What is customer engagement?
Customer engagement is about connecting beyond the obvious touchpoints in your customer journey. It is an ongoing relationship between the brand and the consumer that goes beyond transactions. A customer engagement platform is the tool designed to help manage this relationship.
Customer engagement is not about simply driving prospects down the marketing funnel. Instead, customer engagement is an intentional, consistent approach that provides value during every customer interaction resulting in increased brand loyalty.
Different businesses take different approaches to customer engagement. This approach of building and nurturing relationships throughout the customer journey is called the Customer Engagement Model. A great customer engagement model ensures superior brand recall when it comes to decision-making.
Customer engagement is no longer just a part of your marketing strategy. Instead, it is a necessary component of your business strategy and growth plan. To pick the correct customer engagement model for your business, we need first to understand how much engagement is required in order to meet your customers’ expectations.
Let’s take a look at the customer engagement model in detail:
The customer engagement model: Defined
A customer engagement model is an approach companies take to engage and nurture customers. An engagement model facilitates proactive communication that enables long-term relationship-building with the customers.
The purpose of a customer engagement model is to help a brand understand the customer journey – what led the customer to make the purchase, their motives, who influenced them, and which stakeholders were involved in at different stages of the buying journey.
Since every business has a unique customer journey, it also needs to have its customer engagement model. For example, a food delivery company can work under the assumption that customers can navigate through the ordering and receiving their meals with minimal customer support. However, the same cannot be true for a SaaS company requiring extensive sales and after-sales support.
Even though every business has different goals, some fundamental parts remain true to every successful customer engagement model. Here are the key components of every customer engagement model:
- Connect: During the outreach and connection stage, the focus should be on identifying their buying journey, the motives of the purchase, and the stakeholders involved in the journey. Once this is identified, the goal should be to figure out potential market outreach methods. Surveys, webinars, and internet forums are a few ways to understand the industry and the customer better.
- Acquisition: The most important element is figuring out the ‘why’ at this stage. Why should customers buy or consume from you? Understanding customer pain-points can help companies anticipate issues beforehand and reduce friction accordingly. .
- Contact: Once a customer is acquired, the focus should be on interacting with the customer from the beginning to make them feel engaged.
- Nurture: In this stage, the idea is to maintain customer relationships to keep them interested in your brand..
- Upsell: Companies need to try and nurture relationships with customers so that they are on the top of their minds when it comes to buying/renewing decisions. Appreciation emails, newsletters, and cross-channel updates are just some of the ways to open up further possibilities when it comes to customer retention or upselling.
A great customer engagement model can significantly improve trial conversions, customer satisfaction, revenue per customer, and customer retention. However, customer engagement models also need to be flexible enough to tweak the customer journey according to the nature of the business. In addition, a customer engagement model also needs to check for unforeseen interactions and, therefore, should support automated interactions as well.
To ensure such customization, brands can no longer depend solely on the manual efforts of their customer support teams. To provide consistency in their messaging and automate engagement processes, they require a Customer Engagement Platform.
What is a customer engagement platform?
A customer engagement platform (CEP) is software that helps companies manage, analyze, and optimize the customer journey. It collects all the customer data in one place to deliver a highly personalized experience for customers across multiple devices and platforms.
A customer engagement platform stores every interaction you have with potential and existing customers. Whether it’s an email, social media conversation, or a live chat – the platform ensures that a ticket is logged in the CEP.
A CEP can be seen as an all-in-one contact center for managing every external communication. It’s a combination of a CRM, a help desk, and a cross-channel campaign management platform. It provides customers with a sense that they are getting the support and the attention they need without asking for it.
Here are a few ways a CEP can become a part of your customer journey:
- Based on their order history, suggest a customer a relevant product
- Give instructions on finding a feature tailored to what browser or which software version they are using
- Ask your customer for feedback on their recent purchase experience
A CEP is a one-stop-shop for all the questions of potential and current customers.
How can a customer engagement platform improve your customer experience?
It is essential to understand that even though customer experience and engagement are often used interchangeably, each has a unique role in the customer nurture process.
Customer experience is defined by how your brand is viewed from your customer’s perspective. Customer engagement, on the other hand, is how the customer interacts with the experience. This includes their reaction to your products and services and what influences their buying decisions.
However, both customer engagement and customer experience help build long-term customer relationships. Personalized and quality engagement means that the customers will keep coming back for more.
Here are a few ways a CEP improves your customer experience:
1. Omnichannel experience
Providing consistent messaging and tone of voice across platforms enriches the customer experience. Engaging with your customer in real-time on their preferred channels makes the customer feel special.
2. LIVE collaboration
Video chats and co-browsing can help brands solve customer issues in real-time and drive personalized engagement.
3. Engagement automation
Platforms that allow automated triggers, chatbots, advanced routing, etc., help engage customers in real-time. It also takes away from the workload of your customer success representatives, allowing them to focus on quality work like client experience.
4. Single dashboard management
Integrating customer experience tools with the engagement platform allows you to manage conversations effectively from a single dashboard.
Customer relationships built solely on discounts and offers aren’t sustainable. Unless your relationship with your customer is built on trust, their loyalty is never guaranteed. When a customer knows and trusts your brand to provide value, it makes a huge difference in purchasing behavior. Customers are 23% more likely to spend money with brands that they are fully engaged with.
Customer engagement makes you think from a buyer’s perspective and shifts your focus to what value you’re delivering to them.
The more you learn about your customer, the better you will be at engaging them and providing them with memorable, individualized experiences.
Brands will continue to obsess over new acquisitions and clients. After all, business is all about revenue and profits. But, instead, leaders need to understand that getting revenue from an existing customer is way easier than adding a new one. And what better way to do so than to invest in customer engagement?
Personalized customer engagement with Insider
Companies need to invest in a CEP that boosts customer engagement with dynamic experiences across channels to attract customers with fun, engaging, personalized messaging and offers.
Insider’s customer engagement platform provides you with gamified templates, dynamic emails, hyper-personalized websites, and price and inventory alerts to provide a truly individualized experience to your customers.
Ready to provide your customers with delightful cross-channel customer experiences that win? Get in touch with us.