6 customer engagement marketing tips to help you sell more
In the 1990s, marketers began to realize that focusing on transactional relationships is a shortsighted approach. Since then, companies have turned to strategies like relationship marketing and relationship selling to develop long-term connections and customer engagement. Customer engagement marketing facilitates these lasting relationships by improving customer loyalty and trust.
In addition to improving your relationship with your customers, a good customer engagement strategy will give you a competitive edge by making your customers part of the value creation process. Customers don’t want to be passive recipients of value. They want to play a role in the development and delivery of the products and services they use.
That’s good news for your company for many reasons, primarily because:
- The feedback engaged customers provide your company is invaluable when improving an existing offering or developing something new
- The support engaged customers provide to the rest of your customer base takes pressure off of your service or support team
In this article, we’ll look at six tips to help you develop valuable connections with your customers through customer engagement marketing.
1. Deliver an outstanding customer experience
It’s not enough to satisfy your customers. The benefits of customer engagement marketing come from enthusiastic customers who proactively share their experience, knowledge, and feedback. Delivering an acceptable product that meets a need may keep your business afloat, but creating a phenomenal customer experience will lead to engaged customers and company growth.
Focus on these three factors to optimize the customer experience:
- Take a customer-centric approach in all areas of your business.
- Establish a routine of recurrent interactions with your customers.
- Develop the flexibility to meet the specific needs of individual customers.
2. Create engaging, relatable stories
Tell relatable stories about your brand, employees, and offering. Research shows that compelling storytelling captures customer attention and leads customers to feel connected to your brand.
A study in The Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing found that “when firms align messaging with emotions that drive customers, personal connections ensue.” This emotional connection motivates customers to take actions that benefit the company while also driving engagement and revenue.
One way to harness that motivation is to invite customers to share their own brand-related stories. This user-generated content creates further connections, and the company can leverage those connections to build a brand community.
3. Get your customers involved
Value co-creation is an integral part of customer engagement. It turns your customers’ knowledge, influence, and networks into a competitive advantage and leads to further engagement.
Your customers can co-create value in many ways, chiefly through their support and feedback. Engaged customers will help other customers work through problems with your product or service, taking pressure off your team.
They will also provide feedback that you can use to offer more value to your customers. Actively soliciting this feedback is a great way to increase engagement.
Empowering your customers to participate in the development process of new offerings increases customer satisfaction and financial performance. For example, the technology company Cisco hosts innovation contests and rewards winning ideas with grants and other prizes.
Incentivizing co-creation in this way leads to innovative new products and services because your customers know their needs better than anyone, and they have firsthand experience using your offering.
4. Find the right customer engagement platform
The right customer engagement platform makes it easier to increase engagement. These platforms provide features that:
- Allow you to deliver a seamless customer experience across all channels
- Capture the data you need to optimize the customer journey
- Automate processes to increase efficiency
- Enable personalized marketing campaigns
5. Invest in interactions
Invest in technology that enables your team to interact with your customers in more effective ways. Visual marketing tools like video chat, screen sharing, and website annotation create opportunities for rich interactions with your customers.
For example, co-browsing software allows your team members to have face-to-face video calls with customers while navigating through a website or web app.
Sales reps can give customers control of the browser while they walk them through a demo and have them e-sign a contract during the call. Support team members can have customers navigate to an area where they’re experiencing an issue and then take control to solve the problem.
6. Be flexible
Service personalization, adjusting your product or service to meet the unique needs of individual customers makes your customers want to keep doing business with you. Research shows that service personalization increases customer retention, satisfaction, and loyalty, which are critical to driving customer engagement.
Build connections with customer engagement marketing
The customer engagement marketing tips we’ve shared here will lead to better relationships with happier customers. And, thanks to the connection they’ll feel towards your brand, these customers will see your offering not as one of many options on the market, but the only choice that perfectly meets their needs.