Easy access to information and the explosion of social networks have made customers increasingly versatile, less loyal, or even suspicious of brands.
Winning customer loyalty has become a priority for many companies. The challenge is to generate emotion and attachment to their brands.
In the face of these changes, “customer engagement” strategies are becoming the spearhead of customer strategies implemented by companies.
So what are the best practices for implementing a customer engagement strategy and how to measure it?
1. Customer engagement: good practices to achieve this
Let customers express themselves
The key to a successful customer engagement strategy is to enable customers to express themselves about the company. There are several levers:
- Questionnaires based on satisfaction indicators. Used at different times in the customer journey, they provide a 360° view of customer satisfaction.
- Interactions via digital channels (social media, website, etc.) give customers the opportunity to comment in real-time on the content generated by the company, or even to actively participate in its strategy, for example by co-constructing new offers with it.
Through these actions, customers will feel listened to and part of the company. This customer feedback system will also enable the company to improve its customer approach. It is also a way to identify its promoters.
Reinforcing the emotional connection between the most engaged customers and the brand through a reward system is also essential. Once the brand’s promoters have been identified, they should be pampered through various mechanisms. Here are some of the most popular examples:
- discounts on products and services,
- invitations to private events,
- new service proposals,
- early testing of new products…
Focus on transparency to create a climate of trust and customer loyalty
Another part of customer commitment is external communication. To do this, all the departments involved (marketing, sales, digital, customer service, etc.) must work together to converge towards common objectives:
- highlighting its ambassadors on the brand’s various platforms is necessary. Indeed, at least 90% of consumers consult customer reviews online before making a purchase on the Internet.
- playing on transparency by communicating about the company, its employees, its processes, etc. Sharing one’s values and establishing a climate of trust help strengthen the emotional link between the customer and the brand, and increase attachment and loyalty to the brand.
2. Essential tools for measuring customer engagement
Implementing a customer engagement strategy is not easy, and measuring it is even less so. The complexity lies in the fact that it is necessary to have a 360° view of the engagement while avoiding intrusive devices and overload.
Some tools are essential for measuring this engagement.
CRM to centralize and analyze customer data across all channels
CRM used in a “smart data” logic (the quality of the data more than the quantity) makes it possible to centralize customer data from all contact points (store, website, customer service, etc.).
This tool offers a better understanding of customers’ expectations and satisfaction. It also makes it possible to build a loyalty indicator to identify the most engaged customers.
CRM provides a 360° view of the level of customer engagement on the various contact channels set up by the company.
Social/web analytics to listen to the customer’s voice
Digital tools have also been on the rise for several years.
Web analytics tools are ideal for collecting customer data via the web by measuring the conversion rate, bounce rate or pages visited. This will make it possible to identify if there is a problem, for example when the FAQ page is over-requested by customers.
Finally, social networks are an inexhaustible source of customer data. They express their discontent, share their impressions, and discuss the brands. Analyzing likes, tweets and content sharing makes it possible to gauge customer interest in a brand and ultimately their commitment.
Satisfaction surveys to question customers directly
The data that has the most value undoubtedly remain customer feedback. As stated above, clients should be interviewed regularly and at targeted times on:
- their propensity to recommend the brand (NPS)
- the level of effort required to access the brand’s products and services at all points of contact (Customer Effort Score)
- or their overall satisfaction with regard to a channel, product or service (delta sat).
And most importantly, give customers the opportunity to comment.
It is also possible to make these questionnaires intelligent via a customer feedback management solution. The purpose of this solution is to aggregate and analyze customer feedback, regardless of its origin, in order to carry out appropriate action plans. One of the flagship tools in this area is Qualtrics.
Of course, measurement is far from the last step. In line with the principle of customer centricity, the results of this system must be disseminated internally to as many people as possible and then analyzed to successfully implement the customer engagement strategy and continuously improve it.
Listening, transparency, consideration of feedback, and active customer participation in the continuous improvement of the company are the foundations of customer engagement. The shift from the flagship concept of customer satisfaction to that of engagement, with a much more emotional connotation, also reflects the increased significance of affect in customer relationship strategies. These transformations herald the arrival of a new concept correlated with experience: the era of customer attachment!