Companies that devote their resources to the customer experience grow a revenue 4-8% higher than their competitors. This is because today's consumers expect companies to focus on their wants and needs.
In sum, the marketing landscape is all about the customer.
If your business hasn't caught up to this reality yet, it's time to get real. It's time to create a customer engagement strategy that will bring in more customers than ever.
To learn more about customer engagement and how you can use this strategy to improve your relationships with your customers, keep reading. We have everything you need to know.
What Is Customer Engagement?
Customer engagement refers to the many interactions that companies have with their customers. These exist across many channels and affect the business' relationship with a specific customer or a group of customers. This effect can either positively or negatively impact the customer relationship.
Therefore, a customer engagement strategy is all about improving the quality of those interactions so that you can improve your relationships with your customers.
Overall, the key is customer-centered thinking. This isn't about making sales or increasing this quarter's revenue. This is about creating a customer experience that is worthwhile and valuable.
How to Calculate Customer Engagement
Customer engagement isn't something that you should eyeball. You should guess whether or not your company is creating successful relationships with its customers.
Rather, you should be looking for concrete ways of measuring it. That's why we're going to cover some important metrics that you should check regularly to evaluate your business' success with customer engagement.
Guest Checkout Rates
The guest checkout rate is the number of customers who make a purchase without creating an account. In order to calculate this number, follow this formula:
number of orders that guests completed/total number of orders
This metric is important to review because of the loyalty associated with a member's account. In other words, someone who creates an account on your site is more likely to come back and make another purchase.
Therefore, these guests show individuals who are likely to make a one-time purchase.
The purchase frequency tells you how often your customers make purchases at your store. It can help you identify how many individuals ordered multiple times.
To calculate it, use this formula:
number of orders in the last 365 days/number of unique customers in the last 365 days
This value will tell you the average number of orders that your customers are placing within a year. With this information, you can determine how engaged your customers are with your business. The lower the number, the less engaged your customers are.
Average Order Value
The average order value tells you the average amount that a customer spends when they make a purchase. The larger the number is, the more profits your business is getting.
Use the following formula to determine this value:
total revenue over the last 365 days/total number of orders customers have placed in the last 365 days
In general, this number will be higher if you have a larger number of repeat customers. This is because repeat customers tend to spend more money than one-time customers.
Repeat Purchase Rate
This metric will tell you the percentage of customers who have made more than one purchase at your store within a specific period of time. Thus, it will tell you how many customers are repeat customers within a specific time period.
Here's how to calculate it:
number of customers who made more than one purchase (within a specific time frame)/total number of customers (within that specific time frame)
*To get a percentage, you should then multiply this value by 100.
The higher your repeat purchase rate is, the better your retention strategy is. The percentage that you calculate is the percentage of people who are engaged with your company enough to make more than one purchase at your store.
Not only are they increasing your profits. But, they're also likely speaking positively about your company and sharing those positive thoughts with others.
Why Is Customer Engagement Important?
Customer-centered engagement strategies are the key to making more sales. Fancy strategies don't impress today's customers. Rather, you have to go to the heart of your company: the people.
Without strong customer engagement, your company is unlikely to succeed in both sales and customer retention.
Therefore, you must pay attention to how you're interacting with your customers. The better these interactions are, the more likely your business is to succeed.
In the end, the personal connection that you're developing with your customers will emotionally connect them with your business as a whole. Thus, they will have an emotional connection with every single product and service.
With this, you should make sure that your brand's messaging is consistent, clear, and pleasant. The more attached customers are those who align with and support a brand's vision and values.
Thus, you should pay special attention to your social media channels and other channels of communication. It's important to present cohesive, customer-focused messaging through your company. This means that you should remain focused on these efforts in all channels.
Why Touchpoints Matter
A "touchpoint" is any form of communication that a business has with a customer. Experts use this term to refer to any kind of communication, action, or another sort of activity that a business has with a customer or vice versa.
If your company is going to be successful in improving customer engagement and enhancing the customer experience, you need to pay attention to any and all touchpoints that your customers have with your business. You need to develop a system for monitoring these interactions and determining the customer's satisfaction after the fact.
The level of engagement that a customer has with a business is highly dependent on that customer's opinion of the company and its products/services. And, in order to improve their opinions over time, you need to evaluate customer journeys as a whole. With this, you can evaluate how your relationship with the customer is evolving over time.
