Customers are the mainstay of success for any business because they boost sales and profitability. But selling requires more than offering them a great product and awesome services. It is more about engaging them with creative experiences for lasting brand loyalty. In simple words, you must have a robust customer engagement strategy in place. Everything boils down to building an emotional connection with your customers, and most brands now realize how valuable these can be.
Emotional connections keep people hooked and even encourage people to promote your business subtly. While it has always been important for brands, the pandemic has made it crucial at this stage. It is no longer a value-addition to your business, but the catalyst to drive survival and success in the current market landscape. Let us explain in detail why customer engagement matters more than ever in 2021.
Aligns Your Business with Changing Consumer Expectations
The pandemic changed a lot of things for businesses, and consumer expectations are one of them. The needs and wants of buyers are constantly evolving with the changes in external circumstances. One day they expect you to deliver the product online, and on the second day, they will crave to drop in the brick-and-mortar store.
The key to creating a great experience is anticipating their needs and supporting them at all stages of the buyer’s journey. It will keep the customers engaged as they see a genuine effort to align with their expectations. Staying on top of customer engagement keeps your business always ready to match their needs at every point.
Gives You a Competitive Advantage
Even as the crisis initially came as a big blow for businesses, things got better as they found ways to stay operational. In 2021, the landscape is more competitive than ever, and every business wants to do its best to retain existing customers and acquire new ones. If you wish to stay ahead in the race, customer engagement can win the game for you.
It is much easier to stand apart with better experiences than through product and pricing differentiation. You will probably have to spend less on engagement than on product development and cost cuts. Moreover, the results are often better, making it a smarter way to get ahead.
Keeps Your Business Customer-Centric
A business needs to be customer-centric to survive and thrive, even more during such challenging times. Just doing an extra bit makes your brand special for the buyers and gives them a reason to stay with you. A customer engagement strategy enables you to do that extra bit.
It helps you with customer experience management through a seamless communication route. For example, you can invest in a robust customer engagement platform to create a feedback loop. Look for one that covers the mobile audience because it is the most crucial outreach channel now. Posting polls on social media channels is a good way to get real-time data and create a clear view of their sentiments.
Consolidates Human-Centered Brand Relationships
Successful customer engagement focuses on building more human and authentic relationships and experiences. It is the need of the hour as brands have to be more human-centric to keep the audience hooked. People are craving genuine interactions, and brands can leverage these to their advantage. The idea is to go beyond mass marketing emails and make interactions more personal.
For example, you can write custom responses to people commenting on social media posts. Similarly, investing in personalized emails to existing and targeted buyers is another good idea to get up closer. Another way to take engagement to the next level is by highlighting insights and experiences through user-generated content on the business website.
Fosters an Omnichannel Experience
Omnichannel is the way to go this year as you have to ensure that the business is accessible across every channel. Businesses that utilize too few channels, specifically the digital ones, are bound to miss out on visibility. But spreading across too many social channels is also a mistake as you must pick only the ones relevant to your audience.
A good customer engagement strategy is all about a strategic omnichannel approach. You need to pick channels that drive engagement and value with the target audience. The focus at this point should be on virtual ones such as mobile platforms, podcasts, and social media. You can steer clear of investing in physical touchpoints like in-store experiences and live events.
Getting Your Customer Engagement Strategy Ready for the New Normal
Now that you understand the significance of customer engagement in 2021, it makes sense to review your current strategy and fine-tune it for the new normal. It may take some effort, but the results make it worthwhile. Here are some effective measures that can help.
- Start by optimizing for personalization because consumers want to feel valued. Only a brand that makes a conscious effort to get personal with consumers can win them and retain them for the long haul. From personalized communication to recommendations and offers, look for every possible opportunity to impress.
- Context is the key, so make sure that you utilize the right engagement channel for the right customer at the right time. Consider the audience and pick the timing and channel for campaigns accordingly, or you may end up wasting time and money.
- Leverage AI-powered applications such as chatbots to take real-time engagement to the next level. Invest in advanced ones capable of understanding human language and providing a high-end conversational interface for your brands.
- Give attention to consumer feedback because it takes brands a long way with engagement. Follow them around and connect often for feedback. Don’t just gather data, but act on it and address their concerns.
A robust customer engagement strategy can take your business a step ahead of the competitors and build stronger relationships with buyers. But it serves as a catalyst during a crisis like this one. So it becomes vital to make an extra effort to connect and engage with the audience in 2021. Follow these tips and be a winner!