Successful customer engagement is essential for any business that wants to survive and grow.
It doesn’t matter how big your business is. Your marketing strategy should include a roadmap to optimize your customer interactions. This applies to both existing customers and potential customers.
By developing a clear strategy for customer engagement, you can put a plan in motion to attract new customers and build brand loyalty with your current customer base.
For more on the benefits of engaging with your customers and the tools that can help you do this, check out our recent blog post:
Effective Customer Engagement Strategies
There have never been more ways for companies to interact with their target audience. In the age of digital marketing and instant communications, customer expectations are also greater than ever. Here are some of the best customer engagement strategies for your business to put into practice today.
Get to Know Your Customers
To engage customers effectively, you need to know who they are. This includes their wants, needs, preferences, and pain points. Do some market research to find out what your target audience is looking for and how you can provide this.
Marketing intelligence tools can help you stay up to date on the latest trends in your industry.
Offering free and relevant content in exchange for emails and newsletter sign-ups will allow you to build up an organic contact list. You can then use surveys and questionnaires to gain more insights into what your customers want.
As you learn more about your customers, you can segment them into groups. This makes it easier to tailor engagement efforts to their specific needs.
Provide Great Customer Support
Whether you’re a small eCommerce store or an established tech enterprise, you need to promote engagement throughout the customer lifecycle. Adopt a customer-centric approach from the prospect stage to post-sales. Respond to customer queries and comments. Do your best to resolve any issues as quickly as possible.
If a customer wants to contact you outside normal business hours, they should have options beyond sending an email or filling out a contact form. Help Desk and Contact Center suites like Zendesk or Bright Pattern offer many tools that can help you improve your customer service.
A knowledge base is a resource that may include FAQs, how-to guides, tutorial videos, or even community message boards. By setting up a knowledge base on your website, you can give customers a self-service option. Many buyers would rather find the information they’re looking for without any help.
AI-based chatbots can answer simpler questions or direct customers to where they can find answers on their own. These bots can also open tickets for your support team or forward customers to a human rep. While chatbots are growing in popularity, many users would rather connect to a live service agent right off the bat.
Live chat and messaging via text or video are great ways to engage with both loyal customers and prospects. This conversational approach provides both instant communication and a personal touch. This will bring both new and current customers closer to your business. Co-browsing capabilities allow agents to access customer screens to speed up purchases or sign-ups. Customers will also appreciate the extra attention.
Make sure your customer engagement software offers backlogs with a record of customer interactions across all your channels. Conversations across touchpoints should be saved, merged, and easily accessible. This will make it much easier to assist those with past issues and avoid future ones.
Establish a Customer Loyalty Program
Creating a customer loyalty program is a great way to keep your customer base engaged with your brand. This usually involves a point system that offers special discounts or even free goods and services to repeat customers. Partnerships can be established with other companies to diversify program benefits. You may even offer your most loyal customers preferential access to new products as they’re launched.
Ideally, these programs should also create incentives in exchange for referrals of new customers. The result should be increased customer retention and an increased share of revenue coming from subscribers. Loyalty programs can also serve as a beacon to attract new customers.
Gamify your Interactions
Gamification involves using gaming engine technology to make customer interactions more engaging. Many gamification products focus on interactive learning. Marketers have also realized the value of gamification for engagement, retention rates, and sales.
So how does gamification work in practice?
The idea is to tap into human tendencies toward instant gratification, peer recognition, and the desire for fun experiences. For example, customers can participate in quizzes or puzzles in exchange for rewards, discounts, or loyalty points. This can be done on your website, social accounts, or even in email campaigns.
Sales gamification tools like Alvaria can inspire healthy competition among sales or customer success teams as they battle for prizes, company swag, or better placement in virtual leaderboards. Call center tools like Genesys also incorporate gamification to reduce on-the-job attrition for service reps and agents by putting some fun into daily workflows. If your employees are more engaged and less stressed, service quality and customer rapport should also improve.
By motivating users to take action and associating your brand with a sense of achievement, customers will associate you with positive experiences that they’ll want to repeat.
Manage Customer Relationships
Customer relationship management is a key component of customer engagement platforms. Many CEPs have native CRM, in addition to core features like customer journey tracking and omnichannel interactions.
Customer relationship and customer engagement are very closely connected. CRM providers such as Salesforce or Zoho CRM offer many features and tools to help vendors engage with their customers. These include live chat, email marketing, customer data, help desks, and support ticketing.
Other engagement solutions like Twilio enable third-party and API integrations with CRM software.
If you’re selling more complex products like B2B software, customers will expect a dedicated customer success team. This support expectation may also extend itself to projects, campaigns, onboarding, and troubleshooting. As your client list grows, CRMs will become more important to keep track of and engage with all your customer accounts.
