Customer Engagement: The Only Marketing Tool You Need
Keeping up with marketing trends in today’s frenetic environment can wear. You. Out.
Modern consumers, savvy and hurried, want more than a one-off transaction, and the minute you think you understand customer motivations, they shift. Bottom line—getting people to buy your product or service is the easy part. Creating a lasting relationship that keeps folks interested and loyal to your brand (what insiders call customer engagement) takes strategy, grit, and flexibility.
The Anatomy of Customer Engagement
Before tackling the science behind this buzzy industry term, let’s entertain a few statistics:
- Engaged customers bring in 23% more profitability, revenue and relationship growth.
- 56% of companies that excel at engagement surpass profit goals.
- 80% of customers say ongoing experience with a business is as vital as the products/services sold.
So, we’ve established that prioritizing customer interaction can help your business flourish, but how can you put this theory into practice? First, it helps to understand the relationship’s dynamics. Though engagement takes two parties, it starts with the company and must be chosen by the customer.
Sending an email doesn’t guarantee it gets read.
To nurture the connection, you must consider the kinds of exchanges your customers want and on what platforms they will best receive them. Here are some solid practices:
1. Keep it real and make it personal – If you want people to stick around, treat them like humans, not commodities. That means personalizing content at every stage: use their first name in correspondence (send a birthday postcard); understand transaction data so you can tailor products and services to their needs and behaviors (deliver market updates to prospective homebuyers); empathize with their problems and aim to create solutions (offer seasonal recipes to avid cooks).
Also, don’t be afraid to attack every point for potential customization: device, communication channel, time of day. The more accurate your aim, the more likely they’ll catch the ball and return the toss.
Isn’t that the heart of engagement?
2. Keep transitions seamless (aka, use omnichannel communication) – Imagine you’re speaking to a friend at a house party. The chat starts off in the kitchen while you both grab libations, then you make a natural migration to the living room. After a bit, your friend wants fresh air, so you head outside to the patio. By this point, you need snacks, so back toward the kitchen you trot.
If all goes well, the conversation maintains its rhythm regardless of locale. You don’t suddenly interrupt, change topics without warning, lean in too closely, or become distracted by another partygoer. Because that would be awkward and rude.
Omnichannel communication might sound complex, but—when executed properly—should play out like two pals at a party. Here’s how to make it happen from a marketing perspective:
- Map the clients’ touchpoints with your company from pre-transaction to post-transaction and every stop in between. This involves understanding their preferred avenues of interaction (website, social media, mobile app, kiosks, physical storefronts).
- Curate a strategy for service and reaching out that includes a mix of online and offline tools: chatbot, video chat, email, text messages, tutorials, FAQ pages. And let’s not forget the continued power of direct mail. The point is to keep things flowing in the manner they want, when and where they want it.
- Measure business metrics and make adjustments when necessary.
Closing Arguments and Key Takeaways
They key to business survival today entails prepping for the future, and marketing luminaries are shouting in every direction for companies to step away from one-size-fits-all strategies and prioritize customer engagement. In fact, many experts claim that mastering this authentic to and fro IS marketing for tomorrow. Like, all of it.
Figure out how to speak to your people and build a holistic, consistent approach to communication, and customers will stay by your side. On the upside, eating this elephant doesn’t have to claim the last remaining pieces of your free time and sanity.
Because outsourcing is a beautiful thing.
So, when you need software and print collateral to reach all your superfans, trust Xpressdocs, and watch customer engagement and conversion rates take off.