The Art of Customer Engagement to Win Life-Long Customers
“Shut up and take my money!”
CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY | SALES STRATEGY | CUSTOMER JOURNEY
There are some brands that customers just love.
They are loyal, they talk about them to their friends, on social media and they share and engage with the company’s content.
So how do companies build this kind of following? It all comes down to two words: Customer Engagement – how well you build and maintain a relationship with your customers. Ultimately people buy from people they like. And like any relationship, people are more likely to like you if you take an active interest in them as individuals – ask questions, listen to the responses and refine your offering accordingly.
We’ve narrowed down the formula for business success. It’s all about:
We’ll help plan your journey so you’re on the right track to deliver the right results for your business.
We’ll navigate the path with the right tracking, measurement, analysis and strategy.
With small steps brings big rewards. We’ll optimise and improve results, generate more profit for lower costs, and bring you rapid growth and business success.
Getting your customer engagement strategy off to a flying start begins with a good hard look at your customer experience. To do this you will need to have already defined your:
- Target audience: we can’t stress enough how important it is to know who are the individuals that make up your customers. Know them intimately (metaphorically speaking!).
- Customer journey: you need to know exactly what experience your customers are receiving at each touch point and doing everything you can to ensure it is exceeding their expectations. Your customer journey from initial contact through to sale needs to be seamless, simple and with no hidden surprises (e.g. an undisclosed postage fee at checkout).
Now you’re ready to determine the best customer engagement strategy for your business based on who your audience is and what touch points you’ve identified throughout the customer journey. Some of the more common strategies where small to medium-sized businesses can make a real difference include:
- Customer service: This is about your sales/customer service staff impressing the socks off your customers whether that’s in-store (i.e. face to face), on your website, on the phone or email. But you can’t do this unless you have engaged and motivated staff who are as committed to the idea as you are. Try reviewing your company culture and if you don’t already, build a customer-centric organisation and ensuring you have a solid sales process in place that staff can follow – ask the right questions, capture the right information, provide the right guidance, close the sale. Train and empower them to understand the impact they can have at every touch point – the tone of their email, welcoming voice on phone, helpful nature in-store, so that everything they do they are doing with the customer in mind.
- Social media: If your target audience is hanging out on social media, you should be too. But this is about more than just making a sale. It’s about creating a relationship, a two-way conversation and using social media as a way to learn more about each other, in a social kind of way. Use it to share useful content (not just product information), invite feedback and respond to it all in real time.
- Content: Creating useful, relevant and engaging content is an excellent way to connect with your audience. Creating content that is educational, insightful and informative (laced with a bit of humour always helps!) to help your audience understand more about a particular topic or product will do wonders for your brand. Video content, blogs, e-books, webinars and newsletters are all good examples of ways you can deliver good content.
- Email: Once you have the email address of a potential or current customer, you’re in a prime position to engage with them (not pester them!). For your email engagement strategy to be successful you need to consider the frequency of emails, nature, tone and content. It can be a great way to connect (think welcome emails, thanks for registering, shopping cart abandonment), surprise (think 10% off thank you/pre-sale/birthday discounts or gifts/offers/invitations), nurture (think useful content about products that they’re interested in, news and updates), and harness (invites for post purchase/stay reviews and loyalty/rewards programs).
- Website: There’s no point having an amazing looking website if your visitors bounce straight back off again without engaging or taking the time to dig deeper than your homepage or landing page. If you create a website with your target market and the user journey in mind, you will be better placed to have a website that really connects with your customers.
With the right business intelligence in place you can start to track, monitor and analyse customer engagement.
Business Intelligence can help build insights into your target audience and define your customer journey by capturing information such as demographics (age, gender, location), preferences (device, time of day), interests and behaviour (products/pages viewed, time on page).
Once your sales and marketing activity is up and running, it’s imperative that you are using Business Intelligence to track and report on everything you do, including your customer engagement.
