Understanding the Different Types of Customer Engagement
The customer-centered economy has made it easier for customers to switch to a competitor if one company is not fully satisfying them. This has raised customer expectations; now, companies need to provide personalized services to stand out. If you don’t meet these expectations, customers can easily go elsewhere.
To thrive in this environment, you must engage customers proactively and regularly. Let’s explore why customer engagement is critical for your customer success team and the types of engagements you should be leveraging.
Why Aren’t Your Customer Engagements Successful?
If your organization is struggling to effectively engage customers, you need to look at the underlying causes. Poor engagement can spring from many sources, so ask yourself:
- Does your customer success team only engage clients right before renewal? You need to maintain engagement throughout the customer journey and focus on every client with equal attention.
- Are internal teams communicating well? Your internal teams must be able to share information. Otherwise, key tasks could slip through the cracks.
- Do you need to dig through a large number of files to learn about the customer experience? A lack of visibility means you won’t know when a customer is having a problem. They may not always open a support ticket or you may not have the ability to track issues easily. This makes it hard to proactively engage customers.
- Are you manually tracking product usage? This is highly inefficient, time-consuming, and leaves a lot of room for error. Instead, look for solutions that will track data for you.
- Do you know how to act upon customer data? When you see that a customer is struggling, your team needs to know how to effectively resolve the issue.
Once you’ve identified the causes of your poor engagements, you can start planning a way to improve your strategy.
The Best Types of Customer Engagement
To begin harnessing the power of customer engagement, every team member needs to adopt a customer-centered approach and understand the goals your customers are trying to achieve—both right now and long-term. Remember, if only a handful of your team are taking this approach or if team members aren’t communicating with each other, it’s just not going to work; you need everyone to be on board. With this kind of visibility, you can align your business objectives with those of your customers for mutual growth.
Here are the main types of customer engagement strategies to use:
Show Your Appreciation
Send each new customer a message of thanks while the transaction is fresh in their mind, either by email or with a phone call. A handwritten thank you card is another great way to share your appreciation. Express your gratitude and recognize the customer as an individual, letting them know you’re there if they have questions or need help.
Provide Value as Soon as Possible
Gratitude isn’t enough, though; you also need to demonstrate value as soon as possible. Be sure you understand what your customer wants to achieve with your product so you can help them reach those goals.
Another way you can provide value to your customers is by establishing a community, such as a forum. This way, they can ask questions, interact with, and learn best practices from other customers.
It’s critical that you have comprehensive onboarding procedures in place to educate and assist customers in using your product. The sooner the customer begins experiencing value, the better. Then, continually provide value throughout the entire customer journey, updating customers on their progress towards goals and introducing new features.
Engage Customers Regularly
You want to be a consistent, helpful presence in your customers’ daily workflow. This solidifies trust and ensures customers keep you in mind.
Send messages on a regular basis, such as weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Engagements should offer relevant content, such as how-to videos or top ten lists that teach customers how to get more value from your product or service. Personalized messages can have a wonderful impact, too; for instance, holiday greetings or congratulating them on reaching a certain business goal. Email is the most common way of sending regular messages, although push notifications are effective for mobile. Alternatively, a good old fashioned phone call can make a great impression. That way, customers get to talk to a real person and are more likely to connect on a human level.
Take a Proactive Approach
Don’t wait for the customer to come to you; instead, monitor your customers’ progress so that you will know right away if something is wrong. Then, engage them to solve the problem. For instance, if you notice that usage of a feature has dropped, that may mean that the customer is having problems with it or not seeing value from it. At the first warning sign, you should reach out to see how you can help. Maybe they just need more training or perhaps their goals have shifted.
Alternatively, perhaps there’s a flaw in the feature itself. If a customer is struggling, you can use this information to refine the product and its features. And when new features come out, you can see how customers respond in order to judge the usefulness of the addition. By working proactively rather than reactively, you can provide the personalized experience your customers need to meet their goals, thereby preventing churn and boosting retention.
Software to Improve Customer Engagements
While phone calls and thank you cards are nice, your business may have thousands of customers, making it impossible to give each customer the same quality of experience manually. But even when you’re managing many accounts, you can give each client the same level of engagement—using a customer success platform.
A customer success platform gives you all the functionality you need to engage with your customers in meaningful ways, no matter how many customers you have. It will give you the visibility you need to track how every customer is doing with your product, and the responsiveness to engage customers whenever necessary. You will be alerted of any warning signs and can even set up automated communications.
Be a predominant force within the customer-centered revolution: don’t just get swept along with it. Implement a customer success platform and start leveraging the most effective types of customer engagement today.
Totango is dedicated to helping you grow deep and meaningful customer engagements. Request a demo or explore Spark to learn how our customer success platform can give you the functionality needed to become a customer-centered organization.