A guide to Customer Engagement: why every business needs it

A guide to Customer Engagement: why every business needs it

Customer engagement measures how customers are interacting with your brand throughout their lifecycle. Besides, it activates ways to retain and make consumers brand loyal.

Audience Engagement

Cezar Machado

Cezar Machado

June 30, 2020


Customer engagement measures how customers are interacting with your brand throughout their lifecycle. Besides, it activates ways to retain and make consumers brand loyal.

When supported by the right tools, a customer engagement strategy might delight your customers with personalized real-time experiences and increase their satisfaction.

Whatever sector your company is at, one thing is certain: you want to acquire new customers and guide them throughout the buying journey so they don’t consider buying from another company ever again.

This type of loyalty is only achieved by the endless assurance of outstanding customer experience. We know the thought your customers will be forever loyal to you is very amusing, but all it takes is one bad experience related to your brand for them to switch to the open arms of your competitors.

That being said, we can conclude products and services are no longer key brand differentiators. Customer experience is the new battleground.

Poor customer service and nonspecific marketing communications, for example, cost a lot today. Customers these days are driven by individualized touchpoints and real-time experiences that meet their personal requirements, leaving no space for your brand to sound generic and detached in the customer journey.

To build a mutual commitment with your customers, you need to focus on ways to make them emotionally involved with your brand. Not once nor twice, but continuously. And this is what customer engagement is all about.

What is customer engagement?

Customer engagement is the measure of a brand’s interactions with its customers throughout the customer lifecycle. Often tied to an emotional connection, this measure is related to the depth of interactions decided by consumers, and how many times they choose to talk back to a brand.

We can say customer engagement assess both the quality and quantity of consumers’ interactions, regardless of their lifecycle stage. Precise customer engagement focuses on customer experience to pull readers and shoppers closer and encourage them to connect emotionally with brands. 

Before we get to more details, we need to make something clear: There are different levels of customer engagement. New buyers might engage by making a purchase and follow your brand on Instagram and Facebook. At the same time, loyal customers might also engage by buying new products and recommending your brand to their friends.

The only way to make sense of customer engagement levels and use them to prompt experiences’ outcomes is to rely on a customer engagement strategy.

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Customer engagement strategy

A well-done customer engagement strategy will nurture brand growth and customer loyalty. This happens because, in order to engage customers, companies need to attentively listen to their requests and create meaningful experiences that go beyond the sales journey. Both these actionable deeds put the customer at the center of everything your company does, which is vital to respond correctly to your audience’s expectations. 

Customer engagement strategies must be supported by teams that understand why clients are the key to every and each company process. They should also be assisted by the right tools and technologies — by the end of this article, you will have a great bunch of insights on what strategies and tools to use to really engage your customers.

For now, to give you a further perspective on customer engagement strategies, you will find ahead some customer-centric ideas to use in your company.

1. Use customer data

Our first customer engagement strategy is primordial for any other you intend on following. Without a clear understanding of what your customers require, customer experiences should not find the right environment to grow and thrive.

Any customer from any sector has demanded. Knowing these demands is crucial. If you’re spending money to work on assumptions of what you think your audience desires, the engagement you expect might be in deep water. Therefore, without trustworthy customer data, any engagement tactic can go wrong.

Using customer data will improve the effectiveness of your engagement strategy by basing the best business and marketing decisions in factual information.

Acknowledging what your audience wants, where to find it, its behavior, and how it uses your products and contents will assist you in pointing your engagement strategy in the right direction.

Customer data has an amazing potential to help you analyze where you’re investing your money and what other horizontal opportunities across your business can be elevated to build outstanding customer experiences.

2. Focus on customer experience

People in the US are willing to pay more for better experiences. In this scenario, customers expect speed, efficiency, and support from helpful employees. Today, shoppers want to put their money on the hands of companies that ensure brilliant real-time experiences, great content, interactive support, personalized messages, and more. 

A solid (and remarkable) customer experience will be rewarded with customer engagement. This means customer experience can be a matchless engagement gauge. Give customers a continuous good experience and pave the way for them to emotionally connect with your brand and never want to leave.

On the other hand, overlooking customer experience can straightforwardly lead to a downfall and assist your competitors in acquiring new customers — your old ones.

3. Create helpful content

Do you know what are your audience interests? What are your customers’ main doubts and questions? What channels your customers use the most? If you do, use your knowledge to create valuable content your customers can actually use and adds value to your brand.

Consider this: looking at customer data acquired from its social media, a shoe store notices their customers want to know what is the best way to clean their products. In this case, an interesting type of content would be a step by step video showing how to properly clean the shoes. The video could be posted on social media accounts and even added to a FAQ page on the brand’s website.