The key to optimizing these touchpoints is consistent communication. Your company should take the time to interact with customers before, during, and after each touchpoint. By communicating more, you'll be improving the customer experience and maximizing the value of customer engagement.
In sum, touchpoints matter because they're critical points in the customer journey that determine whether or not your business will contribute to a positive or negative relationship with the customer. The relationship, hopefully positive, will then lend itself to an increase or decrease in sales as well as an increase or decrease in loyal customers.
Your touchpoints determine your customer relationships. In turn, they determine how successful your company is.
How Customer Experience Impacts Your Business
As we said, the customer experience encapsulates all of those interactions that an individual has with your brand. And, it's extremely important in shaping how that individual feels about your brand.
When these experiences are consistently positive, customers become loyal to the brand. Brand loyalty leads to more customers as loyalists will tell their friends and family about your brand.
Unfortunately, one negative experience could change everything. Even after a hundred positive interactions, a negative touchpoint could be detrimental.
There are ways that your business can combat any poor feelings brought about by a negative experience. But, this may not be successful.
Rather, you should get ahead of these poor experiences before they happen. It's better to anticipate a customer's needs than apologize after you don't meet those needs.
Tips for Your Customer Engagement Strategy
Whether you're completely new to customer engagement or you've dabbled with it for a while, you need a strong customer engagement strategy. Your business depends on this strategy to increase brand loyalty and bring in more repeat business.
So, we've gathered a list of some customer engagement tips that you need to keep in mind as you're developing your strategy.
1. Consider the Customer Journey
The customer journey details the nature of a customer's relationship with an organization. The goal is to lengthen the journey that a customer has with your business. This lengthens the amount of time that the customer can make purchases with your business.
While you're lengthening the relationship, you also need to be strengthening the relationship. A strong business-customer relationship can be beneficial for both the business and the customer.
The business gains a loyal customer who brings in more revenue. And, the customer gains the value that the business is giving him/her via their product/service.
In order to maintain this customer journey, you need to make sure that you're bringing in customers, retaining their interest, and then extending the relationship.
2. Forget the Money
Of course, your business' revenue matters. However, this shouldn't be the first thing that's on your mind when you're forming relationships with your customers.
It's true that purchase history influences marketing campaigns, but it doesn't give you enough information. With purchase history, you should consider communication preferences, household composition, and other metrics.
These are small pieces of information that marketing experts often forget. But, they're important pieces of information that can yield higher results for your marketing campaigns.
Plus, considering these factors will give you an edge over the competition. It's likely that other organizations aren't likely to consider these extraneous factors.
3. Use All of the Data You Gather
If you've gathered useful information about your customers, you need to put that information to use. Often, marketers collect information without using it to its full extent.
So, if you want to remain competitive, you need to stay up to date on the ins and outs of your target audience. This is increasingly important as more and more data becomes available through digital media.
In order to battle all of the information coming in, you need to put it to good use. So, you should develop a method for storing and managing all of your customer data.
Often, companies invest in customer relationship management platforms. These help sales teams communicate with their customers more efficiently. Thus, you'll be able to create and maintain stronger customer relationships.
4. Enjoy the Small Things
If you're a small business owner, you have an edge over other businesses. In fact, large businesses have more trouble collecting and using customer data. This is because there are more customers to keep track of.
So, every business - no matter the size - should focus on the small things. You should focus on small changes that you can make given the data that you're collecting.
As you're using the data, you should make sure that you're creating tangible changes for your marketing team. These changes shouldn't be based on guesses or hunches. You should make sure that you're using your data to create sound hypotheses about customer relationships.
For example, you may decide to launch an email marketing campaign. You should observe your customer data before and after the campaign. This can help you establish better marketing practices for your business.
And - no matter the size of your business - you should treat your customers as closely and kindly as a small business would.
5. Trust the Data
When in doubt, trust the data. When you're looking at customer trends, look at the numbers and trust what they're telling you.
Marketing isn't a guessing game. It's about strategically using customer information to make the best decisions that you can.
So, use the data that you've gathered. Don't let the data go to waste.
There is a variety of analytic tools that you can use to search for more insights.
And, you can ask customers directly for their feedback if you want information directly from them. As long as you offer some incentive, customers are ready and willing to share their feedback.
You can send an email, share a post on social media, or start a loyalty program. All of these are great ways to get continuous insight from your customers.
6. Search for Triggers
Whenever customers make a purchase, something has triggered them to do so. Maybe it was a sale or a freebie. Maybe they saw an advertisement or social post.
