Today, acquiring customers is difficult, but retaining them and building a loyal customer base is another challenge.
Since there are hundreds of businesses selling the same products or offering the same services as you, it’s tempting for your customers to switch to another from a myriad of brands vying for their attention.
So how can you ensure that your competitors don’t steal your customers from right under your nose?
By engaging your customers.
What Is Customer Engagement, and Why Is It Important?
Customer engagement encompasses all interactions between a company and its customers to promote brand awareness and foster customer loyalty. This can either be achieved through two means:
- online, such as social media posts, texts, and emails, or
- offline, such as in-store customer feedback systems.
Customer engagement is key to creating value for your customers at each touch point, listening to their needs and demands, and providing them with tailored solutions to build a rapport for them. This is an essential concept that defines how a customer views and engages with your brand.
A winning customer engagement strategy can help a brand:
- improve customer relationship
- retain customers,
- boost its brand loyalty,
- upsell and cross-sell better,
- increase its revenue,
- reduce the cost of customer acquisition,
- get more referrals, and
- acquire more customers.
Empathizing with your customers and taking decisive action to address their pain points is paramount to build a successful business. As such, the customer engagement solutions market is expected to reach $48.4 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 10.2% between 2022 to 2031.
Now that you know the importance of customer engagement, how about you apply a few strategies to boost it?
7 Strategies to boost customer engagement in 2023
Customer engagement is not as elusive as it might look. It’s challenging to achieve, but you can implement the strategies listed below to set yourself apart from your competitors:
1. Appreciate and connect with your customers
Be it a new customer or an existing one, the best way to retain them is to appear human, show empathy, and connect with them on a more personal level. You can do this by putting your customers’ data to good use and sending them personalized emails.
For instance, when a new customer makes an online purchase, send them an email that acknowledges their presence, greet them, invite them to your tribe, and mention how happy you’re to have them with you.
It doesn’t matter how small their purchase value is. A $100 customer can help you generate $1000 by giving you better ratings and through word-of-mouth publicity. Think of it this way, if they become your loyal customer, those $100 each week, month, or quarter would be lining your pockets and not your competitors’.
Similarly, don’t forget to extend your love to your old customers. If you haven’t heard from them in a long time:
- tell them what they might’ve missed out on while they were gone,
- remind them how you’re answering their needs with your products or services,
- how you wish you could build a productive relationship again, and
- leave them with some new deals and product recommendations.
Remember, the goal here is to make your customers feel valued and appreciated so they seldom want to switch products or try new brands offering similar services. You can use these emails to announce sales and discounts, launch new products, and even conduct simple contests to garner more attention.
But is email marketing even relevant in 2023?
The global email marketing market is projected to reach $17.9 billion by 2027, so use this medium to engage your customers and enhance your revenue effectively. Additionally, with around 56% of customers expecting personalized offers, unleash the power of email marketing to send all your customers customized offers.
If this sounds like a lot of work, that’s because it is. So why not get some external help? You can sign up for a popular email marketing service to send visually rich emails to your brand’s email subscribers. So which platform do you use?
While Mailchimp has been touted as the best email marketing platform, if you don’t have deep pockets, want to reach out to your customers in bulk, and are big on receiving customer support, you can check out some great Mailchimp alternatives.
These alternatives are great for all types of enterprises, offer visually enhancing mail templates, support business growth, and are budget-friendly.
2. Use the right tools
When a customer makes a purchase—online or offline—they receive a purchase receipt. But what if you provide your customers with a generic invoice?
This will result in your customers forgetting all about you, with no means to contact you to resolve their queries or leave feedback. This will certainly get in the way of building a loyal customer base and making it harder for you to get recurring customers.
So you must use a dependable cash payment receipt template to keep your customers from forgetting you. A dependable and editable template will let you add your:
- brand’s name, address, and logo,
- date of purchase,
- receipt number,
- customer details,
- details about the purchase, and
- amount of cash received, including the cash transfer.
You can easily download a PDF of the payment receipt and share it over mail or a shared device with your customers for safekeeping. If a customer wants a printed copy, you can print it after downloading the receipt. Moreover, using a converter tool, you can easily convert your downloaded receipt to another format—Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.
