With nine out of 10 businesses vying for customers' attention, that company whose customer experience stands out from the pack will win over loyal clients.
Customers will return when they get to know you and resonate with you.
But customer engagement is not a one-and-done activity. It isn't just about sending email newsletters or adding a "like us" button on your website.
It's an ongoing process requiring new strategies, tactics, and insights at every stage.
If you're ready to take your customer engagement efforts to the next level, here are the best ways to engage with your customers. Keep reading for tips on creating a winning customer engagement strategy.
Table of Contents
- What is a Customer Engagement Strategy?
- 8 Strategic Customer Engagement Examples You Shouldn’t Ignore
- Why Does Your Business Need a Customer Engagement Strategy?
- What are the Benefits of Implementing a Customer Engagement Strategy?
- Additional Tips for Building an Effective Customer Engagement Strategy
- Customer Engagement Strategy: Final Thoughts
What is a Customer Engagement Strategy?
A consumer engagement strategy is a roadmap for making your customers feel special.
Your customers are individuals, meaning each expects a unique experience from your brand.
How will your business make them feel cared for, understood, and appreciated? A customer engagement strategy is a way to drive loyalty and inspire positive word-of-mouth.
It's also the best way to show off your human side and prove to your customers that you're a real business made up of real people.
Customer engagement strategies are flexible and dynamic. They are always in a state of change as your business grows, your customers change, and new opportunities arise.
As you make changes, you'll want to ensure you're making the most of your consumer engagement strategy.
8 Strategic Customer Engagement Examples You Shouldn’t Ignore
Strategic customer engagement is a powerful way to build relationships and drive sales.
And while it's easy to get lost in the world of social media and digital marketing, there are still plenty of opportunities for businesses to connect with their customers in a meaningful way.
1. Set Up a Customer Success Center
A customer success center (or customer support center) is where your customers can go to find answers to their questions and concerns.
A well-organized support center will help your customers get the needed assistance and keep them from churning out of your system.
And in some cases, it can even serve as a mini support concierge: a central place for customers to gather and communicate with one another.
It can also be a great place to gather information about your customers, like the following:
- Which products they’re using
- How they’re using the products
- What they’d like to see next in your product line
A customer success center can be as simple as an online forum, a live chat feature, or a private section of your website where customers can find FAQs and ask questions.
You can also set up a system so customers can submit detailed product support tickets.
You can use all these tools to create a seamless experience for your customers so they never feel lost or alone.
2. Host an Online Customer Engagement Event
A virtual customer engagement event is a special event you hold which may include things like:
- Video chats
- Facebook Live events
- Reddit AMAs
- Skype chats
- SMS campaigns
The key here is to provide a space for customers to come together to fit their lifestyles. After all, not everyone can get together in person, but everyone can have a voice.
Virtual engagement events are a great way to gather feedback, address concerns, and inspire positive conversations between your customers.
Like bi-monthly webinars, you can set up these events as one-off or recurring.
You can use these opportunities to ask your customers what they want to see from your brand, what questions they have, and what they love (or don't love) about your company.
During or after these events, you can also ask your customers to submit positive and negative feedback.
This is a chance to address concerns and promise that you're always open to suggestions and improvement.
3. Gather and Address Customer Feedback
Feedback is critical to any successful business— but it can be challenging to gather.
You may have a system for receiving feedback, but have you addressed all of the feedback you've received? Do you even know where to start?
Customer feedback is much more than a number or a comment on your product page. It is the experiences of your customers distilled into concise and actionable points.
Feedback is gold. It's your customers' unfiltered thoughts and feelings about what you offer and how you do business. It's honest and authentic.
And, with a little bit of organization, feedback can be constructive.
So, how do you organize feedback?
Create a system where customers are prompted to give feedback every time they buy something.
Set up a system where customers can freely submit feedback on any topic.
You could also take advantage of social media sites like Reddit or Twitter and ask customers what they think of your brand.
No matter what system you choose, ensure you're actively addressing the feedback you receive.
This is your chance to get to know your customers deeper and show them that you care about their experiences.
4. Reward Loyal Customers
While you should always strive to delight your customers, some deserve a little extra recognition.
Your most loyal customers know your brand best, and they love it enough to keep coming back.
Is there a way to show them how much you appreciate their business?
One way is to create a loyalty program. Customers earn points for each purchase, and these points can be redeemed for special rewards. A loyalty program doesn't have to be complex. You can start with something as simple as a punch card, where customers earn one point for every dollar they spend. Whatever reward system you choose, make sure it's both simple and impactful.
Offer coupons or discounts on special occasions. You can send these coupons through email or post them on social media to reach a wider audience.
If you want to go above and beyond, you can also consider hosting special events for your most loyal customers. This can be as simple as having them over for coffee or giving them a shout-out on social media.
Another way to keep customers engaged is by offering them exclusive deals. You can give customers a discount on their next purchase if they share a coupon code with friends, or you could periodically send out emails with special offers that are only available to loyal customers.
You can also send out coupons for a limited time, encouraging customers to act quickly before the offer expires.
Loyalty programs are a great way to show your customers that you appreciate their business and want to show them how much you care.
5. Provide Helpful and Relevant Content
Consumers crave authentic, meaningful content— especially from businesses they love.
