8 Customer Engagement StrategiesCharlie Bedell
Do you wish you knew what your customers think about your business?
In a perfect world, you would be able to anticipate your customers' needs as soon as they find your organization and provide excellent service throughout their customer journey. The best way to find out more about your customers and create lasting relationships is by engaging with them. Highly engaged customers buy more, promote more, and are more loyal over time. In fact, 63 percent of customers want organizations to make getting to know them better a top priority.
By putting customer engagement strategies into practice, you can ensure that you’re building relationships with customers that result in growth and success for your business.
Keep reading to learn more about customer engagement, its benefits, and best practice strategies to put into place.
What is customer engagement?
Customer engagement explores how organizations build ongoing, long-term relationships with their customers. It focuses on the quality of the customer-business relationship and how it influences customers’ decision-making and loyalty.
It’s important to note that customer engagement is not the same as customer experience or satisfaction – though they do overlap.
- Customer experience (CX) is the impression your customers have of your business as a whole throughout all aspects of the buyer journey.
- Customer satisfaction is how happy customers are with an organization’s offerings and service.
While customer experience and satisfaction are all about what a business can do to influence customers, customer engagement acknowledges customers’ own agency and choice in the buying process. Customers are seen as active, equal participants in the sales journey rather than passive recipients.
Customer engagement helps us understand how customer experience and satisfaction are about tailoring your organization’s sales to your customers, not just your offerings or your business.
Benefits of using customer engagement strategies
You shouldn’t overlook creating a customer engagement strategy – it’s a worthwhile investment for the long-term health of your organization. See the various ways your business can benefit when you prioritize these strategies.
Better sales and revenue
An engaged customer subscribes to your newsletter so they can be aware of the sales you’re running, or learn about new product offerings. They might enter a contest on your social media page or share your business’ content with people in their network. The more you consciously and proactively connect with customers and build relationships with them, the more likely you’ll see your work returned in the form of faster sales and more revenue.
And oftentimes, customer engagement strategies don’t cost a lot of money – or may not cost anything at all. They allow your business to see profit without spending a lot of money.
Opportunities for growth
Engaged customers know you and trust you. They return for additional sales or upsells and recommend you to others. This turns into effortless growth for your organization over time.
Instead of spending time searching for new prospects, your engaged customers create a customer base for you. In turn, your business can focus time and money on doing the best work possible.
Your business is nothing without your customers – and engaged customers mean your business has serious potential to grow.
Customer feedback and insights
Customer engagement is a two-way street. Your customers need to know your business' offerings, but your business needs to be aware of what customers think and feel – good or bad.
Customer engagement strategies create opportunities for you to hear feedback from your customers and make changes based on that insight.
Increase customer loyalty and trust
By engaging with customers – and showing that your business takes what they have to say seriously – you build loyalty that turns new visitors into trusting fans. Customers who feel seen and heard are more likely to stay loyal over time. Customer engagement strategies make sure you retain your customers.
And your customers (and hopefully their friends and family!) will appreciate getting their needs solved by a trustworthy business like yours.
This is important for your business’s continued success.
Improve customer satisfaction
Get customer engagement right, and customer satisfaction will soon follow.
Customer engagement is directly correlated to customer satisfaction. Highly engaged customers are likely to be more satisfied with your business and its offerings – and provide more ways for your business to grow their satisfaction even more.
8 customer engagement strategies
Ready to start engaging your customers? Start using any of these customer engagement strategies to capture your audience’s attention
Here are 8 best practices to help you build your customer engagement today.
1. Develop helpful content
Before you even speak to a customer for the first time, they’re likely searching for information about your organization and offerings.
Make sure the content they encounter is as personalized and engaging to what they’re searching for as possible.
First, consider your customers’ path to purchasing your product or service:
- Where will they start and end?
- What questions will they have?
- What features or services will they be looking for at different stages before buying?
Then, make sure you create content for the main types of customers your business serves. Customer will be interested in learning how your offerings will work for their specific needs.
