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Customer engagement has turned into a buzzword that people throw around without truly understanding what it is or how it works. Most people think customer engagement strictly relates to customer interactions with a product or employee, but customer engagement is so much more than that.
Although customer engagement might be overused and misunderstood, it’s value and importance to an organization is paramount.
In this article we’re going to cover everything you need to know in order to build a useful customer engagement portal.
What is customer engagement?
Customer engagement is an umbrella term that encompasses the entire scope of the various relationships and the quality of those relationships between your customers and your brand.
Companies present their brand and identity through their products, services, social media, marketing campaigns, website, and customer service strategies. Customers then choose to interact with that organization, which means doing anything from making a purchase to sharing their content or watching a tutorial video.
It’s important to remember that customer engagement isn’t just about customer service or sales. If you take the right approach, you can build a community or culture around your company that customers identify with and communicate with one-another through.
Why is customer engagement important
When you have a robust customer engagement portal and strategy, your customers become ambassadors for your business. Your engagement with customers goes beyond the transaction, and in the process you build loyal customers who become your most effective spokespeople.
Investing in customer engagement also provides a huge return on investment because it’s not just about a seasonal marketing or sales campaign, it’s about building a community that will grow with your business and provide long-term stability into the future.
Additionally, more customer engagement equates to happier customers and better customer experience, which in turn leads to more sales, lower churn rates, and stronger brand recognition.
How to engage customers?
So how do you engage customers in an effective and authentic manner?
Below are several avenues and ways that you can start engaging with your customers today.
- Use social media and cultivate a voice – Sharing content, videos, posts, and simply interacting with customers on social media will go a long way to building customer engagement. Companies like Wendy’s have mastered this approach and have been met with acclaim across the marketing world.
- Ask questions and listen to your customers – Whatever platform you’re on and whenever you’re interacting directly with customers, it’s important to listen to your customers and ask the right questions. Not only will a socratic approach to speaking with your customers improve customer experience, it allows you to learn from your interactions and apply what you learn to other departmental strategies.
- Create useful content that helps customers help themselves – Video tutorials, webinars, instructional images, animated videos, and really any educational content can be a fun way to assist customers and bolster your brand.
- Reward and acknowledge “power” users – People who love products drive some of the most successful organizations around the world. Rewarding, acknowledging, and highlighting these individuals will go a long way to engaging your customers.
- Omnichannel engagement – Today there are so many ways to interact with customers – social media, website, email, phone and chat, SMS, in-APP, and so on – and surrounding your customers with positive experiences throughout all these channels is paramount to success.
What is a customer engagement portal?
As you’re looking at all the different ways and channels to build customer engagement, you might be thinking, “I wish there was a way to interact with customers, drive sales, provide discounts, and present relevant content to customers all in one place.”
And that’s where a customer engagement portal comes in.
A customer engagement portal is a secure, log-in platform that provides exclusive content, discounts, educational material, and relevant current events to your customers all in one place.
Customer engagement portals are great for simplifying rewards systems and giving your customers more reasons to connect with your company, but they also allow you to easily aggregate data and metrics on your customers’ interactions.
Customer engagement metrics
Engagement can look like a million things from a million different perspectives, and breaking down these various interactions into readable, understandable metrics will allow you to build a robust engagement strategy for the future.
Below are just a few ways you can measure the efficacy of your current engagement strategies.
- Social media hashtags and posts – You can measure how many shares, hashtags, views, and comments you receive across social media platforms.
- Forum conversations – Measure how many customers visit and interact with one-another through a perennial forum.
- SEO – Producing content, publishing articles, and responding to questions that are relevant to your customers’ concerns will drive traffic for your company and improve your SEO strategy.
- Email CTR – Email click through rate will determine the rate that customers are actually reading your emails as opposed to throwing them away. Avoiding spam-like or dull content is a sure way to improve your CTR.
- Referrals – One way to track referrals is by providing referral codes and including small questionnaires at the end of online purchases.
- Retention – The central goal to customer engagement is building life-long, loyal customers. So if you’re investing in customer engagement, you should expect to see retention rates growing.
Customer engagement metrics are one of the most reliable ways to assess your customer engagement portal strategy. The more you develop your engagement strategy, the more you should expect to see these customer engagement metrics improving.
Gladly makes customer engagement easy
Gladly’s easy to use, all-in-one platform provides omnichannel use across all platforms: SMS, email, chat, phone, social media, in-app use, and more. Gladly does this while optimizing your ability to connect with customers in a personalized, human-centered manner.
With Gladly, you’ll be able to understand your customers deeper and consequently be able to engage with them more effectively.
Try the Gladly demo today.