Wikipedia defines customer engagement as follows:
- ‘A business connection between an external stakeholder and an organisation’
The key word her is ‘connection’ and that connection is established with a view to establishing a ‘relationship’ that will encourage initial sales, larger sales repeat sales and referrals.
Consider the following in relation to customer engagement:
- Provide the customer and potential customer with all interesting information
Certainly, potential customers should have ready access to the information they need, but they should also have ready access to information (often ‘content’) that interests and engages them.
- Offer a brand that is human and accessible and authentic
People engage best with a brand or business that has a human quality to the brand and with is absolutely authentic in its approach and offering. Engagement requires relating to the brand.
- Offer an exceptional customer experience
Really understand the customer journey and ensure that the experience at each point in that journey is pleasurable and engaging. Consumers are engaged by memorable experiences.
- Have conversations with your customers and potential customers
Social media provides an excellent opportunity to engage with customers, as do informative and engaging newsletters that customers will read. Be sure to monitor and fine tune strategies.
- Personalise communication talking one to one
No one wants to be just another face in the crowd and name on a database. Effective engagement requires that all communication is personalised and that each customer is acknowledged
- Listen – then listen some more – then listen some more, then act
It is too easy to talk at customers, Real engagement however requires listening as carefully as possible, responding in a way that demonstrates you listened and then acting accordingly.
- Tell stories
Nothing engages human beings more than stories. Stories, unlike facts are remembered. Stories unlike facts and figures have an emotional impact. Stories engage and promote relationships
- Remember the importance of significance and connection.
Every consumer today wants to feel important or significant. Every human being everywhere needs to connect with his or her fellow man. These are two of the six critical needs of all consumers
- Build a community
Real engagement occurs when the customers voluntarily become part of a community lead by the brand and for the benefit of customers. Communities build long term relationships and revenue.