It’s no secret that brand loyalty is important for a company’s recurring revenue. But, with customers less loyal to brands due to the abundance of options that exist in the marketplace, customer engagement is now often seen as a business need, rather than a nice-to-have

Let’s take a look at the theme of customer engagement and discuss how architecting meaningful interactions with your audience can exponentially set you apart from the competition. 

The what of customer engagement

Customer engagement can feel like a vague term or buzzword. However, it doesn’t have to be as ambiguous as most businesses make it out to be.

In the simplest terms, customer engagement is about every interaction your customers have with your company and how all of those micro engagements make people feel about your brand.

One of the best definitions comes from Paul Greenberg of Hubspot. He puts it like this

“Customer engagement is the ongoing interactions between company and customer, offered by the company, chosen by the customer.”

This definition seems to hit the nail on the head. You can’t force someone to engage with your brand. But the more you give them opportunities to engage with you, the more likely it is that you’ll connect with your customer on a meaningful level. 

The why of customer engagement

Customer engagement can take on many shapes and forms, but it always requires effort and input on your end. The good news is, the cost of driving engagement is far outmatched by the return that it provides. Here are some of the top benefits:

  • Better customer service. Superior engagement puts you into direct contact with your customers on a regular basis. And as you interact with your customers more, you begin to understand their needs, wants, desires, and pain points with a new sense of clarity. These insights pave the way for improving customer service which ultimately promotes recurring business. 
  • Lower churn/increased retention. An engaged customer is far less likely to jump ship and go with a competitor. The more you invest in customer engagement, the lower your chance of customer churn and the higher your chance of maintaining healthy customer retention
  • Greater loyalty. Customers want to know that they’re valued and cared for. A strong customer engagement strategy can lead to a steep increase in loyalty, which can counteract small issues in customer service or customer experience. 
  • More referral traffic. An engaged customer has your brand on top of mind. This makes them more likely to talk about your company (naturally) and drive new customers through word-of-mouth marketing. 
  • Increased profitability. Each of these benefits ultimately drives higher revenues and greater profitability. According to one study, companies who improve engagement increase their ability to cross-sell by 22% and upsell by as much as 51%.

When you emphasize customer engagement, you’ll notice positive repercussions throughout your business. The biggest challenge is figuring out how to do it well.

The how of customer engagement 

If you’re looking for inspiration regarding how you can drive customer engagement and accelerate your growth, we have a few keen insights:

1. Ask, listen, apply

The best thing you can do is listen to your customers. Showing your customers that you understand and value their insights can be done by asking them for feedback, analyzing that feedback, and then applying it strategically towards making business improvements.

One of the easiest ways to ask for feedback and measure brand loyalty is through a Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey. This simple survey can be sent out via social (link), email, SMS, in-app, or kiosk and asks the question: “How likely are you to recommend (your brand) to a friend?” Once the customer selects a score from 0-10, they then explain why they chose their rating in an open-ended survey question. 

As the feedback rolls in, you will have a birds-eye view of real-time customer data through a multitude of reporting options. From there, you can easily find common trends and recurring improvement requests to add to future product or service updates. 

Finally, take action with your customers by following up and letting them know that their opinion is valuable. Keep them engaged with a personalized Thank you message or make the customer feel validated by letting them know that their insight made a direct impact on upcoming business decisions. 

2. Create customer-centric content

Content marketing is obviously important, but few brands extract as much value from it as they should. If you want to engage your customers through content, begin crafting compelling content that speaks to their needs, pain points, and desires. 

Luckily, with your newly collected feedback, guessing what customers want is a thing of the past. With Smart Trends, commonly surfaced feedback is automatically suggested for you, giving you the inside scoop on customer needs and content ideas within seconds. 

3. Surprise your customers

Surprise your clients and make them feel special, just because! No matter how small it is, a good surprise can shift the way customers feel about your brand. Examples include:

  • Sending a handwritten note
  • Personalizing your survey outreach
  • Offering discounts for loyalty

Surprises and personalized experiences will make customers feel more engaged than ever before. Learn more about how to personalize your closed-loop feedback experience with Special Properties

4. Align with good causes

While you should never do something that isn’t true to your brand’s identity, there are customer-facing benefits to aligning with good causes. Google reports that 46% of shoppers make a conscious effort to do business with brands that align with their values. 

If there’s a particular charity, organization, or community cause that you believe in, don’t be afraid to talk about it. Not all of your customers will care, but many will. And those who do will feel even more engaged with your business.

Try Delighted for free

Looking for more insights into how your customers feel, what they want, and where you can improve in order to offer higher levels of engagement? Try Delighted and tap into the easiest and fastest platform for gathering actionable customer feedback. Sign up now and survey 1,000 customers for free!