Five ways to better engage with customers

  • 02 Nov 2021

By James Bosley, marketing manager at Esendex

According to research by SuperOffice, 86 per cent of customers say they’re willing to pay more for a better customer experience, and a business is only as good as its customer base.

Even the best products and services on the market rely on engaged and loyal customers. With the rise of ecommerce and the rapid delivery of almost every product you can think of, the landscape is more competitive than ever. Businesses must think beyond their tangible product to achieve sustainable success.

The majority of businesses will invest some time in customer engagement, whether that’s through email, direct mail, in-store or over the phone. However, amid increasing customer expectations, a one-touch, ad-hoc approach to engagement isn’t enough; research by Salesforce suggests 54 per cent of customers think businesses need to transform how they engage with their customers. There’s substantial growth potential for companies who engage with their customers – re-targeted visitors are 70 per cent more likely to convert than new visitors, according to Adobe.

 

For businesses new to customer engagement strategies, knowing where to start can be overwhelming. A wealth of technology is available to help achieve omnichannel, personalised, and effective communication, but setting the right foundations should prioritise.

Here are five things to consider when building a winning customer engagement strategy.

Create a brand your customers can relate to

Brand awareness is critical to marketing. Regardless of the platform, businesses need to ensure their customers instantly recognise that the message is coming from their brand. To achieve recognition, brands must create meaningful connections with their customers. A study by Oberlo finds 86 per cent of consumers say that authenticity is a critical factor in determining which brands they invest in.

Companies demonstrating they care for something more than just profit are the most likely to come across authentically online. Identify your target audience and the causes they support, and tie this into your communications to show you’re socially aware.

Tailor your messages

Consumers are exposed to thousands of marketing messages every day. Their email inboxes are filled with spam, and most of the communications they receive are likely to be irrelevant.

Businesses can send relevant reminders for flash sales, upcoming events or exclusive promotions by segmenting audiences appropriately. Brands that understand customer interests, based on customer demographics or even previous purchases, will yield far better campaign results.

 

Start a conversation

In the race to create authentic and human brands, conversational messaging is pivotal. The challenge is creating a responsive brand around the clock – more than half of all consumers now expect a customer service response within one hour. Using ‘chat’ tools and marketing automation can improve engagement. However, success lies in creating an automated workflow that doesn’t feel out of touch. If your customer buys something online, following up with a request for feedback is a great way to get actionable insights into your customer experience.

Two-way channels like SMS make it easy for your customers to interact with customer service agents and eliminate frustrating queue times. Sending delivery updates, collecting payment, scheduling appointments and dealing with complaints can all be carried out through SMS Chat to streamline the experience and get more from your team.

Be helpful

Empowering customers to get the most from your products or services with helpful guides, tips and instructions is a great way to build authority and gain trust. Delivering relevant content post-sale is an easy way to improve engagement. This is especially true for businesses whose success relies on the customer’s long-term successful use of their product.

Keep existing customers happy

It’s common knowledge that keeping the customers you have is much more cost-effective than acquiring new ones. A study of small businesses analyzed by BIA/Kelsey found existing customers spend 67 per cent more than new ones.

Customers will only return to a business if they have a positive experience and don’t need to look elsewhere. To keep customers engaged, companies must focus on ensuring they feel appreciated and that new products and services are relevant and exciting.

 

Sending more targeted messages to smaller segments rather than blanket messages to your whole customer base is engagement 101. According to research by Marketo, 63 per cent of consumers are frustrated by brands that rely on old-fashioned blanket strategies.

A study by Adobe finds companies with robust omnichannel customer engagement strategies achieve 10 per cent year-on-year growth, a 10 per cent increase in average order value and a 25 per cent increase in close rates. For companies willing to invest time in creating and implementing an effective customer engagement strategy, the impact can be significant.

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