Blog

Engaging Customers: A New Imperative

Ziegler Colaco | June 2018

The word ‘Customer Engagement’ was discussed quite animatedly at our office when preparing for a pitch. More so because the brand in question had not advertised for a couple of years. It was quite apparent that the brand would have to begin conversations with its older customers and new prospects before it could ‘sell’ to them.

It’s not that customers did not have to be engaged earlier. Brands engaged with customers through advertisements and events. So what changed?

With digital media coming in, it’s the customer who is in the driver’s seat now. With the democratisation of technology, the customer is better informed. So, it’s very easy for him or her to switch to another brand if dissatisfaction sets in.

Also, because of the sheer number of registrations and returns that one must file, things may get much more complicated. This will be especially true for advertising agencies operating in multiple states because there will be a Central GST and a State GST, which may increase the complexity rather than ease it.

The Necessity of Customer Engagement

Ads are no longer enough to keep customers engaged. Customers today, especially millennials, are sceptical about ads, while many eye them with suspicion fearing that they are being sold to. That’s why Customer Engagement has become necessary in most industries. Let’s understand what Customer Engagement is and why it needs to be done.

Customer Engagement is the process of building, nurturing and managing relationships with customers in order to foster brand loyalty & awareness about a brand, product or service. It’s necessary for building the emotional connection between a customer and the brand/company.

Customer Engagement is necessary because your best salespeople are your customers! The people best equipped to sell your product are the people who have already purchased your product. And your ability to turn them into effective advocates for your brand comes down to the customer engagement strategies you adopt.

Types of Engaged Customers

With the advent of technology, there are various types of engaged customers:

  • The first are of course, the ones who pay money and buy your products or services.
  • The next are advocates, the ones who provide a positive opinion of your product or service.
  • They are the ones who also share or retweet the content that your company puts out to their followers and friends.
  • The third type are those who will take time out, talk to you and give you valuable feedback.
  • The last type is a product of the digital world, those who follow you or your company on various social media.

Customer Engagement Ideas

As a brand committed to customer engagement, how does one go about engaging the modern customer? Customers don't get engaged with your company or brand overnight. Engaging customers means connecting on a deeper emotional level and building trust. Hence, it is crucial to have a customer engagement strategy to proactively engage customers across the entire customer journey. It means getting into the customer’s shoes and possibly going out of the way for them.

Here are some customer engagement ideas that brands and companies can use to engage audiences:

1. Engage Through Social Media
In the real world, we get closer to people through social interactions. Technology has given us social media to do just that with customers. Tag them, call them out, thank them, or offer them something to catch their attention.

2. Make your Website Interesting
Make the visit to your website an interesting one. If users have registered with you, welcome them by name. Use the website to not just share information but build a community. Share customer reviews and testimonials on your own blog to give attention to users.

3. Bring Email Subscribers Back to Life
Your users subscribed to your email because they found something of value. But then they simply disappear. To counter dead email list subscribers and bring them back to life, first try to figure out why your subscribers have gone inactive, and really get to know your intended audience. Then, try giving something away to capture their attention once again.

4. Deliver Personalised Content
Customers get bombarded by a lot of generalised content during the course of the day. What you can do to stand out is to segment customers and offer short bursts of content that is extremely personalised and highly relevant. It can be in the form of emails, social media posts or blog articles.

5. Use Rewards to Attract Your TG
If there's one thing everyone loves, its rewards! People perk up in expectation of getting something for their actions. Supplement your marketing efforts by having a rewards or loyalty program in place. Definitely works!

6. Get One-on-One with Events
Nothing beats face-to-face interaction whether in your personal life or business. If you already have information about your target audience, thanks to the market research you have been doing, why not host an event that you know your target audience will appreciate. Give your VIP customers personalised passes to enter the venue and have someone greet them to make them feel special. Be sure they will appreciate this gesture!

7. Use Multi-Channel Marketing
Customers interact with brands using different channels and you too should do the same. Not only does it reduce sameness, it makes your brand look smart. Just think of the impression you will make when they might be browsing your website and they receive a notification about a social media post you just made.

We are sure you will find many more ways to engage your customers. Wish you all the best on your Customer Engagement journey!