Recently, Marketing Week revealed that 78 percent of marketers used brand engagement as an ROI metric – yet less than half believed that it was taken seriously by business leaders.
No wonder it’s difficult for businesses to commit to strategies that focus on boosting customer engagement. However, there may be a good reason for the disparity. “Customer engagement” is a classic buzzword – it’s catchy, and promises long-term customers and increased revenue. Yet, it’s hard to define. The businesses that can translate that buzzword into action are able to retain customers and boost revenue. How can contact centers make customer engagement strategies work for them?
It is possible for businesses to create strategies that support stronger customer engagement. First, leaders need to create their own definition. Is it channel specific? What does customer engagement look like on each channel? (Anyone who is loves Snapchat knows the interaction is very different than the interaction with LinkedIn.) Especially in a contact center, it’s important that agents are all working from the same definition. That way, customers are likely to have a seamless experience, regardless of which channel they’re communicating from.
Build a relationship to maximize engagement
There is a second important part of developing a unique definition of customer engagement and implementing it. How will you create value, both for your company and your customers? Adrian Swinscoe, writing for Forbes, argued that a creating a strong customer engagement strategy is more than simply increasing how much a customer spends with your company. The way to really engage with customers is to add value. This helps your company develop a relationship with your customers. Take, for instance, the way that Southwest Airlines – long identified as a leader in customer experiences – handled a customer’s complaint about damaged luggage: It offered to provide a new piece of luggage without question and had several for the customer to choose from on hand.
Damaged luggage was a common problem for Southwest customers – so the company offered a quick solution.
Anyone would argue Southwest didn’t have to do that. And we can’t know for certain how that investment in extra luggage affected the bottom line. But the airline, by investing in its customers, is showing that their customers’ concerns are valid. By paying attention and having a series of steps in place when something negative arises, it is working to build a longer-term relationship. And customers, in turn, are willing to commit. They return to the airline again and again.
What does that mean for your contact center? Can your agents work to resolve common customer issues easily? Before you can start implementing customer engagement strategies, it’s important you know what you mean by “customer engagement” – and how you can build a relationship with your customer. We all know from personal experience that customers who feel valued and connected to a brand are likely to engage more.
What does customer engagement mean to you?