Taking a cue from our previous post, let’s look at the elements of customer engagement in greater detail. The key elements of customer engagement are:
Value: This is perhaps the most important element – all else will be nullified if this expectation is not met by a brand while a consumer interacts with it. Human beings have a fundamental need to be valued, to feel special. Face-to-face interaction, phone and emails make the customer feel valued; while the same cannot be said about channels such as Facebook and twitter.
Efficiency: A business needs to show the customer that they value his time, energy and resources. It isn’t hard to acknowledge that customers prefer their interactions to be easy, quick and smooth. With greater penetration of mobile phones, better Internet access and tech savvy customers, enabling transactions on-the-go needs to be very efficient. One change which reflects this point is: banks have cut down on branch visits by facilitating online, mobile and phone banking along with ATMs capable of most banking operations.
Trust: Is the bedrock of any lasting relationship and it is no different between a customer and a business. A great product is a good starting point but a reliable support system is equally important. Consumers are more likely take chances with a brand if they feel assured about a company’s commitment to correct any issues they’re bound to face with a given product or service.
Consistency: In this information age, consumers keep a keen eye on whether companies walk the talk or not. So, it is imperative that businesses are consistent in their policies, communication, response and attitude towards customers. Things like a full refund or replacement for a defective product or a delayed delivery epitomize this element of consumer engagement.
Relevance: Do not waste the customer’s time bombarding him/her with irrelevant data or offers through the numerous channels and touch points. Doing so reveals that you’re simply groping in the dark, caring little about – and understanding even less – what he needs and desires. Something as simple as offering movie tickets at a discount to movie buffs is relevant, and it also enhances their sense of being valued.
Control: This crucial element of customer engagement is the ability of the customer to decide upon the mode, extent and time at which a business can communicate with him. Keep in mind that customers are hesitant to engage in conversations where they feel obligated to respond affirmatively, A customer would rather find something he’s interested in on a brand’s Facebook page than have a telecaller asking him to buy a credit card.
Catch a glimpse of the power of influencers illustrated with the help of one of the most charismatic companies in corporate America in our next post. Also, we’ll take a look into the different engagement strategies and engagement types.