Customer engagement is the emotional connection and interactions between a buyer with a brand. Successful engagement equates to customers buying more, as well as established brand loyalty amongst consumers.
But customer engagement is unique, and cannot be simplified to one meaning.
The customer experience goes beyond face-to-face interaction from friendly employees although this is also very important and should not be neglected.
The experience can also be established through alluring visuals, personalized experiences, and customer outreach. Here's a guide into the fundamentals of customer engagement for every industry.
Customer Engagement Platform
To improve the customer experience, it needs to be clear that an employer isn't just trying to persuade a consumer to spend money. A clear established relationship between a business and a consumer is how a company strengthens customer loyalty with their brand.
There are several ways companies can engage with consumers through a variety of channels. Many companies utilize social media, websites, blog postings, or other forms of communication to introduce their brand to consumers, followed by building customer relationships.
By establishing this relationship, this illustrates a value beyond products and services. Brands have the potential to implement customer engagement strategies in a variety of ways. For example, in 2014 Coca-Cola launched the marketing campaign
Why Customer Engagement is Important
As business shifts to the online world, companies are focused on the number of clicks, conversions, and how branding is being perceived on the world wide web.
But what makes a business more profitable and successful is the engagement it has with its customers outside of purchasing products. If there is an emotional connection to a brand, this will retain customers to create a sustainable and profitable company. Companies that provide an emotional connection with customers outperform the sales growth of their competitors by 85 percent.
In other words, customer success equals business success. A business's success depends on its ability to aid the growth of its customer and deliver value throughout a customer's journey. To achieve this mutual relationship, companies must remain proactive by personalizing communication.
Humanizing a brand is also a way to build customer experience. For example, find an employee within a certain business who fits the personality of the brand, and someone who is a natural communicator. This person can turn into a credible leader for business. To create an opportunity to put a voice to the brand humanizes the company, and this will increase engagement amongst all audiences.
Calculating Customer Engagement
Several factors go into calculating customer engagement. The most important metrics to begin calculations are-
1. Guest checkout rates - Guest checkout rates are the number of customers who complete a purchase without creating a user account. To calculate this rate, it's the number of orders completed by a guest/total number of orders.
2. Purchase frequency - Purchase frequency is how often a customer purchases at a certain store. To calculate, take the number of orders in the last 365 days/number of unique customers over the last 365 days.
3. Average order value - AOV is the average amount a consumer spends when they purchase something. To calculate AOV, take the total revenue over the last 365 days/total number of orders placed in the last 365 days.
4. Repeat purchase rate - RPR is the percentage of customers who've made more than one purchase at one store at a certain time. To calculate this rate, find the number of customers that bought more than once/ by the total number of customers.
In order to accurately account for this data, it is recommended to establish a loyalty program that requires specific guest information, like a name and phone number or e-mail address, to confirm the identity of each purchaser. Simple data collection like this will account for the buying patterns and trends of each individual.
Measuring Customer Engagement
To find a pattern to measure customer engagement, there are many useful metrics to estimate engagement levels for online purchasing.
1. The average time customer spends on a page - If a visitor is staying on a page longer than 45 seconds, that business has captured their interest. This means that their willingness to explore other components of the website, and are curious to know more about the company, which increases the engagement rate.
2. Amount of open and click-through rates - For channels, such as emails, push notifications, or Instagram stories, an open rate is the percentage of opens received, and click-through rates represent the percentage of people who clicked on any given message. Both of these measurements give immediate insight into how engaged or unengaged customers are.
3. Social media presence - Social media pages are where companies can have the greatest influence on their audience, and it's especially beneficial because it's entirely free! If consumers have decided to follow the page, that means they have some interest in the brand. A business must stay engaged over social media by replies, likes, tags, comments, Q&A's, and Instagram live stories. Being active on social media will indicate how well an audience is engaged with a business, as well as work as free marketing.
4. Customer referrals - By keeping customers engaged, businesses are ensuring that these customers become advocates of the business. If a customer has a reoccurring positive experience with a business and its products, there's a strong likelihood that they're telling their friends and family about it too. Customer referrals boost engagement and boost profit.
5. Reoccurring purchases - If a business is active on multiple channels, a customer may think of that business first before making a purchase. Using reward programs can drive even more purchases with ongoing deals or rewards. When a business sees a percentage of repeat purchases this is an indicator of effective customer engagement.
6. User feedback - To receive informative insight it's imperative to monitor and analyze customer feedback to figure out what customers enjoy, what they feel is lacking or any improvements that should be made. By telling a business about how they're doing, this serves an indictor for engagement.
How to Boost Engagement
1. Continuously collect and incorporate customer feedback.
When evaluating marketing efforts and strategies, customer feedback is the most accurate data to rely on. Using customer feedback can uncover opportunities that data might miss. Feedback is also a way to engage customers. By companies asking to hear their opinions, this makes customers feel appreciated and heard. This assures consumers that their feedback is being taken seriously, and therefore, creates trust between a company and its customers.
2. Personalize customer experiences.
For businesses to boost their amount of customers, employers need to convince consumers that it's not just about money, but that the company cares about its clients. To do this, employers must personalize messages by targeting customer behaviors, demographics, and interests to tailor to a wide variety of customers.
3. Create exclusive engagement strategies for reoccurring consumers.
If companies have a large pool of loyal and engaged customers, they need to foster and strengthen those relationships. Engagement should be consistent so the customer sees that a company values their business and their loyalty. By giving reoccurring customers sneak peeks into new product launches, VIP events, or incorporating customer feedback businesses can count on those customers to interact with the brand by increasing traffic and engagement.
Benefits of Customer Engagement
There are a number of reasons why companies should put customer engagement before anything else. Implementing well-thought-out strategies can do wonders for any business.
Strong customer relationships that lead to loyalty
An effective customer engagement strategy guides brands into a better connection with their customers. By making the efforts needed to maintain healthy customer relationships, such as active social media presence, and interact regularly about what's relevant to the customer it shows them that a company cares.
When a business shows a customer the relationship is not just about revenue, this strengthens it. As a business offers more to a customer than just a product or service, those customers will almost always come back whenever they're thinking of making a purchase. Humanization directly correlates to more loyal customers.
Better customer service
Having a history of strong customer engagement also means that a business is likely providing better customer service. 96 percent of customers say customer service is important in their choice of loyalty to a brand. If customers are receiving great customer service the more likely they'll come back again or even tell a friend.
Improves customer retention
Engaged consumers create repeat business. If a customer forms a positive relationship with a business, they will most likely become a repeat customer. To become a credible and trustworthy company the relationships with its customers should never stop at purchase but continues to grow from there. Customer service, responding to feedback, or sending personalized messages/offers are all factors that go into customer engagement and retention.
Powerful brand identity
It takes 5 to 7 impressions for customers to remember a brand. Companies must maintain a unique brand identity to create peak performance. Customer engagement is one of the many components when constructing a brand identity. By engaging with customers it can set apart one company from another by having customers identify with a brand.