Creating content that connects with your customers’ needs increases engagement and explores new opportunities to educate your audience about the products and services you offer.

4. Personalize customer interactions

Customers today are more likely to ignore brand communications that sound generic and don’t have a clear connection with previous customer interactions. What people truly expect from brands are sophisticated tailored touchpoints throughout their journey as consumers. They want to feel welcomed and acknowledged for who they are. 

Treating customers as a transaction number or an email on your list will deeply damage the customer relationship you want to build with them. At the same time, giving customer experiences a personal touch can be rewarded with engagement and loyalty.

Spotify, for example, customizes playlists according to users’ historical data and creates an exclusive daily mix so they find music related to their individual preferences.

Recall your customers are receiving countless promotions every day. In this context, you need to cut through the noise by being different. Personalization increases the perceived value of your brand and how you treasure your customers’ data to deliver tailor-made interactions.

5. Make good use of social media

Social media networks are excellent tools to attract public attention and interact with your customers in a more authentic way. When interacting with users and followers, make sure you sound genuine according to your brand voice — and avoid unwanted attention by responding poorly to customers’ expectations. Social listening might give you a hand in that process.

We advise you to be ready to give customers quick support as well. The majority of customers prefer messaging to calling for support, as they believe messages are the quickest and best way to address their issues and ask for help — and they aren’t wrong.

That being said, using social media accurately can be an amazing way to communicate genuinely with customers and helping them solve their problems more seamlessly.

6. Have a customer loyalty program

When customers are emotionally involved with your brand, they are less likely to shop with a competitor. A way brands have used to keep buyers invested in them is to create customer loyalty programs that reward customers with unique benefits.

In loyalty programs, there is a clear sense of reciprocity between brands and customers, since they are continuously granted with mutual investing. Keep in mind that reciprocity is key in customer engagement.

From award points to discounts and exclusive products, there are many possibilities to be covered in customer loyalty programs that will keep your customers coming back for more. 

7. Make your brand more human

Being sincere, empathetic, and authentic pays off like few things can these days. Before being emotionally available to connect with brands, customers want to see the human side of them. If a customer can’t relate to your brand on a personal level, it is very unlikely that any engagement will take place.

At this very moment, there are countless possibilities to humanize brands. One of them is to use live events coverage, that provides audiences with original content they can immediately engage with. Remember the world is a fast and ever-changing place where consumers want to be updated as soon as news takes place.

This urgency to be part of important events in your field should be taken into account when considering manners of giving your brand a human touch. From adopting live content initiatives to using marketing and sales approaches that drive audience engagement on, making your brand more human will provide a solid foundation for a long-term customer relationship.

Customer engagement strategy benefits

When engagement is possible across the many digital and physical channels out there, you might benefit from the strategies above in several ways. 

Take a look at some of them:

1. Increase customer satisfaction and retention

Customer engagement strategies ensure the relationship with your customers isn’t over after their first purchase. On the contrary, these strategies build a structured and continuous way to mold the customer lifecycle into meaningful moments and make your consumers brand loyal.

While it costs from 5 to 7 times more to attract a new client, loyal customers spend 67% more than new ones. Once people understand your brand adds value to their routine and life, they will keep an eye on what you’re doing, saying, and selling. This piques their interest and delight in uncomparable ways.

Going a little further, customer engagement makes it possible for you to identify your VIP customers and personalize your interactions to retain and make them even happier.

2. Reduce churn 

Losing once-loyal customers is a risk customer engagement nips in the bud. A clearly-defined customer engagement strategy will find your customers’ pain points and how to fix them. 

A good customer engagement strategy will also give you clearer insights on how consumers use your products and services, so you can cleverly address unwanted issues, correct your missteps, and retain customers more effortlessly.

3. Boost customer loyalty 

A customer engaging routine assures constant attention to customer loyalty. Healthier customer relationships are the key to generate brand evangelists that will recommend your brand as an authority to family and friends.

Effective customer engagement clarifies how you can connect better with your customers and keep them wanting to interact with your brand. Working this type of long-term relationship is also important to find new emotional investment opportunities within your public and engage them even further. 

4. Sell more

Engaged customers consider more than just price when making buying decisions. This is a vital detail, as customers will compare other brands’ value to yours — and, even though your price is a little higher when compared to your competitors’, engaged customers will pay more for the experience you’re providing.

More than that, using the data provided by customer engagement will assist you in finding better selling opportunities. You can figure out personalized cross-sell and upsell recommendations to improve sales rates and shorten purchase cycles.

5. Re-win old customers

When worked right, customer engagement will pave the way for you to win old customers back. As much as some customers are harder to re-attract than others, reliable customer data will clarify the best tactics to drive them back in store, and regain their trust.

