We all want to believe that we have a strong relationship with our customers. However, the truth is that we’re only as important to them as the value we offer their businesses. The digitization of business has created a customer-centric economy, and people switch services until they find the solution that suits them.
So when you get the customer’s attention, you have to maximize every conversation and engagement to prove you are the right partner to nurture their long-term growth. No need to waste time on pleasantries, generic statements, or blunt catch-all mailouts; when you speak to your customers you should have something valuable to say.
A strong customer engagement strategy makes sure every interaction delivers value. At the same time, an effective engagement strategy incorporates much more than 1:1 touchpoints, and considers engagements such as 1:many opportunities, including communities, events, advocacy, and learning.
What is a Customer Engagement Strategy?
Customer engagements are proactive, data-driven activities you initiate to build and maintain strong customer relationships. These actions are the way we personalize our service to meet the demands of our customers.
Building a comprehensive strategy around this idea of informed intervention requires a commitment to:
- Following customer behavior
- Analyzing customer success metrics
- Anticipating customer need
- Nurturing customer growth
We want customers to learn from conversations, expand their business, and feel that they are the center of everything we do.
Following Customer Behavior
You can’t create value for customers if you don’t know their current circumstances. Your customer success efforts depend on staying in touch with customer behavior. Your customer success platform should be able to gather live information on what users are doing with your solution. This understanding lets you place every customer engagement into a living context—to show the customer you’re right there with them as they mine value from your product.
Analyzing Customer Success Metrics
Closely following your customer’s day-to-day growth with your product yields a range of metrics you can use to guide customer engagements. These metrics present the real-world realities of your customer behavior against standards of success you know relate to long-term value.
By acting when customer behavior changes, you can prioritize your customer engagement strategy.
For example, a customer that shows a steady addition of license seats over a relatively short time may be ready for an upsell or cross-sell. That’s the time to boost overall license numbers and engage with advanced features. Similarly, an account that has recorded a sudden drop in usage could be in danger of churn, and should prompt a re-engagement initiative.
These customer metrics turn the vagaries of a long-term customer success effort into data-based, results-driven goals we can implement into daily workflows.
Anticipating Customer Need
Maximum customer lifetime value is achieved over years of cyclical adoption, renewals, and expansion opportunities, with continuous delivery that evolves as user goals change. This makes customer retention critical.
The only way to stay relevant to your customers over time is to anticipate future needs and deliver continual growth. Your customer engagement strategy should always prioritize product expansion and new ways for your customers to achieve success.
For example, you can develop a range of advanced feature webinars and videos that are ready to roll out once a customer reaches product proficiency. This way you can pepper your interactions with new information, advanced workflow methods, and higher-level product discourse that reflects your customer’s maturing understanding.
Nurturing Customer Growth
Your customer engagement strategy should acknowledge how enterprise growth ties to customer growth. The bulk of customer value is now derived over an extended partnership, and your customer’s interest in that partnership lasts only if their experience of ROI does too.
It is important that your customers see the relevance in every engagement you offer them. Onboarding, for example, must be tailored to suit their specific business goals so that they can see what it takes to learn a new way of working.
That’s for 1:1 touchpoints. For 1:many opportunities, you’ll want to communicate through training events, workshops, webinars, community groups, and so on.
Software that Strengthens Customer Engagement Strategy
Your customer engagement strategy is just an empty set of ideals unless it is backed by up-to-date, incisive customer information. Your customer success software is where your good intentions get the practical power to become the basis for worthwhile customer interactions.
A customer success platform gathers information from a wide range of sources and organizes it to produce an accurate picture of the current customer experience of each account in your portfolio. The benefits are clear:
- Scale your CS initiatives faster
- Real-time views of customer health
- A unified view of customers
- Hyper-segmenting capabilities
- Goals & Outcomes tracking
Totango’s customer success platform was built to get you closer to your customers. Take a moment to explore Spark and you’ll find a comprehensive, customizable tool that can be shaped to any industry or business size with a recurring revenue model. Create a free trial account to get started today.