Well, that's the buzzword in recent times. But do you know what customer engagement is? Even if not comprehensively, I'm confident you'd have a fair idea.
Nonetheless, before we delve into the definition of customer engagement in-depth, I shall take you through some customer engagement examples that will aid in a better understanding of the concept.
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Farfetch, a luxury fashion retailer, invested in augmented reality to link the online and offline worlds as part of its effective customer engagement strategy. The retail giant provides connected clothing racks, touch-screen-enhanced mirrors, and sign-in stations that pull data from its online store to use in its physical store.
This allows customers to sign in and search their purchase history and wish list. The smart mirror in the dressing room enables shoppers to request different sizes and alternative products without leaving.
Such is how Farftech engages its average customer base to increase sales - giving them a seamless experience that harmonizes the best aspects of boutique shopping with the convenience and speed of online shopping.
IKEA, a furniture retailer, capitalized on social interaction and communication with customers. Based on their findings, they ran the Sleepover campaign and brought 100 Facebook competition winners to stay a night in one of its warehouses.
IKEA chose mattresses, pillows, and sheets, to give their winners a fully tailored experience of their products. They went a step ahead and even got a sleep expert to render tips for getting a good night's sleep, along with guidance on how to pick the perfect mattress for any sleeping style.
Needles to say, this campaign won tremendous brand awareness among potential customers. And the massive success is attributed to online customer engagement, active listening, and acting to the demands of the customer's voice on social media channels.
TOMS Shoes, a footwear retailer embraces the concept of One for One. That is, for every pair bought, they donate a pair to an underprivileged child. To engage its customer base feel at home with their corporate social responsibility initiatives, TOMS placed virtual reality headsets into 100 stores to cause wearers to be virtually transported to Peru to see the impact of their One for One campaign on the locals there.
As customers virtually walk through, with the locals smiling and waving at them, it has promoted TOMS' giving campaign to the extent which customers are sure never to forget.
Farfetch, IKEA, TOMS Shoes, and several other retailers out there do so many things to keep their customer base engaged throughout the purchase journey. As you would have noticed from these examples of customer engagement, different retailers have a unique channel for customer engagement.
But you need to be informed that what works for retailer X may not work for retailer Y. That is to say that what stands to be a solid customer engagement strategy for one business may not mean so for another.
If that is the case, aren't you wondering if there isn't a universal definition of customer engagement that could act as the benchmark?
Well, let's get you in the know!
The concept of customer engagement refers to all sorts of customer interactions happening on all mediums and customer touchpoints. The more your users voluntarily interact with you, so good is the level of engagement.
Customer engagement is the stepping stone to rendering a positive customer experience. Both combined leads to customer satisfaction.
Salesforce research unravels the two most important findings on customer expectations from an engagement campaign. One is that personalized messages are the top priority for 66% of consumers. The other discovery is that 76% of customers prefer a specific communication channel or a variety of channels depending on the context and content of the message.
Gleaning from the statistics, if have the right customer relationship management platform to delegate personalization and endorse cross-channel messaging to send the right message through the right digital channel, you can keep your users engaged and reap the assured benefits.
Forming a connection with customers and target audience, and getting to know them on a personal level through customer engagement tactics, helps you do a lot of things - increase conversion rates, deliver excellent customer service, reduce customer acquisition costs, and so on.
The beauty of customer engagement marketing lies in how wonderfully it establishes an emotional connection and bridges all the dots that lead to a purchase and maximum retention.
In this section, we are going to explore how engaging your customers will help you reach your sub-goals to eventually ace your ultimate business goal.
1. Foster a lasting and loyal relationship
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, businesses and consumers alike suffered much. A common thread that sustained the brand-consumer relationship through the time of crisis was consistent engagement marketing.
Restaurants that could not host people for dining, resorted to sharing recipes that their consumers could try at home. Cosmetic brands invested in augmented reality and virtual reality to help consumers pick the right shade of maquillage. Where fitness coaching centers and equipment retailers had to remain closed, at-home shred challenges and cheaper priced fitness equipment emerged to the consumers’ rescue.
