Customer engagement is a very popular buzzword for online businesses. It measures a brand’s interactions with customers at all touchpoints during their entire lifecycle. Brands can build and strengthen a connection with customers by engaging them on a variety channels. This adds value beyond mere transactional relationships.
Customer engagement has many benefits
One might wonder if customer engagement is really effective in reaching business goals when there are so many marketing tools at one’s disposal.
1. Loyalty and stronger customer relationships are key to a healthier customer base
Online businesses have outperformed traditional offline business models in nearly every way, thanks to their ability to capitalize on rapidly expanding internet penetration around the world. Yes, online businesses have yet to master the art of building long-lasting, sustainable relationships with customers. This is what drives profitability and loyalty.
A customer engagement strategy is crucial to helping brands build a better relationship with customers and keep them as loyal customers. You will build stronger relationships with your customers if you make an effort to engage them across multiple channels and touchpoints beyond just what is necessary to get them to buy. You will build stronger relationships with your customers if you talk to them about their interests and keep in mind their priorities, aspirations, and needs.
Your customers will be more likely to buy from you if you offer more than your product or service. This will allow you to build a loyal customer base that is willing to pay more than the price of the product or service.
2. Customer retention is improved and churn is reduced
Research shows that a 5% increase on customer retention will result in a more than 25% increase in profits. These and other notable studies have shown that customers who are engaged drive a large percentage of a company’s total revenue. This data shows that online businesses must focus on maintaining existing customers.
While there are many strategies that marketing and customer-facing staff can employ to retain customers, the primary tactic for every business is to actively engage customers and nurture customer relationships. A customer engagement plan will help ensure that your relationship doesn’t end with the purchase but continues to grow. You can reach out to your customers through their preferred channels to explain the USPs of your products/services, help them make the most, and introduce new functionalities and trends to the industry. All to ensure that they can benefit from your offerings.
3. Greater cross-sell and up-sell opportunities
Analyzing the data from your engagement campaigns will allow you to determine what works for each segment of customers and give you an idea about their behavior attributes. This information will allow you to personalize and tailor your recommendations, and target cross-selling and up-selling opportunities. This will increase your average customer lifetime value and ticket sizes, as well as help you deliver more relevant and intelligent recommendation that is more likely to be liked by your customers.
4. Subscribers increase
Your audience will only subscribe to your newsletter, blog push notifications or newsletter if you add value to their lives or provide solutions that meet their needs. Engaging with your audience regularly and in a relevant way can help them see the value of your business and justify giving you a piece. They will be more inclined to sign up for your brand communications to receive the most current industry trends and best deals. Engaging customers by delighting them consistently can help you win their trust or even pique interest in your company and its offerings.
You can also maintain contact with your audience on different channels. This will help them to recognize your brand and connect with it better. It will also motivate them to sign up for your communications, rather than a brand they don’t hear from. Engagement is a great way to grow your subscriber lists.
5. Purchase cycles that are shorter
Engagement is not just for existing customers. It can also be used to shorten the sales cycle and convert prospects. It can be very effective in motivating prospects to give your company a try if it is well planned and executed. There are many ways to engage your prospects, whether it’s informing them about best practices, making information discovery easier, anticipating their needs and addressing them.
This is a great opportunity to target different audiences (depending on their buying stage) and to show that you are able to offer more than your competition, not just in pricing. Consistent engagement can be a great way to retarget prospects and keep your eyes on their minds, so that you can positively influence their purchasing decisions. This will automatically draw prospects to your company, which in turn reduces the workload on sales staffs by shortening sales cycles.
6. More brand ambassadors
It won’t take long before customers start to engage with you regularly. It shouldn’t be difficult for you to gain more customers who trust and recommend your products/services. Engaging with customers can help you build a community that is highly satisfied and easy to turn into evangelists.
Once they’re smitten by your communication, they won’t hesitate to promote or recommend your business in any public forum as well as to their friends and family.
7. Unique brand identity
Although all of your marketing efforts will undoubtedly align to create, foster and maintain a unique brand identity, there’s no magic bullet that can ensure you’ve done enough. Customer engagement is only one way to help you maintain a distinct brand identity. An omnichannel engagement strategy that puts customers’ needs first and provides a clear path for ongoing and relevant engagement can help establish a distinctive tone of communication that allows customers identify with your brand.
Every targeted newsletter, social media post and blog article that speaks directly to your customers will help you to stand out from the crowd and create a unique brand identity.
8. Customer services – Enhanced
This is a key pillar in running a business. 93% of customers are likely to purchase again from brands that provide excellent customer service. Engagement is essential to customer satisfaction. Customers see it as a way of showing that you care and are available for them when they need you. Engaging them in the channels they use most allows them to communicate with you, raise concerns and even contact you without needing to call a customer service number or visit the portal. They are reminded repeatedly of the benefits of your product/service, and they feel more connected with your business. These factors all add up to ensure customer satisfaction (CSAT), is high.