In a world that’s increasingly becoming customer-centric, it comes as no surprise that customer engagement is one of the principal factors determining success or failure for many sectors. Highly engaged customers are more valuable to your business that disengaged customers; research from analytics firm Gallup recently revealed they represent a 23% premium when it comes to profitability and lifetime value*. Therefore, ensuring that customers are highly engaged at all times needs to be a primary objective for businesses in all sectors. So, how can you practically measure how engaged your customers are with your brand?
What does ‘customer engagement’ really entail?
Traditionally, customer engagement has been measured using metrics such as email open-rates, social media post likes and re-tweets. However, customer engagement can take on many broader forms outside of the traditional sphere. The metrics mentioned suggest that ‘engagement’ entails someone simply having an emotional connection with a brand, which itself comes from positive emotional experience.
But, what does engagement mean to businesses on a day-to-day basis? If true engagement requires a customer to have an emotional response to your business, then engagement can’t simply be measured by the number of times they engage, but also by the quality of the engagements and their emotional effect on the customer.
The emotions your customers are experiencing when engaging with your brand are the emotions driving brand loyalty. In this instance, the term loyalty itself refers to you customer’s broader relationship with your business, where factors like trust affect your customer relationship more so than pricing or availability. Though a customer might be engaged with your business, it doesn’t mean they’re a brand evangelist – though they’re more likely to become one if they’re engaged for a prolonged period; repeat emotional engagements translate to loyalty.
Ultimately, to establish if your customers are truly engaged, it’s important to look beyond the traditional customer engagement metrics. Achieve this by studying customer engagement on a broader scale across all touch points, encompassing loyalty and quality of engagement.
Why your business needs to measure omnichannel engagement
No matter what sector your business operates in, you’ll find your marketing department will often measure engagement on a channel-by-channel basis. While the basic metrics such as email open rate and social media likes are useful, on their own they’re not demonstrative of the wider customer engagement rate across multiple channels.
Omnichannel engagement involves tracking all customer engagements at an individual level across all touchpoints, and recording these against an individual customer profile, or single customer view. Recording individual engagements at individual level means that you can award each customer their own engagement score, based on whichever metrics are suitable to your business. Monitoring these omnichannel engagement scores over a period of time will provide your business with a realistic record of customer engagement.
Measuring the next steps
As we’ve established, engagement is representative of the emotional bond you have with your customers and how those emotions manifest in tangible interactions. This represents another challenge – how do we determine the difference between an engaged interaction and a disengaged interaction? For example, though your mobile provider might interpret you renewing your contract as an engagement, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re positively engaged with the business. This is why measurement of omnichannel engagement needs to encompass another important factor – sentiment. Sentiment makes all the difference between an engaged and disengaged interactions and serves to further refine your engagement metrics.
How can you improve customer engagement?
Once you’ve established how you can measure engagement, you’ll know whether and how much you need to improve it. This often means concentrating your marketing and sales strategy on creating value for customers, rather than extracting money from them but, when conducted effectively, a robust customer engagement strategy is capable of driving loyalty and, as a result, growing revenue. At Eagle Eye we work with some of the UK’s largest businesses to develop customer engagement across the Retail, Food & Beverage and Food Services sectors. Here are four engagement strategies that work for our clients that you can use to engage your customers:
1. Prioritise customer experience
Whether your business sells a service or sells widgets, the quality of the customer experience you provide dictates how satisfied and loyal your customers are. That’s why improving customer engagement depends so much on improving customer experience. Online retailer Amazon is a perfect example of a business that focusses on the customer experience, offering sector-defining customer experience with their Prime delivery services. How could your business better serve your customers? Whatever it takes, better customer experience means better customer engagement, which means bigger revenue.
2. Give your brand a face
Every customer wants to feel like they’re special to a business and that their needs are understood. In general, consumer-facing brands will find it easier than B2B companies. A lot of businesses achieve it by appointing brand ambassadors or spokespeople who advocate and humanise the brand through thought leadership. Building brand presence will make it easier for customers to engage with your brand and, ultimately, serve to grow loyalty too.
3. Create engaging content
Educating your prospects and customers is a fantastic way to get them engaging with your brand. A recent survey conducted by Google concluded that as many as 48% of mobile users were more likely to purchase goods and services from companies that provided instructional video content on-site.** If video doesn’t work for your brand, then try whitepapers or webinars to get you customers engaged.
4. Get personal
Personalisation is quickly becoming the go-to strategy for brands looking for maximum engagement with their prospects and customers. As with omnichannel engagement, which we discussed earlier, personalisation is a marketing strategy that markets to the individual, rather than the channel. In practice this means offering real-time, targeted offers to engage the right customers at the right time in the sales cycle. A single customer view will help you achieve this.
A recent campaign we conducted with American beer brand Budweiser
used personalisation and a single customer view to increase engagement during a popular sporting event, of which they were the official sponsor. Using our digital marketing platform Eagle Eye AIR, Budweiser promoted a voucher offer across social media, encouraging users to sign up, before sending customers their voucher code via SMS. Customers could then redeem their coupons at popular pub chain Mitchells & Butlers. Using Eagle Eye AIR meant that the brand could measure engagement from first click to purchase, recording valuable campaign data to inform future campaigns.
If you’d like to find out how our Eagle Eye AIR digital marketing platform could help your brand boost customer engagement, then get in touch today
*Gallup – Customer Engagement Survey, 2018
**Google/Ipsos – Consumers in the Micro-Moment, Wave 3