What does customer engagement really mean? Here’s Wikipedia’s definition:
“Customer engagement is an effect, a reaction, a connection, a response and/or an experience of customers with one another, with a company or a brand. The initiative for engagement can be either consumer – or company led and the medium of engagement can be on or offline.”
Truth is, the word ‘engagement’ means different things to different people. The latest poll in Marketing Week shows that clearly.
As a Customer Engagement Agency we believe customer engagement is about creating an experience for the customer that makes them feel so special they become loyal to the brand.
Creating an experience
Before you can even think about the experience you want to deliver, you need to understand the customer. So everything starts with data.
This customer insight will drive the tailored message and formats so everyone gets relevant, personalised communications on and offline. If this approach is followed, the first interaction with the brand will make the customer feel special so the desired experience begins.
Consistency is key, the same personalised experience must be delivered at every touch point across the business. Everything could fall down if a potential customer gets a personalised Direct Mail or email and goes to a generic web page. The two things just don’t match up, so suddenly the customer feels like they don’t matter. And we all know how that can feel!
Acquiring and keeping customers
The end result of great customer engagement is acquiring and keeping customers. So it’s important to continue personalised communications once they come on board because this will build brand loyalty. There’s a huge competitive advantage here too as many tangible things can be imitated but it’s very difficult to copy an experience. And remember it costs six times more to attract a new customer than it does to retain an existing one – so it’s worth the investment.
Customer engagement is a long-term strategy but it’s surprising how many businesses fail to personalise and engage customers throughout their journey. It’s probably due to time pressures, no available resource etc. but in our experience there’s a 30-40% increase in response rate when executing a personalised contact strategy.
So if you want to create a more personalised journey, where do you start? Well we’ve got some top tips coming up next week.
If you need help with customer engagement, get in touch.