Customer experience will remain a top priority for businesses, acting as a key business differentiator this year. Additionally, most firms will focus on building customer engagement and retention, both digitally and in print, which is central to the overall brand experience.
But what do you mean by customer engagement?
In a nutshell, customer engagement refers to an important connection between your customers and you that encourages them to get more involved with your brand. Customer engagement is also central to your customer experience, as engaged customers are likely to be more satisfied with your overall brand experience. Highly engaged customers buy more and contribute to up to two-thirds of a brand’s profits. Yet, many firms fail at customer engagement, and 54 percent of users think brands need to transform the way they engage fundamentally.
How to Improve Your Customer Engagement Levels
Customer engagement is an ongoing effort, and your customer engagement strategies must evolve continually to match your customers’ changing expectations. It is also a fact that attention spans are diminishing, and you need to track engagement on different touchpoints to stay current.
In this Mimeo blog post, we identify five ways to upgrade your customer engagement levels online and in print. Additionally, we recommend holding regular customer experience surveys to map user expectations and create omnichannel or consistent engagement across channels for improved brand experience.
1. Focus on User Onboarding
Customer onboarding is an end-to-end process to educate users about the benefits of your products or services. In the current landscape, selling a product or service is not enough. It is also imperative to ensure that users derive the promised results by understanding and using your product or service optimally. A seamless onboarding process helps users achieve their goals by guiding them on usage and set-up, with ongoing support to achieve the promised results.
Take the example of Netflix’s onboarding program for new users. The simple interface offers step-by-step instructions to get you started with Netflix. Everything from setting a password to membership plans is clearly laid out, leading to a seamless experience.
Wondering how to go about creating an engaging onboarding plan for your customers?
Typically, it is a good idea to start with a welcome email followed by an in-app message to greet the users. This message should welcome users and encourage them to set up an account. You can follow this up with another email with embedded video to simplify the set up further.
Besides deciding what to include in your onboarding plan, you must also choose how, when, and where to connect with your customers without disrupting their experience.
For example, you can use in-app messaging to connect with users without causing any information overload. Whether it is an order confirmation, shipping updates, a new offer, or any other update, a quick push notification is sure to gain your users’ attention compared to an email or SMS message. Another, often overlooked way to communicate with customers is through print, whether that’s a letter, brochure, postcard, or other printed materials.
2. Use Live Chat Software For Real-Time Support
Customers no longer want to be treated like numbers. Instead, they expect on-demand brand interactions to make their experience seamless and distraction-free. This expectation also stretches to your customer service team, which must be equipped to handle user queries in real-time without unnecessary delays and wait time.
A popular support strategy that has consistently delivered results over the past few years is integrating live chat software for customer service (like Mimeo does on its website). Splashtop, a Silicon Valley-based company, used chatbots to increase their sales conversations by 35 percent. To overhaul its customer experience, Splashtop integrated chatbot software on 36 webpages and used the bot to initiate conversations with visitors. Splashtop also used Salesforce integration to record qualified leads for a more streamlined lead generation process.
Here are some ways in which you can use live chat to improve your engagement levels:
- Live chat software provides your customer-facing staff with an advanced tool to engage users in real-time while saving time and effort at both ends.
- Besides ensuring faster and reliable support, live chat helps you connect with interested users and engage with them when they need it the most while making a purchase decision.
- Live chat also helps you gather instant feedback through embedded surveys on various pages to gain relevant information regarding users’ pain points and how to address them.
- You can set chat triggers to connect with customers that haven’t been active for some time. You may use chat triggers for returning customers to send personalized messages based on their interests. Similarly, there can be chat triggers on your ‘contact’ page and other pages with high bounce rates to offer users real-time support and prevent them from leaving your site immediately.
- Live chat is connected with your CRM and stores user data, so you can filter conversations to identify common concerns that will help you find new topics for your content marketing purposes. Based on this information, you can create highly personalized content that addresses common customer queries, improving the user experience while also reducing your support team’s burden.
3. Use Social Media for Engaging Your Customers
Social media networks like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are not meant for merely connecting with people or advertising for users. These platforms can also be used for engaging your audience through regular contests, loyalty programs, and other exciting content.
To get started, find out your customers’ preferred social media hangouts and the type of content they find most enjoyable. Take the example of Lenovo, which has been using social media to obtain data about customer preferences and uses it for product improvement to get ahead of the competition. The company employs a wide range of tools to collect customer feedback regarding color preferences, screen sizes, and additional features for their laptops. Based on this information, they have been continually upgrading their range of products to meet, and even exceed, the evolving user expectations.
Many companies also use social media listening and hashtag generators to keep a tab on the pulse of the audience. A tool like Hootsuite helps gather feedback, record brand mentions, and identify common user concerns to create helpful content for better engagement.
4. Personalize Offline Marketing With Automation Software
Everybody loves personalization, but it is hard to come by in the age of digitization. But what if you could bridge the boundaries between the two with a platform like Mimeo that lets you create awesome print content for direct mail services? Mimeo streamlines the entire process of printing direct mail and other materials, from building, proofing, and shipping with no order minimums. Whether it is an information catalog or a thank you card, you just need to hit a few buttons to engage your users like never before.
5. In-Product Messaging For Higher Engagement
There are many ways in which you can notify your customers about new products. Email, social media, and text messages are standard methods of reaching out to them. However, we are all guilty of sending unoriginal, even spammy marking product emails and text messages, because we are already bogged down with information and don’t need brand messages to add to our work load.
Enter in-product messaging: a quick pop-up notification that conveys your message while a user is already interacting with your product. If you use Google Drive, you’ve probably noticed pop-ups each time a document is added, or when any changes are made in the drive. Instead of sending you an email each time a change is made, Google uses in-product messaging that’s seamless, convenient, and less distracting.
Whether you are selling software or shoes, customers are the heart and soul of your business, and keeping them engaged is central to building a loyal user base. Engaged customers often buy more, contributing significantly to your company’s bottom line. Additionally, they act as positive voices for your firm, spreading the good word to help you acquire more customers organically.
Especially in today’s times, when most businesses are focusing on digital, it is more crucial than ever before to develop robust digital and print engagement strategies to keep your user base from straying. Simple changes like adopting live chat software, improving your social media presence, and building a user-centric onboarding process can enhance your customer engagement levels and improve your overall customer experience.
About the Author
Dhruv Mehta is a Digital Marketing Professional who works at Acquire and provides solutions in the digital era. In his free time, he loves to write on tech and marketing. He is a frequent contributor to Tweak Your Biz. Connect with him on Twitter or LinkedIn.