Engagement is a hot topic in today’s business world, applying to both employees and customers. Engaged employees are more productive, and engaged customers increase retention rates and help your business flourish. If your business needs to improve its customer engagement strategy, follow these tips to boost your efforts.
Customer engagement is the connection and interaction between customers and your business. Engagement encourages customers to share in and interact with the experiences your brand and business creates for them. Engagement and retention go hand in hand, so companies must invest in customer engagement to maintain their client base. When properly executed, customer engagement strategies can foster loyalty and brand growth, while also contributing to retention rates. Rather than focusing on revenue, your business can look for ways to create value for customers, which makes them more interested in and willing to engage with your brand.
Customer engagement is the basis for brand loyalty, retention, and new business. A company with a 35% retention rate stepped up its engagement efforts by implementing 20 new strategies across its brand. With the new strategies in place, it projected its retention rate would increase to 60% over the next five years. Though you may not need to create 20 new customer engagement strategies, focusing more of your efforts on engagement can help your business grow.
A customer-focused organization starts with a strategy for engagement. In order to engage your customers, you need to find ways to provide them with a value that goes beyond transactions. In today’s business world, competition involves more than just offering the best product or service or delivering the lowest price. Businesses must stand out by providing something more to their clients, expressing their appreciation and encouraging them to be part of the conversations.
Loyal customers can become your best brand advocates and referral sources. Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most effective methods, as people are up to 92% more likely to buy from a brand recommended by someone they trust, according to a Nielsen report.
Use these steps to create a strategy that engages your customers and increases your retention:
Before you can hone in on your customer engagement strategy, it’s important to look at the experience your customers have when they interact with your company. Today’s consumers are happier with brands that provide seamless, easy buying experiences. Walkthrough the buying process on your website or with one of your salespeople to find out just how easy it is for your customers to purchase from your company. If you encounter any snags, work through them to ensure a smooth and positive experience for every customer.
Customer engagement stems from the ongoing interactions a customer has with a brand, not just a single social media post or giveaway. The interactions between experience, loyalty, and engagement all play a role in whether your customers will become engaged with your brand on a long-term basis.
In order to encourage customers to engage, it’s important to understand their behavior and what they are looking for from a company. You can utilize analytics from your site and social media pages to determine where people spend the most time and what content generates the highest engagement numbers. From this information, you can build target customer profiles or personas that help you identify those you want to engage with your brand. The data you collect about behavior can also drive your strategy, allowing you to provide valuable content and ways to interact.
Social media has exploded in the past few years as a tool for both personal connections and business interaction. Of the nearly 7.6 billion people on the planet, an estimated 2.95 billion of those people were on at least one social media platform in 2019. That number is projected to increase to over 3.4 billion by 2023. If your business isn’t using social media to interact and engage with customers, you could miss out on the potential to reach a significant group.
While social media helps people connect with your brand, it can also become a source for increased customer engagement. If someone chooses to like your page on Facebook or follow your brand on Instagram, they likely took that action because they believe that your business will offer something beneficial to them. Take advantage of that belief and provide them with valuable content, opportunities to ask for help, and get answers. Social media can become a tool within your engagement strategy, rather than just a platform for sharing information.
Most consumers also want to feel that their favorite brands value and appreciate them. Personalized ways to interact can boost loyalty, thus increasing engagement rates. Direct mail marketing is one strategy that can help a business stand out in a sea of emails and online ads. According to Neil Patel, a bestselling author, marketer, and entrepreneur, the ROI on a direct mail campaign is higher, on average, than both online display and paid search ads. Taking your direct mail customer engagement efforts to the next level by personalizing them can further the reach and increase positive outcomes.
Receiving something in the mail can help a customer feel excited by your brand and create a more interactive experience. However, the item you send will impact the overall response level. A generic flyer or postcard likely won’t feel as personal as a handwritten card or letter (see our in-depth guide for a customer appreciation letter sample). But your marketing team may not have the resources to produce customized cards for every customer with whom you’re trying to engage. Instead, you can use Handwrytten, a company that can boost your engagement efforts with scaled handwritten notes, available to businesses of all sizes.
With the right customer engagement strategy in place, your business can improve the way it communicates with customers while adding value and building brand loyalty. Use these tips to enhance your strategy and connect with your customers in new ways.
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