Effective customer engagement constitutes the bread and butter of any successful brand or business. A look into the different degrees to which customers are engaged with their brands reveals key insights into consumer behavior. This can help transform someone from being indifferent, or downright ignorant of your brand to someone falling in love with your brand and expressing it wholeheartedly.
An Engaged Customer – someone who shares an emotional connection with a brand – contributes 23% in terms of profitability and growth according to a Gallup Consulting Survey. Based on the levels of engagement consumers can be categorized as follows:
Low Interest: At present, these customers might not even know that you exist and they don’t really care. The first step is to make your presence felt and there is a long way to go before you bring them into the fold.
Inactive Fans: These are the people who are buying right and sitting tight. Your job is to make sure that as a paying customer they get a whole lot more than what they are paying for!
Active Participants: These are the ones who buy brands and tell the world about it every once in a while. They are one step short of being your champions and it’s you who can get them there. It is essential to give them some incentive to go the extra mile.
Brand Advocates/Champions: You’ve got to take care of them and ensure that they thrive, all the while inspiring other groups to be part of the coveted fraternity. They exhibit the highest potential in rendering your consumer engagement initiatives a success.
The quartet of crucial elements in achieving a meaningful consumer engagement would constitute the following:
Perfect Product (service): This is the first and foremost criterion in creating a good first impression or reinforcing the prevailing good will of an existing customer. Otherwise, it’s an uphill task to reverse the tide. A flawless product can set the tone for a trusted long term relationship.
Enthusiastic Employees: As they play a key role in ensuring a memorable customer experience, it’s important for employees to be brimming with energy at work. The smiling face of a brand is something to look forward to. Keep your employees happy, so that they in turn keep your customers happy.
Celebrated Customers: Celebrate the success of your business in the company of your customers. Host a party for them when you attain milestones. Promote them by featuring loyal customers in your blog and in social media. Reward loyal customers with recognition and gifts.
Assertive Articulation: Respond promptly and act on customer feedback. Acknowledge their inputs and rectify their points-of-pain. Question your customers and have a conversation going, particularly on twitter. Reach out to those who write negatively in social media, apologize for the bad experience and rectify it when possible.
However, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions when it comes to connecting with human emotions, and striking the right chord with each customer needs a horses- for-courses approach in line with the demands of the situation and the business with due consideration to the individual and his level of engagement.