Speaking of customer engagement strategies, we shouldn’t really ask if they are necessary or not - we live in a world where customers expect brands not just to fulfil their needs, but to anticipate them too.
This especially refers to digital customer engagement, where customer experience has to become something more than a sales campaign.
To help get the customer to connect with the brand, they need to know that their issues will be heard, their questions will be answered, and their problems will be fixed.
If you’ve been wracking your brain wondering how to increase customer engagement, continue reading to discover some tactics you should try.
What is customer engagement and why is it important?
Before learning the ways to improve customer engagement, let’s define it.
Customer engagement is a sort of encouragement for your customers to get them to interact and share experiences with your brand or business. It is important because - if done well, it can foster brand loyalty and growth, which are solid reasons why every brand should incorporate it.
In general, brands that nurture customer engagement are mainly focused on value creation, giving people something meaningful to relate to, not just a sales pitch. This can be done by providing great content or an interactive customer support, or in multiple other ways, and some of those ways to improve customer engagement we’ll introduce to you here.
Use social media as a tool, not a platform
One of the most crucial things you need to change when it comes to social media is your perception of them. The best online customer engagement strategy is created when social media platforms are used as tools, and not just as a platform for connecting people, in order to obtain better results.
When people follow a brand via social media, the easiest thing to assume is that they do it because they want to connect. But that’s not all they want. In fact, they usually take action because they trust you will help them or provide them with a solution they need.
This is the ultimate way to make customers happier with your service - by connecting, sharing, answering questions, looking for influencers, and creating inspiring content that will make your customers engage with your brand on a >more personal and profound level.
Personalized communication is an important part of customer engagement
One of the best customer engagement strategies is the incorporation of personalized communication, or in-product messaging that can be done through various channels. Some of the most popular are:
- In-product messaging
- Social media
- Customer care/support
Now, out of all of these, the best tool for generating conversation is in-product messaging because it is directly related to the user’s internet-connected device and has a purpose of informing, gathering feedback, and marketing to that specific use or segment of users.
Simply put - by sending a targeted message to a segment of your users, you get higher engagement rates.
Another useful way to initiate a personalized communication is to build a Slack profile for your customer community where they can introduce new ideas, suggestions, ask questions, and at the same time, allow you to communicate with your customers in a more personalized way.
Rely on smart solutions if you want to improve customer engagement
If you were wondering how to enhance customer engagement by using smart and modern solutions, there is more than one way to do that. Sometimes it can be about your ability to listen and collect information that will reinforce a major difference, allowing you to store the data and improve your customer engagement by default.
Encourage customer engagement through social wifi
With the use of automatic tools such as smart wifi, you can generate greater customer engagement and at the same time capture their data and promote your offers. Via this method, you can also reward your users for sharing your offers on social media.
Use surveys to understand customers’ motives
One of the best online customer engagement strategies is the creation of surveys in order to understand the motives of your customers, whether for purchasing your products or using some of your services.
This is basically how every amazing customer experience starts - with carefully collected survey data. First of all, you have to figure out what your customers need and what you’re not giving them already, and surveys are the easiest way possible to capture this kind of data.
Always deliver value to your customers
It is not strange that customer engagement tactics reinforce adding value as the main ingredient. After all, value is at the very core of the customer engagement definition.
No matter what niche or market you belong to, when you think about the welfare of your customers and users first, that is how you nurture loyalty.
You should alway obsess about the welfare of your customers, as well as your competitors. You should pay attention to their questions and concerns because it is the only way you will deliver results.
Useful content is a must
Educating customers via content used to be an underrated customer engagement strategy. Nowadays, it is one of the most efficient ways to enhance customer engagement.
By creating content that is mobile-optimized and/or providing instructional video content, there is a better chance that you will generate a greater customer engagement, thus - more sales.
Custom content can address important customer questions
Custom content is a great way to engage and nurture the existing customers you have, by creating content that is mainly useful to them. This kind of content or is created mainly for customers that are already familiar with the product, since you can’t possibly respond to each and every customer individually.
Of course, you don’t have to create content that is going to specify a new product or a feature. It can be content that highlights an upcoming event or something similar.