The result was that brands and consumers were still in touch despite nil monetary transactions.
This goes on to say how interacting with users helps to build relationships that play a vital role in a customer’s decision to purchase with a brand.
2. Ensure footfalls to brick-and-mortar stores
Though eCommerce shopping is on the rise, stocking up from brick-and-mortar stores is not extinct. There’s still hope if you can deliver experiences that online shopping can’t. In fact, in research we did recently, people prefer in-store apparel shopping to online shopping, mainly because of how engaging the purchase journey is.
You can tie offline engagement strategies with a digital experience, in-store. Digital signages, kiosks, virtual try-on, kids play zone, and others would serve as attractions and cater to increased footfalls to your brick-and-mortar store.
3. Increase customer retention
There are various reasons why a consumer would choose to do repeat business with you. For one, it could be the quality of your products and services, or competitive pricing, or simply delightful customer experiences.
Nonetheless, it's true that the propensity of an engaged customer to become a repeat customer is high.
Personalized marketing campaigns with relevant content are something that drives a future purchase. As you discover that segment of customers visiting and spending the most in your brands, and try to make them happier customers, you can increase customer retention.
Moreover, the impact of customer engagement efforts, such as how you respond to customer feedback, render personalized experience, and maintain relationships with customers, would move the needle in your favor.
4. Reduce customer attrition
The problem with customer churn rate is that it's a lag indicator. The loss has happened, and when you feel its burn, you discover that you've lost the customers. And if you dig deeper into that churned lot, you'll find unsatisfied and angry customers.
To prevent you from inadvertently putting off your customers, you need to keep to an effective customer engagement plan. This way, you will be able to discover at-risk customers and run re-engagement campaigns with them to bring them back to the fold.
While the reason behind the churn could be plenty, grabbing the customer's attention and rebuilding the customer relations with an effective customer engagement campaign would make all the difference in lowering your churn rate.
A customer engagement platform such as Ingage can help you segment and understand customer behavior, based on their current and previous churn, and churn movement, being high, low, or medium. This way, you can easily target those of your customers who are at-risk and re-engage them.
5. Build your fort of loyal customers
A customer loyalty program is a world-class customer engagement marketing strategy. No matter the type of customer loyalty program, customers love it because they feel valued by the rewards you give them for shopping with you.
As you would notice, your customer engagement marketing plays a crucial role in moving folks through the customer journey so that they don't fall in between but have a better lifetime value.
6. Up-sell and cross-sell
It is easy to promote and sell your products to a loyal customer base. The same cannot be said for the potential customer or target customer profiles. By numbers, your probability of selling to a new prospect is only 5-20%, but for an existing customer, it is 60-70%.
With upselling and cross-selling, you can increase the average order value, and see an uptick in your revenue. Moreover, using a customer engagement platform, you can easily identify up-sell opportunities in recommending products that are frequently bought together or shopped by similar buyers.
7. Capitalize on referral marketing
If your loyal customers love your business, they will surely mention it to their friends and family. This is called customer advocacy, where you invest nothing but reap the benefit of attracting new customers without the colossal acquisition costs.
Alternatively, if you are looking for a cost-effective means of acquiring new customers, a referral marketing program should do the trick. Here, you reward the referee and the referrer upon the first successful transaction. The result is that even those of your happy customers will be prompted to give referrals, which they otherwise might not do voluntarily.
Now that you know the importance of customer relationship management, plan an effective strategy for revolutionizing the entire customer experience. Leveraging a customer engagement technology such as our product, Ingage, can help you reach your target market, delight current customers, and boost your revenue, easily.
It's not necessary that your customer engagement marketing strategy has to be anything as fancy as that of the examples we saw at the beginning of this blog. You can start small by automating customer lifecycle journeys, launching loyalty and referral programs, giving product recommendations, and so on by onboarding a customer engagement platform.
Need a hand in discovering opportunities for engagement? Simply let us know and we'd be glad to help!