Whatever those triggers are, you need to identify them.
Identifying the triggers that lead to sales will help you make more sales. If it's a certain kind of social media post, maybe you can do more of those posts in the future. If it's a special sale, you can do that sale annually.
With these triggers, it's also important to find the best times to use them. If you conduct a sale at the wrong time, you aren't going to make the sales that you're reaching for. If you post at 3 am, customers aren't likely to see it.
Triggers are helpful for encouraging sales. But, you have to use them correctly.
7. Change Often
Don't get stuck with the same old practices and habits that you've been using for years. You shouldn't assume that the strategies you used a year ago will work now.
Again, this takes us back to the data. Don't waste your time looking at old data.
Rather, focus on the insights that you're getting from customers today. Look at what they're saying about your company today. Take their suggestions today.
You can use the data from the past years to measure growth over time, but you cannot use it to grow now. Old data is irrelevant to your current audience.
Keep growing and changing with new data.
8. Find Your Voice
Every brand has a voice, whether they've chosen it or not. Your brand's voice is the center of your organization's personality. It tells your customers what kind of business you're running.
Are you serious? Are you funny? Are you laid-back?
You need to find what you want your brand's voice to be. Otherwise, customers may become confused.
If you don't know your brand's voice, then you'll likely speak inconsistently across platforms. And, if your brand voice isn't consistent, customers may become confused about the type of personality they can expect from your business and its representatives.
This is why you need to find your voice. You need to know what it is in order to stay consistent.
Once you've identified your brand's voice, you can then use it across all of your platforms to communicate with your customers and share what you need to share.
9. Use Social Media
If you haven't already caught up with the social media trend, you're missing out on a huge lead conversion strategy. No matter the size of your business, you should have some form of social media that you can use to communicate with your customers.
Social media platforms serve as amazing tools for building relationships with customers. Thus, they can help your increase customer engagement and improve the customer experience.
You can use your social media pages to attract more customers as well. By using hashtags and eye-catching posts, you can gain more followers. So, you'll have a larger audience to speak with and share your products/services with.
Social media also makes sharing easy. Your followers can share your content with their friends and family members with the click of a button. Then, your content is suddenly going out to even more people than you initially thought.
Plus, social media is great for making personal connections. Even if a million people see your post, you'll be making personal connections with individuals in that large group.
It could be a Mothers' Day post that touched someone's heart or a sale on an item that someone really needs and couldn't afford.
Social media has a special way of making individuals feel like they're connecting with each account personally. This is even if they're your millionth follower.
10. Invest in Content
Content marketing includes things like blog posts, e-books, webinars, videos, and more. Content like this can help you show your customers that you're an expert. They can help you establish your organization as a prime competitor in its industry.
In order to be effective, your content must be valuable. Your customers must get something out of it.
And, the best part about content marketing is that you can use the brand voice that you created.
Of course, you want to make your content about the subjects that you're covering. But, you can also use the content to share more about your brand.
For example, you may want to write blog posts about subjects related to your service. Or, you may want to make videos on how to use your product.
By relating your content to your products/services, you're going to position yourself to improve your reputation, reach more people, and make more sales. Plus, you'll be providing quality information to your visitors and customers.
Customer Engagement Tools
There are several ways that you can boost customer engagement. From a live chat with customers to old-fashioned email campaigns, you have options when it comes to interacting with customers.
Here is a list of the most popular forms of customer engagement tools you should use in your Marketing Technology Stack.
- Live chat: visitors can chat with a customer service agent while they're shopping online
- Social media: all platforms are crucial tools that you need to use to interact with customers
- Messaging: whether it's direct messaging or text messaging, you're able to communicate with customers quickly via their phones
- Chatbots: chatbots can offer guidance to customers when a human representative isn't available to talk via live chat
- Analytics: always pay attention to the data that you're accumulating as it will help you decide what to do next
- Email: a strong email marketing campaign can help you grow closer to your customers while administering customer service as needed
A strong combination of these customer engagement tools will make a great overall strategy for your organization. Make sure to take advantage of each one.
All-in-One Customer Engagement Platform
Mastering customer engagement isn't going to happen overnight. And, if you rely on your own knowledge and skills, it may take you years to figure out the strategy that works best for your business.
That's why we're here to help.
We made the Helpmonks customer engagement platform so that you could give great customer service. At the same time, you'll be able to create a better customer experience.
Try it for free today.