Customer engagement strategies seek to involve customers in the evolution and growth of the brand to the extent that they become brand advocates
By Aniketh Jain
The popular saying ‘change is the only constant’ cannot be any truer than it has been for the year 2020-2021. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, our lives have been turned topsy-turvy and our ways of living up until 2019 have become obsolete, to say the least. Almost everything that we do has dramatically changed, right from mundane daily chores like grocery shopping to complex coordination with international colleagues for solving issues.
With these evolving times, many businesses have realised that the best way to stay connected is digitally, and with this comes a few crucial realisations and touchpoints that make this experience safe and convenient for everyone. And it is important to note that offering an exceptional customer experience at every touchpoint is crucial to building and sustaining a solid reputation of a company’s brand. However, consumer engagement is an often-overlooked aspect, despite being essential for leading customers onto their journey.
When running a business, just onboarding new customers isn’t enough; it’s equally important to retain the existing ones. And this is where customer engagement comes in. Customer engagement is defined as a company’s act of building and nurturing a relationship with the people who buy its products. In other words, it’s the sum total of all ways undertaken to connect with the consumers i.e., the phone calls, emails, social media conversations and much more. If businesses create strategies around these interactions, then they do not just keep their customers happy but also bring in new business.
Effective business strategies for consumer engagement
Consumer engagement is all about inspiring one’s consumers to interact with the brand and willingly partake in the experiences that the brand creates for them. When done right, it can help a business grow its brand and generate customer loyalty, which in turn will bring in more revenue.
Customer engagement strategies seek to involve customers in the evolution and growth of the brand to the extent that they become brand advocates. Yet, research has shown that more than 50 percent of companies had no formalised customer engagement plan in place.
To help companies make it a thumb rule for their progress, here’s a list of five top customer engagement strategies:
The most important thing to remember is that every consumer has their own preferred way of being connected, be it SMS, voice calls, WhatsApp, or emails. Having a platform that caters to all these needs by any business provides them with the flexibility and seamless capability to cater to these forms of communication and keep the channel open with their consumers.
Mapping of consumers and their preferences in terms of communication or even their consumer mapping has become an interesting and necessary niche, helping businesses fine-tune their market strategies with targeted audiences. This in turn translates into how consumer engagement is continuously becoming a driving force in the way a business operates.
Consumer relationship management
As more and more businesses, in fact, carry out consumer mapping to strategise, it has become a fast-growing area, with more CRMs and tools catering to helping model and manage this data, helping businesses visualise this and ultimately improve the engagement that they have currently developed with the consumers.
Security and Privacy
The most important aspect that anyone looks for when working with data is always security, be it a business or an end consumer. Businesses take this as one of the most important factors when evaluating any company to help them cater to their consumers since the data they would be handling is considered as Personal Identifiable Information (PII). Because of this, it is paramount to have an impeccable data security system in place.
The present-day customers want to be in control of what they engage with or what services they would like to invest their time and money in. Hence, businesses must ensure that they give the end consumer the ultimate control – the option to “opt-in” or “opt-out” of a service should be in their control, be it the method of communication, time of communication, or altogether being connected with a brand or not.
Hence, all these strategies can translate into an overall growth in the revenue due to the opening up of a whole avenue of communication, all the while costing just a fraction for set up and execution. As so many businesses are already treading the path to effective consumer engagement, there is no need to do it all at once in order to stand out from the crowd. Rather, if businesses adopt even one or two of these strategies and make them work, it is bound to prove profitable. Companies must set some realistic and reasonable goals, and define metrics for measuring their progress. Also, these must be checked in regularly to see how the strategies are performing, so that something new can also be tried if required. A little time and effort can go a long way in increasing customer engagement for a business.
The author is chief revenue officer, Kaleyra