We all like to think that our brand is special, that we have what it takes to stand out from the crowd. In fact, while this is true — and we do — it is only true to an extent. We still need to work hard to reach our customers to connect with them and show them what we can really help them achieve. This is the essence of customer engagement.
Customer engagement is all about outreach and about forging effective and long-lasting connections between you and your audience. When your consumer and your brand are engaged, your customers truly understand what you are all about and what you offer. What's more, they are willing to choose you over your competitors and to pledge their loyalty to you, even in a fickle marketplace.
This is fairly simply definition, but there is quite a lot of work to be done to achieve this. Fortunately, solutions such as customer relationship management (CRM) and other software pieces, as well as customer engagement apps, can help you to achieve great results. Read on to learn more about engaging the consumer and managing this engagement in the right way.
Revenue increases are key metrics by which to measure the effectiveness of your customer engagement strategies. The latest statistics from markets across the Asia Pacific region, as well as in the EU, the United Kingdom and the United States, found that 60 per cent of marketers with increasing budgets cite engagement as one of the top three areas for growth investment. This demonstrates the watertight business case for improved engagement.
The modern-day consumer has plenty of choice at their fingertips. This is certainly true in the B2C sector, but it's true in the B2B sector, too. Business consumers want to connect with enterprise solutions on their own terms, and they will simply head elsewhere if they do not get what they want. By engaging with your audience, you are helping to increase loyalty to your brand in a diverse market.
Around 53 per cent of customers in the B2B sector will use social media as a resource ahead of making a purchase. If you have a bad reputation online, this could be harmful to the growth and stability of your brand. Engagement allows you to take control, identifying where you are receiving negative publicity and responding to this with constructive feedback that enhances your rep. In fact, if you engage positively with your customers, you are less likely to gain this bad reputation in the first place.
Selling to an existing customer carries a success rate of between 60 and 70 per cent. When selling to a lead who has not purchased your product before, this probability drops to between 5 and 20 per cent — a significant difference. While you certainly need to be bringing in new customers, you also need to be retaining the customers you have already converted. Engagement is the key to achieving a comprehensive approach to sales.
We've touched on customer retention already, but it's important to go a little further than simply keeping hold of a customer. You need to consider their needs and how those needs will develop in the future. You also need to consider how you will position your brand to meet those needs, and then derive maximum revenue from each customer in the long term. You cannot gain this understanding if you do not engage with your customers on a profound level.
It's a common point that comes up again and again in modern business: everything must be driven by data. There are many reasons for this, of course, but one of the most compelling is the sheer abundance of data in the modern business environment. There is simply so much to learn about your customers and clients, and you need to make sure you are gaining this insight.
But it's not enough just to have this data — you also need to be able to put it to work. The age of big data has led us to a situation in which information comes at us at an alarming rate and can often be overwhelming. Fortunately, you do have tools at your disposal — including the platforms and apps like engage™ — to handle this huge volume of data and to get the best from it.
You want your customers to be engaged and to stay loyal. Why do you want this? Because this is the best situation for you and your business, and this helps you to generate maximum revenue.
So, it makes sense that you need to offer something in return. You need to think of engagement as a transaction – something that must be earned through the delivery of real value. Learn about your customers, think about what they want to see from you, and then deliver that to them, watching their engagement levels rise in the process.
Customers love reward programs. These programs help people to achieve a greater level of service from the businesses they work with and to gain the additional support and offers they want to see.
In return, the business locks the customer into a long-term relationship, fostering engagement and loyalty in an often fickle landscape.
Where does your sales and acquisitions funnel end? Does it end when you achieve a conversion? Or does it continue beyond this point? In order to engage effectively, you need a sales funnel that extends way, way beyond this point.
One of the problems that many business owners are encountering is that they stop nurturing customers at conversion. Therefore, these customers disengage and fall victim to churn. Yes, you need to bring in more customers, but you also need to spend time nurturing, supporting and selling to your existing ones also, securing that long-term value and engagement.
If your customers don’t trust your products, engagement is going to be seriously difficult to achieve. Counterfeiters and fraudster erode this trust, releasing products that look like the real thing — and even behave like the real thing in many senses — but are substandard. This is one of the reasons we developed the engage™ app and platform. Businesses can register their products on the platform, ready for verification. Then, end-users utilize their smartphone devices to scan the product and receive instant confirmation that it is indeed the real thing.
Engagement is now being empowered by digital solutions. With so much data available — and so much to be gained from leveraging this data — you need a good, solid digital infrastructure in place if you are to achieve your engagement goals. Make the engage™ platform and app part of your digital infrastructure. Take a test drive and find out more when you request a free demo of the solution.