Gallup describes Customer Engagement as a customer's emotional or psychological attachment to a brand, product, or company. Their research shows that across a variety of industries, "a customer who is fully engaged represents an average 23% premium in terms of share of wallet, profitability, revenue, and relationship growth compared with the average customer. In stark contrast, an actively disengaged customer represents a 13% discount in those same measures. In short, when customers believe they are getting more out of a business, they give more to it."
The research from Gartner, Inc. confirms Gallup's findings. According to Gartner, "Engaged customers are usually better advocates of the brand and are more loyal and more profitable."
Customer Engagement requires well thought out marketing across multiple platforms. Meet customers where they are with content they are compelled to interact with. Seek their participation when you can and share your message.
If you haven't done so already, create a brand presence on the major social media sites. Place links to those pages on your company's website so your customers can easily follow you. Encourage engagement by posting really good, thoughtful questions. Post articles and ask for thoughts as well as open ended questions. Stay positive and pay attention to what your customers post to your business and about your business. Respond appropriately. Your business can strive for a handful of comments on a Facebook post or develop a hugely popular marketing campaign that goes viral — if it engages your customer, include it in your marketing strategy.
Traditional marketing channels should align with what you are doing on the social media sites and can also be used to increase Customer Engagement. Think about how you can use your website, blog, videos, community involvement, sales, industry knowledge and more to engage with customers.
While today's customer has more options than ever before, there are many channels small business can use to cultivate brand loyalty. Pay attention to how customers and prospects want to interact with your business and be creative in finding ways to engage them. As the research shows, an engaged customer is a loyal customer. To learn how you can improve Customer Engagement for your business, contact us at BuddinghAssociates.com.
Pepper Erdmann is a Marketing Manager at Buddingh & Associates, Inc., an award-winning strategic marketing consulting firm in Naperville, IL. Contact her at (630) 961-4504 or visit BuddinghAssociates.com.