What is customer engagement?
Definition: Customer engagement is the process of building and maintaining a relationship between a business and its customers.
Customer engagement can be achieved through various channels — social media, chatbots, email, customer support, etc. — and it involves creating interactions and positive experiences that foster loyalty, satisfaction, and trust among customers.
Customer engagement is important because it helps with brand awareness and reputation, customer retention, customer loyalty, good reviews, and ultimately higher sales.
Metrics for measuring customer engagement
1. Customer satisfaction score – Businesses measure customer satisfaction score by asking their customers to rate their satisfaction with the product, service, or interaction. A higher score illustrates a stronger brand reputation and greater customer retention.
2. Purchce frequency & Average order value – Looking into clients' purchase history helps you get insights regarding purchase frequency and average order value. These metrics show who the loyal customers of the brand are.
3.Net promoter score – A brand measures NPS through customer surveys questioning their likelihood of recommending it to others. A higher NPS score shows that customers are engaged and loyal to the brand.
4. Customer retention – You get the information by tracking customer churn rates and analyzing purchase history. Engaged and loyal customers aren’t one-off buyers but repeat customers.
5. Social media engagement – Companies analyze metrics on their social media channels to see how many likes, story replies, tags, or shares they have. Likes, tags, shares, and replies indicate how much customers are engaged with a brand on social media.
Degrees of customer engagement
1. Aware customers
Consumers that haven’t yet used the product but are aware it exists. They haven’t shown any particular interest in the product/brand, so their engagement is low.
Help them find the necessary information through blog posts, guest posts or ads. Encourage them to ask questions or leave comments the brand’s employees get back to.
Consumers that know a lot about the product/brand but didn’t make a purchase still. Their engagement is usually on a lower scale, but they often reach out to customer support.
The best way to engage leads and turn them into buyers is to urge them to take action. Encourage them to reply to the brand’s outreach by asking them to share their story or ask a question.
3. New customers
Customers have made a purchase but may not have formed a strong connection with the brand yet. Their engagement is usually in the middle of the scale because they often give feedback or share their story with the product.
Encourage them to share their thoughts and experience with the product, and show appreciation with a discount code or referral program.
4. Loyal customers
Returning customers that have made more than one purchase. These customers usually publicly share their experience with the product and engage with the brand on social media. Thus, they are on the higher end of the engagement scale.
The best way to engage loyal customers is to make them a part of the brand by putting their stories in the brand’s story highlights or website, sending them a special discount or gift, and answering their comments.
Advocates are the brand's biggest fans, so they often write reviews, talk about you in Facebook groups and buy products for themselves and their friends and family.
The best way to engage advocates is to ask them for feedback and implement it immediately so they know how much they mean to the brand.
Customer engagement tools
1. Chatbots – A great tool for customer engagement because it provides instant answers 24/7, resulting in positive customer feedback and improving overall customer experience with a brand's support services.
2. Email marketing – Personalized and targeted emails offer customers relevant and useful content, increasing the chances of conversion.
3. Social media – A good customer engagement tool because customers have real-time interactions with the brand & other customers while building a community where they share experiences, tips, and feedback.
4. Loyalty and rewards programs – Incentivize customers to return and make repeat purchases by offering rewards, discounts, free products or services, and early access to sales or exclusive offers
5. CRMs – CRM systems provide a central repository for customer data, allowing businesses to track customer interactions across multiple channels and touchpoints. This information can be used to understand customer needs better, personalize communications, and improve customer experience and engagement.
Other types of customer engagement tools include:
- Gamification platforms
- Live chat and messaging tools
- Customer feedback and survey tools
- Personalization and recommendation engines
- Video and webinar tools.
Customer engagement strategies
By awarding loyal customers for increasing brand awareness, companies get more high-quality leads from them and increase their loyalty to the brand.
By providing customers with an interactive experience that includes awards and badges to motivate participation and engagement, businesses increase the likelihood of customers sharing and talking about the brand on social media.
Co-creation of products or rebranding with loyal customers increases engagement, fosters a deeper connection, and ultimately leads to increased loyalty and advocacy for the brand.
Great customer engagement examples
Adobe is a software company that launched the “Adobe Insider” program, providing their customers with training, exclusive content, and support in terms of events and webinars. This engagement strategy of providing value to customers is a great example of customer retention and building a community with them.
Zendesk is a customer support software company that uses its community forum to build a community and strong relationship with its customers. On the forum, their customers ask questions, share their stories, get personalized feedback, etc.