Build Your Social Media Presence
Social media networks have become a part of daily life both for keeping in touch with friends or loved ones and shopping for goods and services. Find out which social channels your customer base uses the most and build a strong presence there. This is an inexpensive way to engage with your audience and generate demand for your products.
If your business has a B2C focus, social commerce within platforms like Facebook and Instagram let you sell directly to consumers. If you’re selling SaaS solutions, LinkedIn posts can showcase your brand to corporate decision-makers.
As your business grows, you’ll need to invest more resources in video production, photography, or graphic design for branded posts. You may even find it necessary to hire social media managers or a social marketing firm to get the most engagement out of your social accounts. For those who are starting out, there are many marketing tools for small businesses that help you do a lot of the work yourself.
Start a Blog
Starting a blog on your website is a great way to generate traffic and engagement. Over time, it allows you to establish your expertise, giving your brand more credibility and authority.
Content management systems like Adobe Experience Manager can help you create and distribute engaging content. This will keep users interested in what you’re selling and what you have to say. By frequently posting relevant content, you can raise brand awareness and build an emotional connection with your readers. This will keep your current buyers engaged and even help you attract new customers.
Content marketing tools such as Uberflip use audience profiling to help you create targeted content. Content performance in terms of impact on the buyer journey can be tracked using analytics and dashboards. You can also determine which content should be delivered to specific channels.
Optimize the Customer Experience
Engaging customers in the most effective way requires in-depth knowledge of how they interact with your brand.
Customer journey mapping and analytics tools like Totango can help you track the buyer journey on all your channels. This software helps identify preferences by showing you how a customer engaged with your websites, social pages, or emails. You can also spot bottlenecks where user interest dropped off.
Unified customer data is a standard feature of customer engagement software. Automation features allow that data to be used selectively in your interactions and conversations. This helps you create personalized messages and present your customers with the most relevant content.
If you can track and make personalized responses to customer behavior on your channels, you’re on your way to optimizing their experience. A customer that’s had a great experience with your brand is more likely to recommend you to others on forums, review sites, or even word of mouth.
Launch Targeted Campaigns
Customers can be engaged proactively through campaigns on social media, search engines, and email. Ads on social media and search platforms can be targeted to users based on preferences, search history, and location.
Personalization is crucial to optimize the customer experience online and target customers effectively. With AI and machine learning, it’s now possible to send automated personalized messages to users. Emails also become far more appealing if you address recipients by name, suggesting things they’re interested in.
Some customer engagement software like Iterable supports cross-channel marketing campaigns. Automated messages target users with specific offers based on their online activities. Drip campaigns triggered by specific events can also target and re-target customers.
Webinars can also be effective tools for both engagement and demand generation. Live video events give you the chance to speak directly with your target market while giving them the chance to make real-time comments in a chat box. Many influencers and brands like to use webinar events as part of social media campaigns. They use browsing preferences to target those who might be interested in what they have to offer.
H3: Define Key Metrics and Performance Indicators
Metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) are essential to measuring the performance of your engagement efforts. Here are some important metrics and KPIs to keep in mind:
|Percentage of customers that leave your page without taking action.
|The rate at which customers cancel a service or fail to renew. This is more relevant for B2B and subscription services.
|The number of clicks your ads or emails received compared to the number of impressions.
|Instances where customers took a desired action divided by the number of interactions. This typically refers to the purchase of a product or service.
|The number of repeat customers over a given timeframe.
|Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)
|The percentage of positive responses to your goods and services.
|Qualitative feedback from comments on review sites, forums, social media, or direct feedback through your channels.
|Tracks the percentage of your followers that are actively involved with your brand through likes, shares, and comments on social media. It gauges the efficacy of your social campaigns.
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
|A metric that measures the quality of customer experience and user satisfaction with a product or service. This is done by asking participants the likelihood that they would recommend your product, on a scale of 1-10. 9’s and 10’s are generally considered to be promoters.
Engage Customers to Improve Business Outcomes
The combination of strategies you choose to engage with your customers will depend on customer preferences, your budget, and your business goals. Specialized tech stacks with a variety of products may be best for retailers and large enterprises. For small businesses, one or two software with a strong customer engagement focus may be enough.
Customer engagement is an integral part of the business cycle. It should be approached as a constant and never-ending undertaking. No matter how big or how small your business is, as long as you have customers you’ll need to do your best to reach out to them as effectively as possible.
Many tools on the market can help you optimize your customer engagement. TrustRadius gives buyers access to in-depth reviews, so you can pick the ideal tools for your customer engagement strategy. If you’re a software vendor, TrustRadius can help you leverage the voice of your customers and use verified intent data to identify the best buyers.
If you’ve used a customer engagement platform in the past, please leave a review to make your voice heard and help other software buyers in the process.
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