What does customer engagement mean? Why is it important? What are its myriad facets? Who is an engaged customer? These are some of the questions we are keen to explore here.
Though there’s no standard definition for customer engagement, simply put, it is having a consumer acknowledge the presence of business/ brand and enabling a conversation with it. When successful, it leads to an intense emotional relationship between the customer and the brand or its products or services.
A well-crafted consumer engagement effort results in a consistent association with the brand’s offerings and, in time happy customers even act as champion advocates of the brand. On the other hand, a customer experience gone awry could turn a prospective/existing customer away for life.
Some of the key elements of consumer engagement are:
Value: The customer has to feel that his interaction is appreciated and he’s not a mere passenger
Efficiency: Laborious processes and long queues are not something customers look forward to; the business must deliver efficiently
Trust: It is critical for the company to establish its credibility and ensure transparency in its interactions to enjoy an enduring partnership with the consumer
Consistency: There must be a degree of uniformity between what a company says and what it does
Relevance: Any communication that a customer receives from a business has to be relevant to his needs and aspirations
Control: Customers must have the power to decide when and how a business can contact them
Each of these aspects could be addressed in different ways. A simple welcome call would make the customer feel valued. Online transactions or telephonic orders make it easier for the consumer and are efficient for the business. An impeccable track record aided by a complementary customer experience builds trust and reinforces the reputation manifold. It’s important to deliver consistently across all the channels being made available to the consumer. The e-mails need to be relevant for the consumer to be interested and to act on them. There is a need to strike the right balance between targeted marketing and handling PII (Personally Identifiable Information) so that customers do not feel their privacy is violated.
In subsequent posts we will dwell deeper on each of these elements of customer engagement and look for insights into the role of technology in bridging the gap. Also, we will examine what an engaged customer means to the business and the correlation between enthusiastic employees and satisfied customers.