Quality content isn’t just for new customers – your existing customers will continue to engage with your content as they return to your business. When your content is interesting and helpful, customers begin to recognize you as an authority in your field. Trust and loyalty are built steadily once you’ve helped your customers understand a complex topic or solve a problem.
2. Create a unique brand voice
Part of your content creation efforts should include a clear brand voice.
Building a voice for your business’s brand isn’t hard. Consider these questions when deciding your brand’s voice:
- How do you want your customers to feel when engaging with your business?
- What words would you use to describe your business’s services or products?
Everything that comes from your business should reflect your brand. This will ensure customers recognize your business as consistent, authentic, and trustworthy – which encourages customers to engage with your business
3. Build a social media presence
Social media sites like Instagram and Facebook are where your customers go to connect with friends and family – and your business.
Engage with customers by building a social media presence. These platforms provide a way for your customers to share their praise or express their concerns.
The best part? Your business’s social media channels allow you to communicate with customers without ever seeing them face-to-face. Respond to comments, repost user content, show support for causes important to your customers, and provide helpful resources to nurture an even deeper relationship with them.
4. Reward customer loyalty
You want customers to be loyal to your business because of your great products and services – but there’s nothing wrong with encouraging loyalty with rewards!
Businesses reward customer loyalty with strategies like:
- Stamp or punch a card each time customers use your business that leads to a free product or service
- Send short mail or email messages to customers who recently worked with your business offering a coupon code
- Allow customers to collect points and achieve rewards through a mobile app or online account
Customers get excited about engaging with organizations that recognize and reward their loyalty. If you don’t have a rewards system in place, consider starting with a simple loyalty program. When customers participate in these programs, your CLV (customer lifetime value) can see a significant boost. Retaining customers is always less expensive than acquiring, making a loyalty program an invaluable asset to your business.
5. Offer online customer service
Even if your organization isn’t based online, most of today’s customers expect to receive service from your business online.
Provide easy-to-use customer service information online as another avenue to engage customers. This can be achieved through an FAQ page on your website, a support portal with a chat bot, or contact information like a phone number and email address.
Making it easy for your customers to get quick support from you online will ensure your customers:
- Feel heard and valued
- Have a personalized way to engage with your business
- Contact your organization for help instead of your competitor
6. Support your sales and customer service teams
Happy sales and customer service teams result in happy customers. In fact, 73 percent of customers become loyal to a business after engaging with friendly customer service representatives.
Your business’s customer-facing staff play an important role in engaging customers – and making sure that engagement is positive. Despite this, it’s easy for organizations to forget to support their sales and customer service teams like they support their customers.
Make sure your sales and support teams have the right technology, the most up-to-date training, and rewards for their hard work. When your team is happy and engaged, they’ll be ready to make your customers happy and engaged, too.
7. Encourage customers to leave feedback – and act on it
Customer feedback is a great way to improve your business and its offerings. It’s also a great way for your business to engage with customers and start building meaningful relationships with them. But only if you act on the feedback and reviews customers provide.
Show you listen to your customers by implementing their feedback into your product or service. Then, make sure you let customers know that the changes you’re making are a result of their feedback. This cycle will create engaged customers, build loyalty, and show that customer satisfaction is paramount.
8. Personalize your customers’ sales experience
Everyone likes to feel special, and this is no different for your customers!
Organizations should work to personalize different parts of the buyer’s journey. This makes customers feel important to your business and increases their satisfaction when they ultimately do purchase your products or services.
A few ways to personalize the sales experience include:
- Ask customers to fill out a brief survey highlighting their needs and use it to make personalized recommendations for them
- Keep an online file or account for each customer to store preferences and purchase history to use for future sales
- Implement software on your website that offers customers recommendations based on their previous purchases or search history
- Send email campaigns to specific groups of customers that suggest new features, products, or services that will appeal to that group
While personalizing the way you engage with customers can take time, the effort will have exponential rewards when customers spend more money with your business more often.
Engaging with your customers in meaningful ways isn’t difficult – but you must be intentional to do it well.
Put these customer engagement strategies into practice at your organization and see how they improve your business’s outcomes. Soon, your business will have a loyal, happy customer base who looks forward to engaging with you and your staff.