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How to measure and optimize customer engagement on any channel

Customer engagement refers to the action whereby a customer interacts and shares their experiences with you and your brand. Costumers want to be heard, they want answers to questions, they want their problems solved, and they want a feeling of connection with the brand. A business that is focused on customer engagement aims to add value, in the form of end-to-end customer experience, useful content, and real-time customer support.

What are the benefits of an engaged customer? In short, an engaged customer is your best customer. As the Gallup research study indicated that engaged customers bring about higher revenue than other cliental.

What metrics should be used to measure engagement and what tool are about to capture the right data?

Measurement is channel specific, but also depends on your industry. For example, with websites, the website analytics there are different metrics that indicate engaged users:

• Average time on a page
• Average pages per session
• Percentage of returning users

For social media:
• Total number of interactions (i.e. replies, likes, retweets, mentions, shares, comments and tags
• Impressions are referring to users that are engaging passively

Still, customer engagement platforms provide an all-inclusive manner to bring together, sort and appreciate the data. Characteristically integrating with a CRM, it enables several teams to access the equivalent data at the same time and can be set up to notify diverse teams based on recent interactions and purchases. The typical features include customer health scores (i.e. those that indicate overall satisfaction), customer monitoring (referring to the tracking interactions) and customer profiles (i.e. drawing data from your CRM, the service desk and financial systems like accounting software). Therefore, clearly-defined, metrics are needed, combined with an effective systems to measure progress is needed to gain useful data.

To optimize engagement you should look at strategies at aim to keep customers engaged

Your strategy will differ depending on the channels being utilized. But all the strategies have one common goal, to build a loyal customer following. At the outset you should know that customers are busy. They don’t spend their time thinking of you, like you do about them. That’s why customer engagement is vital – so they come back over and over again. In that way, you want to build a relationship with them.

For customer-facing channels, such as social media, being available and responsive is one of the most effective ways to engage customers and reward them for interacting with your brand.

Making customer experience your main focus.

As indicated by a study by the White House Office of Consumer Affairs on American consumers, the findings indicated that 80% of consumers would be willing to pay more for a service or product if they receive a superior customer experience.

Humanise your brand

Customers want to relate to your brand. You can use a brand ambassador or a personality within your company to humanize your brand and engage the audience. They can blog, use video content, present webinars, or publish white papers, all different ways to establish your brand’s voice with a trusted face.

Don’t offend

You can be feisty on social, but don’t offend people. Bad timing is normally the issue, where a normally sassy tweet can go horribly wrong just after a tragedy. The implication is the direct opposite of what you want to gain from customer engagement.

Personalised communications

From auto-generated happy birthday emails to suggested products based on browsing history. An alternative to sophisticated algorithms is a quiz to personalise recommendations to clients. But personalisation should be about making customers feel welcome, and not like you are strip mining their data. Doing this will also avoid customers to unengaged. Also, if you are dealing with international customers, you might want to communicate in their language. It is known that you will have increased sales if your marketing is in the customers’’ language. But be warned, translating your content on your website might be difficult if you are applying SEOs on key words as they might not translate well. You might have to add extra key words to overcome this problem.

Creating useful content

Content marketing, such as instructional videos, can be used to enhance customer experience and increase satisfaction. Particularly if you give away quality information for free. But to add you should consider dividing your audience by interest, purchase history, or demographic listing. By doing this, you can provide them with more relevant information.

Listen

Customers want to feel heard. It could mean that you have to deal with negative feedback, still you need to approach the customer with empathy while listening to their concerns. Remember some customers are brand loyal and will want to protect the brand by giving negative feedback. It would be to your benefit to listen to their concerns. But do reminisce, the worst interaction is no interaction.

Give back

Connect with your community by giving back to your local community. Costumers that know that you are charitable will become more loyal and engage with you more.

Have a mobile platform

Having a mobile presences is importance as people are using their handsets to access information. An app or mobile responsive website is thus important.

In conclusion

The internet has made global competition a reality. Companies therefore need to find ways to standout and a key element is by providing real customer engagement. To see if your efforts are working you need to measure them using your pre-determined metrics based on the channels that you are using. The data that you gain from these should then be interrogated into your customer engagement strategies. It is vital to understand though, that there is a switch of how you go about doing this – that you will not focus so much on the functionality but rather focus on the experience the customer is having.

So go out and add some sparkle, and soul into what you are doing. But keep it real. You will find that your customers will find the experience more enjoyable and soon they will be the ones that will act as your brand ambassadors.

About Adriaan Brits

I'm Adriaan Brits, a digital and strategic marketing consultant, Linkedin learning instructor and outreach media owner. I authored the popular Linkedin course "Digital Marketing Research" with more than 120 000 enrolments to date. I help businesses and agencies plan their PR and media buying: See my boutique marketing agency at www.adriaanbrits.com and connect with me on Linkedin

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