Since it’s necessary to invoice your customers like a pro, you might be worried about burning a hole in your pocket if you use such unique templates. Put all your worries to rest because the cash payment receipt template is absolutely free. The hot chocolate on this proverbial brownie? You don’t even need to create an account to avail of this template.
3. Launch a rewards or loyalty program
It’s good to remind your customers about you from time to time and present them with a hardcopy of their purchase, but there’s no concrete reason for them to be loyal to your brand. A brand must have a dependable customer base, but why should an individual be dedicated to your brand? What are they getting in return?
How about you introduce a reason for them to be loyal to you? Enter rewards or loyalty programs.
Since over 83% of customers feel like loyalty programs give them the incentive to buy again from a brand, ensure you give them a good reason to interact with you and work towards building a relationship with you.
Reward your more loyal customers with special discounts, offers, exclusive sneak peeks, and more. Engaged customers who fall in love with your brand will likely stay loyal to you and support you in tough times.
Bonus benefit? You get to establish loyal and vocal advocates of your brand organically. So don’t forget to say ‘thank you’ to your loyal customers for supporting your business and dreams.
4. Establish a supportive customer support team
What happens when a customer purchases your products or avails of your services and has some questions or needs help in general? They’ll contact your customer support team.
Ensure that you establish a supportive and dedicated customer team who will always serve them with a smile and enhance their purchase experience. Give your team the freedom to make decisions in favor of your customers to create a memorable customer experience.
If you deliver exceptional customer service, making a customer secure in their decision to buy your product, there’s an 82% probability of repurchasing even when they’re presented with an option to switch.
There’s also an 86% chance that their wallet share will increase and that 97% of these satisfied and loyal customers will spread positive word of mouth, drastically reducing your customer churn rate.
5. Introduce a chatbot to your company’s website
Customer support is the way to go when your customers have elaborate issues and want to get in touch with a human who’d hopefully understand them. But what do you do when they need quick, effective solutions to their dilemmas? You add automated chatbots to your company’s website.
With advancements in AI, chatbots are no longer mechanical robots. Today, they can easily understand your customer’s queries and connect with them on a personal level.
Improve your customer engagement rates with the help of chatbots. A chatbot is a software application designed to converse with humans, mimicking a real-life human customer support agent.
They’re an excellent way to:
- solve minor issues in real-time,
- eliminate the time your customers might’ve to spend on hold,
- maintain an open direct dialogue with your customers, and
- shave off up to 30% of your customer support costs.
6. Create social impact
In the age of millennials and Gen Z, being woke can be your saving grace.
Supporting good causes, volunteering, giving back to charity, and being vocal about issues affecting lives globally, you’ll have a great chance to connect with your customers on an emotional level and develop trust.
For instance, brands who supported the black lives matter cause, me too movement, or the pink tax rebate debate at the peak of those discussions got a chance to build a better relationship with their customers—existing and potential.
You can volunteer for a cause, such as education, afforestation, sanitation, and more, to prove to your customers that, like them, you’re also human and care deeply about the issues plaguing our society. While there are many reasons for you to create social impact, the most important is that it allows you to tap into markets foreign to you.
Fly your flag high on social media, websites, and stores, and encourage word-of-mouth publicity to spread awareness.
7. Be consistent
The best thing you can do to keep your customers engaged is to be consistent in your efforts.
Customer engagement is a long-term strategy you can reap the benefits of if you’re persistent in your efforts and truly care about your customer’s satisfaction.
Customer engagement is necessary for a successful business
To engage your customers for the long haul, develop a customer engagement strategy after identifying your customer base, anticipating their demands and needs, and investing in omnichannel marketing to send them personalized content over different channels.
Rewards programs, referrals, user-generated content, contests and sweepstakes, and other shopper marketing campaigns can help you build a connection with your customers on various levels.
Author Bio: Arjun Ruparelia
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
An accountant turned writer, Arjun writes financial blog posts and research reports for clients across the globe. Arjun has five years of financial writing experience across verticals. He is a CMA and CA (Intermediate) by qualification.