Consumers are in charge. With the internet at their fingertips thanks to smartphones and other technologies, they are now in control of their experience, which is why companies have been forced to reconsider their customer engagement strategies.
Providing real-time, personalised experiences at the perfect moment is essential for brands that want to survive. Customer engagement can now take many forms, but the key is to keep the customer as the central focus.
1. Successful Mobile Engagement through Entertainment
A Nielsen report showed that half the time people spend on their phones is used to engage on social media or to play games. So, people are looking for entertainment, which brands have to be aware of because that’s what they’ll be competing against. In other words, if you want to draw and keep the attention of your customers, you need to make your interactions with them entertaining.
2. Provide Customers with Real Time Benefits
Instant gratification is the name of the game when it comes to today’s consumer. The faster they can get something, the more they’ll like it. A brand that offer real time benefits will provide a fun and enjoyable customer experience that won’t soon be forgotten. And mobile is the perfect platform to provide those benefits.
For example, if you operate a café, you could send out geo-targeted ads offering a buy one get one free deal. Or you could offer everyone who checks in on Facebook while in your café a free latte.
3. Get Your Customers to Compete
Humans are competitive by nature and a brand that takes advantage of this is a smart brand. Creating a simple mobile game based around your brand where the daily or weekly winner receives a free gift, a gift card or a discount will engage your customers more than you realise. Not only will people play for entertainment but also because they want to win. The prize will be the icing on the cake. And they’ll be playing a game that puts your brand front and centre all the time.
4. Keep It Simple
People don’t want to waste time and one of the best ways to increase customer satisfaction is by simplifying the experience. Analyse your processes, follow your customers’ behaviour and discover what can be streamlined to improve their experience. You can even send them suggestions on how to improve their experience and make their lives easier when engaging with your business.
5. Create an App
Mobile apps have become the gold standard for building brand engagement, but only when they’re done right. For example, Kraft launched an app in 2008 which customers still use regularly. The Kraft Cadbury’s iFood Assistant app offers more than 2,000 recipes using the company’s products. And more than 60% of the app’s users still buy recipes today, thereby generating direct revenues for the app but also building brand engagement.
6. Listen to Your Customers
Mobile apps give companies amazing opportunities to learn more about their customers. Using surveys consistently will allow you to get feedback from your customers, which you can then use to improve your offerings. And though you might not like to hear it, negative feedback is the most valuable because it shows you where you can make changes to better engage your customers. The key is not to just gather the data. You have to act on it.
7. Embrace the Omni-Channel Concept
Customers connect with companies via different channels. They have a wide range of channels to choose from and few use just one channel. For example, a customer might start with the brand’s print catalogue, graduate to the brick-and-mortar shop and make the final purchase online. This is the way the consumer operates today and you need to align with their needs, which means offering them multiple channels and an excellent experience across all of them.
8. Get Involved
Regardless of the platform you use, you need to get involved. Don’t just talk at people, bombarding them with promotional messages all the time. Actually engage in conversations with them. Listen to their problems and learn from those issues. And respond. By responding, you show your customers you care, which can go a long way towards building that ever-important loyalty. Looming over your customers like a faceless corporation will not win you any brownie points, so get involved in the conversation.
9. Invest in Employees
Your staff is your most important asset. The more qualified and experienced they are, the better they will be at engaging with your customers. And you need to promote a culture of engagement that focuses on creating an outstanding customer experience so that everyone in your organisation is on the same page.
10. Use Customer Data Effectively
Relevant customer information is vital because you can use it to develop other strategies to engage your customers – ones that are tailored to your target market, which will make them even more effective. You should analyse customer behaviour and demographics. Don’t assume you know your customer because the reality might be starkly different to your perception. If you don’t conduct an analysis, you will end up making mistakes that will cost you in the long run.
Use all the tools at your disposal, from customer engagement measuring software to customer satisfaction survey tools, to get an accurate picture of your customers and what they want or need. The more information you have, including customer engagement metrics, the better able you will be to craft and implement effective customer engagement strategies.
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