Engaging with customers is extremely important for customer retention and lead generation, particularly when it comes to digital selling. Establishing loyalty among prospects and leads enables you to convert them to customers. In order to do this, you need successful customer engagement.
According to the CMO Council, 70% of customers’ buying experiences are based on how they feel they are being treated. This means that most buyers privilege customer service over any other experience in the buying process… so why shouldn’t sellers? In order to improve the buying experience for your customers, some form of customer engagement strategy should be in place.
There are three categories customers can fit into when it comes to engagement. They can be totally engaged with you and your company, indifferent to it, or completely disengaged with it, and may even move to another brand. You want your customers to be in the totally engaged category, but it’s likely that the majority of customers from most businesses will be at the indifferent stage. Without customer engagement, how can buyer-seller relationships improve? Simple answer: it can’t.
A good example of a business that has a successful customer engagement campaign is Ryanair. After a poor reputation, especially in relation to customer service, Kenny Jacobs was appointed the CMO of the company. He brought in an “Always Getting Better Campaign” which focuses on customer service. Thanks to this initiative, Ryanair have made huge progress and their profits have increased by 66% because of these improvements. This shows that by investing in customer relations, both buyer and seller can benefit greatly. This also applies to digital selling, as interacting with customers online is also a great way to improve customer engagement and customer service.
So we’ve established the importance of customer engagement, but what should you consider when implementing a strategy? Before you begin to come up with some sort of plan of action ask yourself these questions:
- Are you directly interacting with customers online?
- Do you have a customer retention strategy?
- Are you and your sales and marketing teams frequently active on social media?
- Do you respond to customers when they ask questions online?
- Are you acknowledging your customers when they comment on the content you post online?
- Is your content engaging and valuable to your customers?
- Do you have a customer engagement strategy in place?
You should be answering “yes” to all of these questions for the most efficient customer engagement. But there are a few other important things about customer engagement that are sometimes overlooked that you should also take note of if you want to implement a strategy:
Create quality content
In order to fully engage with customers you need to provide them with online content that’s valuable and useful to them. Start by finding out what your customers value. Research their interests and align your content to suit them. This is very important for customer engagement as providing your buyers with content that they find interesting and helpful is key to establishing loyalty. Share your content on social media to make sure your customers see what you’re offering them. If your content is engaging and insightful to them, you’re well on your way to achieving successful customer engagement!
Be patient when converting leads to customers
Just like lead generation, conversion takes time. As long as you’re interacting and engaging with your customers and responding to their queries, you’ll be on the right track. It’s also important to engage with them throughout the entire buyer journey. Interact with them at every stage in order to establish the most efficient customer engagement. Don’t try to rush anything when you’re engaging with leads and existing customers. Take the time to get to know them and be patient with it as these things take time!
When sharing content, there’s always a danger of it resembling spam. This is due to oversharing promoted content on various social media platforms and via email. If you’re posting constantly trying to promote you and your brand, this will certainly come across as spam, and quite frankly, it’s annoying for social media users. This is because you’re not focusing on the customer. Customer engagement won’t succeed because you’re not engaging with them, you’re simply trying to sell to them. Make sure what you regularly share is valuable to new and existing customers, and only share the promotional content every now and again. Otherwise, you’ll end up losing followers and customers which is the opposite of what customer engagement aims to do. So don’t spam your prospects and existing customers with the content you create- keep it engaging!
Prioritize your customers
Don’t forget that when it comes to engagement, the customer should be your priority. According to Gallup, 86% of customers are willing to pay for a better customer experience, but only 1% feel that their expectations are being met. This further highlights the value of excellent customer service for buyers. Keep interacting with your customers, get to know them, and learn about their interests. Review what they like and what they don’t like about your customer service policy and adapt it to fit in with their needs. Nurture the leads you generate to make conversion easier. As long as you keep your customers a priority, you’re guaranteed to have better customer engagement!
The digital selling sphere is a great place to enforce customer engagement as so many prospects have social media accounts, making it very easy to engage with them. Interacting online is quick, easy, and instant, so it’s never been easier to engage. Keep prioritizing your customers throughout the buyer journey, and keep interacting with them. Listen to them, and be patient, and try not to spam them. Implement a flexible customer engagement strategy, so it’s easily adaptable because the internet is constantly changing and advancing. Customer engagement is so important for all types of businesses. As long as you keep interacting with and focusing on your customers, engagement will be successful and both you and your customers will reap the rewards!