Make it fun and easy
After you have humanized your brand and made an effort to cultivate an emotional attachment to your brand, you should allow your customers to have an easy way to express their engagement.
And how you can do that?
Being that customers voluntarily interact with your business promotions, giveaways, surveys and content, the best thing you can do is to make these processes as smooth as possible for them. Customers can surely appreciate being rewarded with a simplified experience, rather than being stalled with extra steps when expressing their engagement.
Besides that, when implementing events or processes that are meant to engage customers, you want to make them feel that it will be worth the time they’re investing into the participation.
You can do that by showing them a good time, like guiding them through personalized content or implementing rewards. All-in-all making the content more interactive and playful makes your brand more memorable to the customers.
Involve your most prominent users
We’ll assume that you already have a base of highly-engaged users that want to align with your company. By involving them you can end up with some of the most mutually beneficial relationships any brand can have.
This strategy has proven especially useful during product launches. You can give these influencers a sneak peek at your product and in turn ask them to help you spread the word via social media, quotes, re-blogs etc.
Create promotions specifically for VIP customers
In a nutshell, VIP users are not necessarily the people who want to align with your brand, but definitely are your finest customers. These are people who have been with you for a long time, have purchased your products or used your services, and have potentially told all their friends about you.
VIP customers are your fans, they are not one-time byers and definitely should not be treated as such. What you want to do is to turn those casual or one-time byers into loyal and trustworthy customers.
How do you do that?
Well, for starters, you should think about what a VIP customer is and what it takes to keep him. Once you’ve figured out what motivates such a customer, you will have obtained long-term value that will ensure your business will thrive.
A general rule is to dazzle every single customer, however, you need to look after and provide a more personal touch to your important customers. If you fail to do that, you will lose them! Be careful to always acknowledge them because a top notch service is always more about the customers than the products.
Incorporate a reward system
Speaking of the most popular digital customer engagement strategies, the reward system is one of the most successful ones. By rewarding a variety of customer or user actions you are automatically generating more user engagement, which will ultimately lead to the growth of your brand.
Nurture free trial prospects
So, one way to improve customer engagement in digital marketing is to incorporate free trials for your prospects. This way, you show your customers what they will be spending time, focus and money on if they decide to continue with you.
By initiating free trials, you are starting a relationship with a customer and giving them a glimpse of the service you’re offering. However, you should bare in mind that free trial customers are different compared to paying customers.
How is that?
Well, by starting a relationship with your customers through a free trial, you are opening the door for retention behaviour. The more these customers respond to your marketing messages, the greater the amount of time they will remain with your service, and they are more likely to be converted to a paying customer.
Create a listening support center
Effective communication with your customers is the key to generate great user engagement.
By creating a space where you can listen to your customers, you can start paying more attention to details. Also, it is always good to have a fast response time and to know which questions to answer first. This is a great way to further strengthen the relationship you have with your customers.
Make it your team’s task
Whether you’ve done a certain level of business networking, or you’ve just grown with time, you should definitely enlist customer support as one of your team’s priority tasks.
Well, mainly because a real human response to a question coming from another real human initiates better engagement from customers. To be most effective, your whole team should be involved in this process.
Always answer customer calls
By calls we mean any feedback in general.
Fast replies are important for future revenue, so you should definitely answer your phone calls, messages and emails as promptly as possible in order to increase customer engagement.
Being that customers are usually very impatient, every way you can make yourself faster in responding to crucial questions will be vital to up your game. Even if it means some additional technical training for your support team, you should strive to have a fast response time and never make excuses.
If your service is great but your support is slow, the experience your customers obtain is negative, and ultimately, what you’re selling IS an experience.
Therefore, don’t be lazy and respond as quickly as possible, and never wait for the user to resend the question.
Remember - the quest is never-ending
All of these tactics that show you how to enhance customer engagement are more than useful but entirely depend on the way you want to handle your business, and how much you want it to grow.
The need to increase customer engagement is never-ending. However, once you have a strategy in place that works for you, you can always make room for generating loyalty and growing your business while refining ways to increase customer engagement along the way.