than “Click here.”
Really Listen to Your Customers
Whether you conduct surveys, monitor online conversations for mentions or both, pay attention to what people are saying about your brand. You can pick up clues on ways to improve your company that will likewise improve engagement – while showing customers you actually heed what they say.
Provide Phenomenal Content
Quality content that educates customers works to enhance the customer experience and increase overall satisfaction. Blog posts, instructional videos and knowledge bases stocked with useful articles keeps customer coming back for more, providing more and more opportunities to engage.
Personalization can take a variety of forms, from including customer names in email greetings to setting up algorithms that recommend products based on what they’ve viewed on your site. The key is to use personalization to make customers welcome, not spied upon. Use it wisely and it’s a valuable tool for increasing engagement.
Customer engagement is all about building mutually beneficial relationships that make customers excited to interact with your brand.