“Find a way to be personal with your customers and connect with them on a human level.” Andrew Reid – Founder and Chief Product Officer, Vision Critical.
In business, customers should be treated more like friends than just acquaintances. If you want to stay in close contact and be a part of their success, you need to dig deeper into this relationship through customer engagement. In short, customer engagement is the connection between an enterprise and the customer, built through communication. Customer engagement is so much more than just the customers’ sales journey.
Today’s internet-empowered customers expect businesses to engage with them because:
1. They have instant access to compare prices and other customers’ opinions
2. They expect to get what they want and be able to decide how they want it
3. They expect personalized treatment
4. They trust thought leaders more than the brand itself
5. They base their buying decisions on emotions primarily
Importance of customer engagement
If you want to know what your customers want, just read those hundreds of new product ideas submitted to your online community. To maintain customers’ interest in your product or service, you need to be responsive to change and be in constant contact with them to understand their preferences.
Customer engagement can help you continually display your assurance and reassurance to your customer and allow you to deliver value in every step of the customer’s journey.
In the words of legendary Harvard Business School marketing professor, Theodore Levitt:
“People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!”
The more active and engaged a customer is with a company, the more satisfied they tend to become. In simple words, an increase in customer engagement leads to a better customer experience, which further leads to higher customer satisfaction and hence, a successful business. Ultimately, a successful business will lead to an increase in customer retention and more ROI.
Enterprises understand how vital customer engagement is for their success. Customers’ expectations have continuously been increasing. In fact, according to a survey by Salesforce, ‘The State of the Connected Customer’, 54% of customers think that enterprises need to change the way they engage with their customers.
Improving your community’s customer engagement
Product teams must evaluate their customers’ actions to make changes to improve customer engagement on their online community. These following steps can help:
1. By finding what is useful to the customers
Based on the utility or benefits, product teams can segment their customers and follow individuals to see which actions they repeat. This is referred to as the customers’ journey. You can identify the key patterns of your customers’ behavior and consider changes in your product or services that deliver more.
2. By improving your product’s usability
Customers expect a simple yet effective interface of your product and will keep on seeking better alternatives until they are satisfied with one. By analyzing the customers’ needs and their journey, you can find and fix any usability issues in your product. Product teams can make it easier for their customers to find value in their product by reducing friction.
3. By educating customers, especially new ones
Product teams can educate customers about their products, since every customer’s interest changes over time. Initially, the customer might be looking for value in your product, but later, they may be looking for shortcuts or advanced reports in your product. While in the case of new customers, they may be driven to your product or service out of curiosity or through someone’s recommendation.
4. By rewarding your customers for their contributions
When your customers weigh into your community for the first time, it’s imperative to reward them. May be, dropping a coupon or a free gift in the mail may entice them. Also, the ones who have not engaged with your brand for a long time, you can tempt them with a “question of the week”. Showing appreciation to the members for their contribution to your community is one of the best ways to strengthen your connection with them.
From the above points, one thing is for sure that there is always a need for innovative ways to engage your customers and enhance their customer experience. There are many ways to foster an enthusiastic and synergetic community culture.
In order to improve customer engagement in your community, let your members feel welcomed, important, knowledgeable, and imaginative. Customers that are highly engaged with your community — buy more, promote more, and validate more faith in your product or service.
For a hassle-free and time-bound consultation, talk to our community experts.