Without customers, you won’t have a business for very long. Part of the problem with a customer base is retaining them for a longer amount of time. Customers can be fickle. While they may follow a trend this week, by next week, the same trend could be dead as well as the businesses that bet too much on that trend panning out. If you want to succeed for the long term, you are going to need to find ways to keep customers engaged.
The Goals of Customer Engagement
Customer engagement can be defined as the means a business uses to develop long term relationships with its customer base in an attempt to foster company loyalty and awareness of its products and promotions. As such, the end goal is simply to produce customers that are more loyal to the brand, are more likely to immediately respond to marketing and more likely to make purchases at a higher frequency than a consumer who is not engaged in this way. If this customer engagement occurs over digital platforms, tracking and measuring the results of the engagement should be rather easy. It should be assessed in terms of the volume and frequency of successful engagements as well as obviously how many times those engagements actually lead to sales and other customer actions.
Another strategy you could use for improving customer engagement is through the use of SMS. SMS stands for short message service. Traditionally, this refers to the text messages exchanged on phones. As a business, you can leverage SMS to increase customer engagement by using a mass text service that will allow you to send custom designed texts to large swaths of your customer base simultaneously. The effectiveness of these texts can be increased through software that has the ability to alter the messages based on either customer behavior or how customers are segmented by your company into specific groups. That way, each text message can be customized in a way to respond to that specific customer. The quality of the engagement will be increased, and your customers will be more likely to act on those messages and make purchases afterwards as a result.
Launch an App
The advent of the smartphone really transformed customer engagement for most businesses. Today, most people spend an inordinate amount of time on their smartphones. Even when they leave home, internet connectivity travels with them. As such, businesses can take advantage of this situation by giving customers an incentive to download and install business specific apps on their smartphones. These apps can then be used for many different purposes. They can be used to make online orders to increase convenience. They can supply customers with coupons and information on new promotions and products. They can also be used to track purchases made in conjunction with the digital version of a customer loyalty program. Overall, you’ll likely receive more engagement from customers who use the app as well as more solid data regarding the quality of those interactions.
Implement a Loyalty Program
One of the most traditional forms of customer engagement for many companies is the customer loyalty program. Customer loyalty programs are actually one of the oldest forms of customer engagement and go all the way back to 1896 when a company named S&H Green began distributing stamps for product purchases that could be collected and used to order rewards from a catalog. The concept is simple. The engagement influences the consumer to make more purchases than they otherwise would to receive rewards from the loyalty program. These rewards could be the same kind of product. In other cases, these rewards could come in the form of merchandise like apparel and accessories designed specifically for the rewards program.
Customer engagement is very important for businesses of any size. If customers are more engaged, they are likely to spend much more money over a longer period of time with a company. In many cases, being able to retain that business can be the difference between prospering as a company or going out of business entirely. Competition in most markets is fierce, especially today. Try to find new ways you can engage customers and keep them hooked on your brands for the long term.