It used to be that the quality of goods or services is what created a happy customer. But that was then. And this is the age of customer engagement: Today, customers want to feel appreciated, engaged and connected with their chosen brands. Here’s proof:
- 86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience
- By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator (Walker)
Research is also finding that, even in today’s digital era, customers are seeking more authentic, human-centered interaction—but without constant interruption. This is the challenge that we face as marketers: To connect with customers in ways that are real and relevant, while providing transparency, in a frequency that keeps them engaged.
If you don’t have a customer engagement program in place to create those connections, it’s time to jump on board: Excited and engaged customers bring in 23 percent more profits. (Gallup)
This article in Entrepreneur magazine offers 10 ideas for boosting customer engagement https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/310656. Here’s a quick-read summary of those tips:
- Share behind-the-scenes content. Think about sharing employee stories or a tour of your facilities/properties.
- Launch a user conference. Bring people together to meet and share their experience with your brand—these trigger emotional connections and lead to better brand attitudes.
- Survey customer to better understand them. And then use that data to align your service or product offerings.
- Use personalization. Eighty percent of people say that brands are not tailored to their needs—stand out by making a personal connection with your customers.
- Package products in unique ways. Make it memorable.
- Create a purposeful brand. Generation X and millennials want to believe companies care about the same causes they do.
- Launch a contest. Contests on social media increase online audiences by as much as 34 percent and boost email sign-ups by a similar amount (Hubspot).
- Develop a product for an underserved niche. This offers the opportunity to quickly build brand loyalty.
- Focus on creating added value. Give customers what they want and need—that’s true value. Be deliberate about communicating that value statement.
- Try something new. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and implement a new campaign element or try a new media channel—changing up your game could be what your brand needs to make breakthrough connections.
What tips do you have for creating engaging connections with your customers? I’m interested in hearing from you. firstname.lastname@example.org