Customer Engagement Management: Guidelines and Best Practices
Less discussed, but just as important is customer engagement, which improves customer loyalty and boosts revenue. But what, exactly, is customer engagement? And are there customer engagement tools you can use to increase this crucial business metric?
If you’ve been wondering how to improve customer engagement, it helps to start with customer engagement management tactics and techniques that drive an increase in customer value. And, yes, technology can play a central role in improving brand trust through increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Customer Engagement vs. Customer Experience
Though they work arm in arm, customer engagement and customer experience are unmistakably different.
- Customer experience (CX) is how customers perceive the interactions they have with your company. Was it useful, positive, enjoyable? Did they feel well taken care of?
- Customer engagement, on the other hand, is the ongoing emotional relationship a customer has with your brand. It’s the cumulative effect customers experience, often after multiple interactions with your company. It’s typically based on how they feel after customer actions like purchasing, product support, emailing, and social media interactions.
In simplest terms, the more positive an experience with your brand is, the more likely the customer will become engaged with it. And because they’re more engaged, they’re also more likely to come back again, leave positive reviews, and refer you to family and friends.
To improve customer engagement, you must look beyond sales, support, and other services to anticipate your customer’s needs. The result is an emotional connection that transcends mere transactions, one where loyalty is realized through honest communication and authenticity.
Automating Customer Engagement
Many brands have already discovered that AI can be a driving force in gaining a competitive advantage and building the satisfying experiences customers crave. In fact, some experts estimate 85% or more of customer interactions with a brand now involve AI and machine learning, particularly chatbots and automated self-service technologies. It’s clear AI is changing the nature of how businesses operate and interact with their customers.
- It helps make for better decision-making, which, in turn, improves the quality and relevance of new products and services.
- Gaps and opportunities in the market are identified and seized earlier and more quickly.
- Customer service is elevated through techniques like faster help desk routing, personalization, real-time access to relevant information, and customer self-service portals.
As businesses leverage the growing number of channels they use to communicate with their customers, it’s no surprise that that technologies like chatbots, virtual assistants, and customer engagement portals are on the rise. And as technologies improve, they offer enterprises unlimited opportunities to improve every level of their operations, including customer engagement management.
Customer Engagement Management Best Practices
To enhance sales, retention rates, and customer engagement efforts, businesses use different tools and processes to capture, store, organize, access, and analyze customer data. Referred to a customer knowledge management, it makes it easy for you to collect various types of data, including:
- Personal information
- Purchase history
- Past customer service interactions
- Customer feedback
- Loyalty program membership
Customer experience futurist, keynote speaker, and author Blake Morgan says that “loyal customers are five times more likely to purchase again, and four times more likely to refer a friend to a company.”
AI-driven solutions offer an excellent opportunity for you to treat each customer as the unique individual they are. Robust data analysis often makes it possible to predict what a customer needs before they even know they need it. Common issues are resolved more quickly. And you’re better equipped to deliver personalized marketing and sales campaigns.
Just like a customer’s browser gets to “know” them from the many searches they make, AI helps businesses learn what to offer their customers based on gathered information ranging anywhere from the customer’s activity on your website to their buying patterns and level of technology sophistication.
Which customer engagement strategies work for you might differ from another company’s, but certain best practices drive consistently positive results.
- Get to your messaging point quickly.
- Adopt a personal tone.
- Make your brand relatable and meaningful.
- Capture hearts and minds with visual engagement tools.
- Implement a chatbot.
Most importantly, know your customer’s unique journey. Because you can’t create or implement a customer engagement strategy without knowing who your customers are or how they interact with your brand. By analyzing customer attributes and behaviors to build accurate personas, you can then come up with ideas to specifically engage each one in the way they prefer.
KMS Lighthouse is a knowledge management solution that helps your organization integrate AI into its customer service strategy, improve customer experiences, and boost customer engagement. Its innovative out-of-the-box and add-on modules make it the ideal choice for companies that want to improve growth, agility, and performance while meeting and exceeding their customers’ high expectations.
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