“Engagement” is probably one of the most favorite words among digital marketers. But then, what is its real value in the business?
Gartner believes that customer engagement can boost the brand experience, promote consumer loyalty, enhance customer experience, and provide valuable insight and feedback.
It may also speed up the sales funnel velocity. This simply means it may help companies convert high-quality qualified leads into customers more quickly.
Meanwhile, a Constellation Research study revealed that improving engagement with its audience could help businesses raise their cross-sell revenue by as much as 22%. It also increases upsell sales by almost 40%.
Although customer engagement should be one of the priorities of marketers these days, it’s not the easiest process to do. Some are stuck with run-of-the-mill strategies that fail to uplift the product or the brand (or both).
Entrepreneurs and marketers may help resolve that by becoming more creative and exploring other sources of engagement, like the following:
1. Feature Suppliers or Vendors
In many ways, companies and their products can only be just as good as their suppliers or vendors. Take, for example, the huge criticism fast fashion apparel like Gap received over the years or the growing demand for not only sustainable but also ethically sourced raw materials.
For many, the quality isn’t the problem but the source. Consumers may feel more at ease to shop in the store or trust the product when they can also see everyone that participates in its creation.
Thus, for those engaged in food manufacturing or even mining, they can feature an interview with a filter cloth manufacturer, for instance. Businesses can walk consumers through the warehouses, offices, or even manufacturing plants of their suppliers.
2. Prioritize Customer Experience
As a popular marketing adage goes, focus on the customers first and the rest, like profit, will follow. Indeed, customer experience is what sets apart the likes of Amazon from other e-commerce hubs in the world.
Although Amazon offers customers a convenient platform for shopping, its add-ons like Prime Membership and fast delivery services make it even more appealing.
In 2019 alone, Prime subscription revenues reached almost $20 billion. That’s about 35% higher than the previous year.
Contrary to what some business owners think, offering an excellent customer experience doesn’t need to be elaborate or even costly. Here are some ideas they can consider:
- Focus on consumers than metrics for customer support. Metrics are essential to benchmark the performance of a customer support team, but it should never be-all, end-all. Even more important, they must not get in the way of quality customer experience. A perfect example of this is Zappos, which lets go of call time tracking. This way, their team can direct their attention more to the consumer’s concerns.
- Understand customer needs. Just because a business has the same model as McDonald’s doesn’t mean they have the same customer profile. Many factors such as age, location, and demographics can affect that. Companies, therefore, need to take time to truly know who their customers are. They can even create a buyer persona for better comprehension. Then, they can use the information to design the ideal customer experience.
- Use tech to make the experience more pleasurable. Allow customers to buy the products online and pick them up at their desired location. Provide various options for cashless payments. Simplify the shopping cart process to significantly decrease cart abandonment.
3. Reward Loyalty
Sometimes businesses spend more time on lead acquisition and less on lead nurturing and customer retention. That can be a problem as studies already show it is more expensive to look for a new client than to take care of the existing ones.
In fact, it can be five times costlier, according to HubSpot. Moreover, loyal customers are more profitable for the business. They are at least 50 times more likely to try a new product than 31% of new customers.
Companies need to value loyalty, but the question is how. One of the tried-and-tested methods is a loyalty program.
Based on surveys, almost 70% of customers say that such programs can influence their brand or store loyalty. They also know the importance of these plans.
Over 75% claimed that loyalty programs help foster their relationship with the brand. About 65% of retailers, on the other hand, shared that these offerings promote connection with their consumers.
Lately, when someone says “customer engagement,” the mindset zeroes in on stronger social media presence or online reviews. Companies can do more than that to connect with their target market. They can add more value to what matters more: relationships and experience.