“Customer engagement is important for the growth of any business because engagement is the difference between respectable growth and unacceptable churn,” – Forbes.com
A number of factors drive modern commerce; these include market competition, the profit motive, obligations to shareholders, technology disruptions, new product development, and customer engagement. The last factor is critical to all business enterprises. Business theorists and commercial operators agree that every enterprise must keep customers engaged in the interests of sustaining commercial relationships over the long term. The wide reach of the modern Internet offers a number of customer engagement strategies. Some of these strategies can hinge on the practices that underlie customer service. We shall examine some of these strategies in the following paragraphs.
Brands and businesses should leverage the Internet to build online communities. This strategy is a long-term play designed to keep customers engaged and to expand the customer base of a business. Market research indicates that online communities are useful “to directly engage your customers by answering their questions, having discussions that are relevant to your industry, keeping them updated and sharing information that they care about or are looking for.” The global Internet affords multiple channels – such as social media – through which brands and businesses can create online communities focused on the customer. This tactic enables businesses to drive long-term engagement with clients and customers. Online communities are also useful to engage with potential customers and propel the metrics of online conversion. In light of the above, commercial operators must actively invest in building and expanding online communities.
Promotional offers and direct conversations with customers represent an important aspect of customer service for businesses that wish to keep customers engaged. Every business operator must realize that their clients and customers are human beings that will likely appreciate special treatment. Ergo, the promotional offer can be pitched at regular intervals in a bid to boost consumer sentiment and to entice new customers. We note that such initiatives have the power to re-kindle customer interest in a certain brand. These initiatives also reinforce positive brand impressions in the minds of customers. Further, promotional offers help businesses to deal with market competition at little additional cost.
In a similar vein, direct conversations with customers empower a brand to tap the voice of the customer and react accordingly. This is a useful strategy to keep customers engaged because it creates an impression that a brand is responsive to customer preferences. For instance, a manufacturer of consumer electronics products can elect to converse with customers through social media channels in a bid to discover the latest trends in consumer preferences. We note that these interactions afford the manufacturer a first-hand opportunity to sample customer preferences. In addition, these conversations help to create word-of-mouth publicity for the manufacturer. This mode of enabling customer service enables brands to gain a larger mind share and thus keep customers engaged.
The many uses of modern electronic technologies can help brands and businesses to architect innovation in customer engagement paradigms. For instance, quick service restaurants can team with public transportation operators to create campaigns that inform customers about various QSR outlets at different locations inside an urban landscape. This instance of commercial collaboration can extend the outreach of the QSR industry, while offering additional choices to each customer and their families. We may state that such a collaboration helps to expand the limits of customer choice and enables QSR operators to keep customers engaged. Further, this collaboration can spotlight new outlets, thus helping to drive footfalls at these businesses.
The product tour is a modern invention designed to boost customer engagement in modern markets. Product tours are important because they “introduce users to a commercial product or new feature. When done well, they can enhance the user experience and motivate users to take key actions.” Brands and businesses can elect to create frequent and deep product tours in a concerted bid to keep customers engaged. For instance, a manufacturer of high-end cosmetics products can organize a product tour for select clientele in a bid to launch new products. The clients can learn about the company’s new products and the utility afforded by said products. We note that committed customers are most likely to enjoy the product tours and commit their dollars to brands operated by said manufacturer. In a similar vein, a manufacturer of software products can choose to embed a three-dimensional product tour in its website and social media handles in an attempt to gain more customers. This tactic can drive higher traffic on the Internet handles of said manufacturer and create substantial savings for its marketing budgets. We note that these tactics bear the potential to keep customers engaged and attract their loyalty for many years.
Resolving customer complaints is a pivot in modern service-driven industries. Market research and surveys have confirmed that businesses that resolve a conflict situation in favor of the customer tend to keep customers engaged. We note that each customer is an individual being and may interact with a brand in a myriad of ways. The sheer range of diversity in customer interactions may spark conflict points between a brand offerings and customer expectations. Therefore, brands and businesses must exert themselves in resolving conflict in favor of the customer. This is important because it helps the brand improve its offerings, while sensitizing it to the evolution in customer choices and preferences. That said, we note that conflict resolution also affords brands an opportunity to seek and resolve pain points that may affect the customer experience. In resolving these points, brands and businesses are creating an investment that will surely keep customers engaged.
Courting the younger generations is tactically important in modern business enterprises. Brands and businesses must realize that business expansion is directly co-related to expanding the customer base. Therefore, commercial operators must work to engage with younger generations that will likely develop into future customer segments. For instance, a business that makes and markets ice creams and frozen desserts should focus on the young generation. The utility of this business tactic hinges on creating inter-generational demand for frozen dessert products. In addition, youngsters that like the product may recommend the brand to their friends, thereby igniting a wider circle of product recommendations. This tactic applies equally to every type of business because it helps to keep customers engaged.
A healthy combination of automation and human service representatives help a business to keep customers engaged. Automation technologies can help a business to serve larger numbers of customers and to accelerate business development efforts. However, a judicious deployment of human service can create bespoke customer experiences and create frequent instance of ‘customer delight.’ For instance, commercial businesses that operate voice-based customer care service are quick to appreciate the importance of the human touch. Interactions with human beings can elevate the level of customer service, thus ensuring speedy resolutions.
In the previous paragraphs, we have examined some techniques that enable businesses to deploy customer service in the interests of keeping customers engaged. Modern brands and businesses operate in complex business environments; this fact imposes prohibitive costs in case of customer ire or a flawed customer journey. In light of the above, businesses and enterprises should fashion new strategies that boost customer service levels and keep customers engaged.