Your customers are probably wondering who you are and what you stand for. They want to know your story and why you do what you do.
What can you do to let them in on your brand's secrets? The best way to give your customers a peek behind the curtain is to create helpful and relevant content.
Some good ideas are:
- Blog posts
- Videos, Reels, or Stories
- Customer Stories
Creating authentic, helpful, and relevant content is great for letting your customers into your brand and inspiring positive word-of-mouth.
6. Listen Actively to Your Customers
Listening to your customers isn't a passive activity. It's an active and ongoing process.
When someone takes the time to leave a review on your website, what do you do? Do you hit delete or ignore it? Do you send them a one-line email asking for more details, or do you pause and listen?
Now, this doesn't necessarily mean responding to every review you receive. But it does mean actively listening for patterns and themes in your feedback.
What are the most common questions customers are asked? How can you be helpful without being pushy? Are there topics you should be addressing in your content?
There are many tools you can use to listen to your customers, including:
- Google Alerts
- Muck Rack
- Sprout Social
7. Personalize Your Engagement
Customers expect their brand experiences to be personalized, yet many businesses ignore this expectation.
But it's not impossible to personalize your interactions with customers. You need to make it a priority.
How can you make your customer engagement more personalized?
You can start by adding a person's name to your emails.
Or you can use a customer relationship management system that allows you to customize your communication based on each customer's needs.
Provide values or relevant data that matches what they are looking for, like when you search Google and see results based on your previous searches.
Include images or videos that are relevant to their interests and needs.
You can also try adding a person's name to your marketing campaigns and public relations efforts.
You can even go as far as holding a contest and inviting a specific customer or two to be part of it.
8. Share Your Brand's Mission, Vision, and Story
What do you want your customers to know about your brand? Your mission, vision, and story can help them understand your brand identity and what you stand for.
Asking yourself some key questions can help guide the process:
- Why do we exist? What are our values as a company? How do we stand out from the rest of the crowd?
- Why does our product matter to customers?
- How does it make their lives better in some way?
- How has our customer service been personalized for each person who has purchased from us in the past?
Sharing your brand's mission, vision, and story can make your customers connect with you deeper.
When you share your brand's mission, vision, and story with customers, they'll understand why you do what you do.
Your customers will also feel part of the process because they know what inspires you and where your business is headed.
Why Does Your Business Need a Customer Engagement Strategy?
To keep your customers coming back for more, you need to understand what they want and how they want it delivered.
You also need to know when they're ready to purchase so you can deliver them on time. All of these things come into play as part of customer engagement.
You can't just hope your customers will magically discover your business, buy your products, and stick around as loyal customers.
You have to engage your customers on all levels to know they're appreciated and have a good experience with your brand.
Without a solid consumer engagement strategy, you risk losing customers who would have loved your products and become loyal patrons.
Or, worse, you risk losing potential customers who don't know about your business and don't see any way to learn about it.
A customer engagement strategy helps you reach the right people at the right time in the right way.
What are the Benefits of Implementing a Customer Engagement Strategy?
A strong consumer engagement strategy can boost your sales and increase your revenue.
A strong CEM strategy can also help you achieve the following:
- Better understand your customers: By listening to them and getting to know their interests, buying habits, and more, you can provide them with a personalized experience that meets their needs and expectations.
- Build trust and loyalty: When you engage with your customers and make them feel valued, they will be more likely to return.
- Make more informed business decisions: With the information you gather from your customers, you can make more informed business decisions that help your company grow.
Additional Tips for Building an Effective Customer Engagement Strategy
As a marketer, you know that customer engagement is the key to unlocking more connections and meaningful relationships with customers.
In fact, 86% of customers will leave a company because of a bad customer experience.
You can build stronger relationships by getting to know your customers better and communicating with them in ways that are important to them.
Those stronger relationships make customers feel more loyal to your business, leading to higher sales and increased revenue.
To build a more robust consumer engagement strategy, you need to:
- Define your customer engagement goals: Before you prioritize your customer engagement efforts, you need to know exactly what you're trying to achieve. Start by asking yourself questions like: What is our business trying to accomplish? What would success look like?
- Get to know your customers better: This means more than just demographics like age and income. You also need to understand what customers care about, what challenges they face, how they prefer to interact with businesses, and more.
- Figure out how to talk with your customers: This is where your customer engagement strategy comes in. You want to decide what channels to use to communicate with your customers. These could be social media, emails, in-store signs, or anything else.
- Make it easy for customers to actually talk with you: Having a solid consumer engagement strategy makes it easy for your customers to interact with your business in ways that matter to them. You can focus on the conversation channels that matter most to your customers, making engaging with your business even more accessible.
- Create personas: Personas are fictional characters designed to represent your customers. They're based on your goals, demographics, and buying preferences. By creating personas, you can start to see your customers as real people—which can help you write more effective marketing materials. You can also use personas to help you prioritize features for your products and services.
Customer Engagement Strategy: Final Thoughts
The customer experience is how customers view your brand, product, or service and how they feel about it.
A positive or negative experience can lead to a one-time sale or long-term loyalty.
Brands are being reviewed at an increasingly rapid rate online, and the impact of these reviews has grown substantially.
A sound strategy should be central to any reasonable customer engagement effort. Creating a strategy that combines all these elements will guarantee you a winning customer engagement strategy for eCommerce.