Some of the customer engagement metrics we look at include:
- Sales Staff Metrics – Volume of leads, volume of sales
- Customer service – Volume of feedback surveys completed, overall ratings and number of positive comments
- Emails – Volume of emails opened, shared and the click through rate to the website/landing page.
- Social – Number of likes/shares/comments on individual posts, the number of followers your profile has, the volume of reviews (positive vs negative).
- Website: There is no point measuring Time on site, Bounce rate, pages viewed, conversions
Building customer engagement isn’t something that will just happen. Even with lots of planning, it still takes time and dedicated resources; testing, refining and making some improvements over time to gradually increase engagement and customer retention. This could be as simple as adjusting the time or day that you post articles or send emails to your customer database.
Ultimately, you want to continually be looking to improve your customer experience by ways to improve engagement. Here are some of our favourites:
Sales Process: This is all about making it easier for your staff to do their jobs.
- What systems/CRM is required to capture leads, manage and report on activity?
- Training and upskilling – this is an ongoing process to keep staff motivated and ready to hit the ground running.
Customer Experience – This is all about ways to make customers love you even more.
- Business Intelligence – use it to review the customer journey and identify roadblocks in the decision-making process to purchase. What are the drop-off points? Why are some areas of the business performing better than others?
- Communication – make it easier for your customers to get in contact in the way that suits them. Consider Live Chat to help them get immediate answers without having to pick up the phone. This can be particularly useful for outside of business hours or if your target audience resides in a different time zone.
- Word of mouth – Find ways to exceed their expectations – surprise your customers and find ways to thank them (i.e. show them that you really care).
- Rewards and Loyalty – treat your customers well and give them a reason to return to you over and over again.
Make it personal: Look for ways to personalise every interaction.
- E-communications – Segment your database and send only relevant content, address the email to the customer’s first name.
- CRM/Phone systems – Technology should be your best friend. Use it to personalise your service. Integrating your CRM with your phone system can allow you to identify the caller as its coming, allowing your team to personalise their greeting (trust us, this will blow your customers away!).
Mobile: Make the experience user friendly.
- Optimise for mobile – with more and more people using their mobile phone to search online and buy goods and services, make sure your website and any customer interactions are user friendly – easy to read, navigate and respond.
Automate: Get technology working for you.
- Emails – integrate your CRM and email platform to automatically email prospects and customers at different touchpoints and steps along the customer journey.
Feedback: Ask for feedback and use it to your advantage.
- Surveys, polls – use them to specifically ask for feedback that will help you improve your service.
- Social media – engage with customers on social media and ask them for feedback in real time, and encourage them to write about their positive experience with reviews on social media and beyond.
Social Media: Get active and get creative.
- Get savvy – Explore and test new ways to encourage your audience to share your content. Consider inviting guest bloggers to your site, engage an influencer or simply produce great content!
- Keyword research and content gaps – use this to identify what terms you rank well for versus your competitors so you can create content around the topics that you’re not ranking for, and identify overall gaps in your content.
- Content plan – Ensure you’re consistently creating new and fresh content on your website that can then be shared through your social channels and test what topics, headlines, and tone works best with your audience.
- Analytics – use it to review what pages/products are most popular on your page and then create more content around these.
- Influencers – engage them to create or share content for you
25% growth in revenue in 4 months
Engagement: Sept ’16 – Current
Growth in leads
Growth in sales
Growth in website visitors
“I set Due North a target of growing my business by 25% within 6-12 months. They delivered in just 4! Their professionalism, communication and results have been excellent.
It is extremely refreshing to find a company that takes the time to guide you through the process, understand your requirements and then deliver a solution in a timely fashion.
I’d recommend them to anyone.”
GUY WILSON – GENERAL MANAGER | FORT KNOX SELF STORAGE
- Customer Experience
- Search management (SEM and SEO)
- Content Strategy and recommendation
- Web design and development
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