“Actions speak louder than words” is an important mantra to consider when structuring an effective customer engagement program. Often, customer engagement is viewed in a superficial light. A company may have the best intentions and create a program to grab their customers’ attention. But that’s the problem—a single program will grab attention, but it won’t keep it.
A more effective way to connect with your customers involves cultivating a two-way relationship between the customer and the brand. This form of customer engagement aims at building a long-term customer-brand relationship, encouraging customer loyalty and advocacy through word of mouth.Ready to put this philosophy to work? Below are three customer engagement strategies that really, really work.
1. An Engaged Employee Begets an Engaged Customer
Any company serious about providing quality customer service will begin by engaging its employees. It sounds simple, but the values, beliefs system and mission of a company must be internalized first and then communicated outward through the employees. It’s a chain reaction: an unsatisfied employee can quickly become a disloyal one, compromising important relationships with customers. In other words, if you want to make your customers feel valued, start with your employees.
2. It’s All About Connections
One of the most important aspects of creating a meaningful engagement program is to empower employees to really create human moments when interacting with customers. The more interaction, the better. A customer who makes a connection with an employee is likely to return, bringing their friends along with them. The basis of any trusted relationship is open and honest communication. The same goes for the business world. The more effective the communication, the more effective the bond will be between employee and customer.
3. It’s Mutually Beneficial
A customer engagement program will not be effective if the company building it doesn’t truly believe in the business-to-customer relationship. An effective customer engagement program should foster a positive experience for all parties involved. With a strong, trusted program in place, customers will leave satisfied, not only with their product, but also with their experience. In turn, companies will feel satisfied that they’ve made their customers happy and, by extension, gained their loyalty.
Successful customer engagement programs should extend beyond the superficial layer of what a customer can immediately get (e.g., “I spend this many dollars = I get this many store points”). It’s critical to dig into the core connection with the customer.
When building customer loyalty, companies should always consider the emotional connection by engaging their employees in a meaningful, mutually beneficial relationship with their customers. Doing so can mean all the difference when it comes to brand loyalty and repeat business.