A well-designed customer engagement strategy will also assist you in finding at-risk customers and avoid churn.

What is the difference between customer experience and customer engagement?

Even if the terms sound quite similar, customer engagement and customer experience aren’t the same things. The difference between them is that customer experiences are momentaneous touchpoints while engagement is like an ongoing relationship.

If you sum customer experiences, you will probably have a broad idea of how customers engage and interact with your brand. This means customer engagement is shaped by many different customer experiences across the digital and physical worlds that mold how customers perceive your brand and how they decide to stick with it.

When you provide valuable and positive experiences, your customer should become more engaged and open to future interactions with your brand. On the other hand, according to PwC;, one in three consumers state they will walk away from a brand they love if they have just one bad customer experience.

In a nutshell, we can say customer experience helps customers to make buying decisions — and the image below shows how much it matters worldwide when consumers are considering what brand to purchase from.

pwd bad experience vs loved brand

Source: PwC

We can say customer engagement strategies go beyond individual experiences. What they do is to knit previous experiences together, designing long-term relationships with customers, and profiting from the many benefits you have already read about.

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Tools to improve customer engagement

We know technology isn’t a final solution. However, led by it, exceptional platforms and tools were developed to enable and work customer engagement. 

Powered by automation, operations that are humanly impossible turned into simple routine workflows. This is excellent news to marketers and creative professionals since they now can use their time to think of extraordinary engaging opportunities based on the data these platforms provide. 

Customer engagement platforms help you to:

  • Design an appropriate data-based engagement workflow;
  • Integrate data to share it across different departments in your company;
  • Segment your customers to deliver tailored experiences and touchpoints;
  • Facilitate communication across multi-digital channels, such as social media, live blog, and email;
  • Create a sense of continuous customer communication;
  • Decide key indicators to measure the success and outcomes of your customer engagement strategy.

Ahead, we have listed high-empowering tools to improve your customers’ engagement.

Live Blog

A live Blog embodies different formats and sources, such as videos, audio, and text, to bring real-time updates and exclusive live events to customers. When used accurately, this engagement tool compiles different new sources of information and brings them together in an intuitive streamline.

A live blog’s exclusiveness attracts users that are genuinely interested in topics your brand addresses. With the purpose of being a more dynamic and interactive website, a live blog will boost your audience and post frequency, increase time spent on your pages, and take audience ownership back to your website. It is a good option if you’re tired of losing attention to social media.

Another reason why you should have a live blog is that it helps with timing. Being slow isn’t an option these days, and live blog platforms provide instant ways to search for content and repost it. This automated post-on-the-go flow assists in content distribution and automates more steps of your team’s work routine.

Live Chat

A Live Chat is an instant communication channel you can add to your website to stimulate and generate real-time engagement.

Statistics show that people, in general, are growing fond of live chat tools. It is not hard to understand why: Live chat tools are intuitive, easy to use, and matches users’ sense of urgency.

One of the many live chat group advantages is that it creates a space for your users to discuss topics that mean something to them, such as live events you might stream, breaking news on your market, and product launches. Another advantage? Live chat groups are easy to incorporate into your website and make your brand available to customers 24/7.

Customer Data Platform

A Customer Data Platform (CDP) is a unified database tool that facilitates the collection, extraction, validation, and analysis of customer data — and, as we have previously addressed, customer data is the core of every customer engagement strategy. 

Using a CDP will assist you in segmenting marketing strategies to achieve your audience in more effective communications. 

With a structured way to access, interpret, and visualize data, you can pull information from multiple sources to combine them with your customer engagement strategy. This enhances the assertiveness of your marketing campaigns and how well it resonates within your audience.

Content wall

A content wall is a digital hub that packages content and delivers it in a coherent way to your audience. It hosts from official social media posts to user-generated and any other format of content into your website. 

The difference between a content wall and a common website is that content walls consider how your audience interacts with your digital environment and uses your website. That being said, content walls give you a broad view of digital metrics to increase customer engagement.

A content wall will let you know how to tailor content experiences to match your readers’ interests. It also grants you more control over your content, generates qualified leads, and multiplies editorial insights.

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Use the right technology to engage and delight your customers

Customer engagement doesn’t have a finish line. The more you engage your customers, the more you will work on deeper stages in the customer journey to retain them and strengthen their emotional investment.

Engaging customers has a direct impact on your business’ success and your brand’s public image. In a nutshell, assuring captivating end-to-end customer experiences will lead you to increase customer loyalty and boost their satisfaction.

However, you will hardly be able to develop and follow a consistent customer engagement strategy if you don’t have the right tools working automatically to generate insights and feed your streamline with accurate data.

See it for yourself. Start using our freemium Live Chat tool and strengthen your customer engagement right away!

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