Studying successful customer engagement examples is a great way to work towards boosting your brand’s loyalty. After all, with 54% of consumers saying most companies need to change the way they engage with customers, understanding how to increase and maintain customer engagement is more important than ever.
In this article, we’ll be exploring seven of the best customer engagement examples that maximised brand loyalty, offering you actionable tips along the way. How could these examples change the way you think about your brand’s customer engagement?
Though they have dominated the online streaming landscape for some time, tech giant Netflix has earned their spot on our list of customer engagement examples due to their ability to evolve.
By pivoting from DVD sales to rentals, and rentals to streaming, Netflix have never shied away from attempting to exceed customer demand. A case in point would be Netflix’s most recent innovation - stepping into the role of the producer. It’s a powerful example of customer engagement done right: by utilising A/B testing and audience analytics, Netflix have been able to create era-defining entertainment that is proven to keep customers loyal.
The reason why Netflix proves such a powerful example of customer engagement is their focus on personalising customer experience. By investing heavily in algorithms and audience analytics, Netflix has been able to offer an on demand service that’s unique for each viewer. As their director of global communications explains, there are now ‘33 million different versions of Netflix.’
Takeaway: To learn from this customer engagement example, aim to go beyond your customers wants by studying customer activities and preferences. By analysing the habits of your current customers, you can learn how to evolve and better market your product.
One of the best customer engagement examples that retail businesses can learn from is IKEA’s efforts to bring the in-store experience online. As IKEA’s Gillian Drakeford suggests, ‘people want human interaction… it’s what we’ve always done, but it’s enhanced by technology and expertise.’
To offer their audience the best online customer experience, IKEA have been early adopters of technologies like video chat and augmented reality. For example, with their mix of in-store/online appointments for kitchen planning, customers can engage with IKEA whenever suits them.
What’s more, IKEA’s AR app Place now enables customers to virtually engage with the company’s online catalogue, allowing them to envisage how new furniture will fit into their homes.
Digital customer engagement examples like these not only provide additional value for the customer, but they’ve also changed how customers shop online.
Fender might be the world’s leading guitar manufacturer, but their best-selling product comes with an inherent retention problem: due to player learning curves, after the first six months, 90% of new players won’t pick up a guitar again.
To mitigate this issue, Fender decided to upgrade their digital customer engagement strategies by changing their online customer journey. By launching a series of apps, customers can now engage with Fender long after their initial purchase.
For example, the Fender Play app gives players access to a series of subscription-based online guitar lessons. For a monthly fee, new players can follow tutorials and lessons, while Fender are able to strengthen their customer base and earn additional revenue.
To develop these customer engagement examples, Fender conducted market research by asking where their online audience was spending their time. By focusing on gaining their audience's attention for the long term, Fender not only achieved better customer engagement, they also achieved great customer satisfaction by helping new guitarists hone their skills.
Takeaway: To learn from this customer engagement example, offer complimentary services that can help further market your products. Even a monthly email newsletter with advice or tips related to your product can be a great incentive. By providing your customers with free added value, you greatly improve your chances of achieving customer loyalty.
Alongside the lessons learned from legacy brands like Fender and IKEA, we can also benefit from the customer engagement examples of industry disruptors. Since their arrival in 2010, Uber have completely revolutionised the taxi industry, inspiring a huge amount of competition along the way.
What has kept Uber at the top of the pack is their efforts to encourage high customer engagement levels by focussing on two key areas: solving customer problems and incentivising loyalty.
In terms of solving customer problems, Uber has consistently pushed to keep offering new services that fit local demands. In turn, they have only attracted more users.
In India, for example, Uber created Uber Moto, allowing customers to beat traffic congestion by requesting a ride on a motorcycle. Back in the UK and the US, the company successfully pivoted with Uber Eats, delivering new solutions to the problems customers once faced in the food delivery sector.
Uber’s use of loyalty rewards is another great example of customer engagement. First launched in 2018, Uber Rewards allows their customers to build points that they can then use against further purchases, regardless of whether they’re hailing a lift or ordering their dinner. By utilising a rewards tier system, Uber also successfully gamified their product, meaning customers are far more likely to remain loyal.
Takeaway: To learn from this customer engagement example, strive to consistently solve customer problems while incentivising your services. Consider what is commonplace in your industry, and question whether you can challenge the status quo.
Another example highlighting customer engagement success is British fitness clothing line Gymshark. Now valued at over £1 billion, Gymshark comes from very humble beginnings. Established less than ten years ago, their teenage founder began creating their now iconic gym gear in his parents’ home. Fast forward to 2021, and Gymshark is a truly global company.
To score their customer engagement wins, Gymshark adopted influencer marketing early on in the company’s life. By getting social media superusers to promote their products, they reached a huge audience and built a community of athletes and ambassadors who continue to successfully engage customers with product-related content.
Another example of customer engagement is Gymshark’s use of tried and tested market research. Gymshark frequently reaches out to customers who have either bought their clothes or engaged with their content. From there, they are able to use email surveys to gather data and research that directly inspires their products’ creation.
They even share their research with their participating audience too, before giving them an inside look at upcoming products. Tactics like these are a fantastic customer engagement example - not only do they help grow a customer community, they also ensure each product is launched to a waiting and eager audience.
Takeaway: To learn from this customer engagement example, utilise product influencers on social media by giving away products for them to promote. Use email surveys to conduct market research too, and reward your growing community with insight into your business.
In terms of customer engagement examples that redefined an industry, we’d be remiss not to mention a brand that has inspired an almost fanatic loyalty in their customers: Apple Inc.
One of Apple’s most effective examples of customer engagement is changing the way consumers view their technology in comparison with their competitors’. To do this, Apple first created elegant and user-friendly products, before stimulating an emotional connection with their audience.
Instead of marketing their products’ features, Apple has always focused on their products’ benefits. They’ve even positioned their products as a lifestyle signifier, representing themselves and their customers as unique and different. It’s a customer engagement example that’s difficult to achieve but hugely effective in creating evangelical fans.
Through their products’ aesthetic design, superb functionality, and brilliant marketing, Apple’s branding serves as a great example of customer engagement done well. After all, before the iPhone, there was no such thing as an ‘unboxing experience’.
Takeaway: To learn from this customer engagement example, focus on delivering a tried and tested product as well as an emotionally affecting marketing approach. How could you position your business to get your customers advocating your products?
In 2013, British bakery chain Greggs decided to adopt a new customer engagement strategy amid a slump in sales. Instead of continuing to provide traditional baked goods, Greggs would switch focus to supplying ‘food on the go’, aiming to rival big name high-street competitors.
Six years later, Greggs was voted 2019’s most popular dining brand in the UK. By 2020, they’d opened an extra 500 stores, leading to a total of 2,000 locations across the country. It’s proof that focussing on customer engagement can definitely pay off.
Greggs social media presence is another reason they’ve made our list of the best customer engagement examples. In 2019, Greggs released one of their most successful products ever by targeting an under-served audience.
Designed for the growing vegan market, Greggs introduced their vegan sausage roll to national attention, thanks to a savvy social media campaign that included a tongue-in-cheek PR stunt.
Instead of sending out their new product to reviewers in traditional packaging, Greggs presented their vegan sausage roll in a stylish box that was reminiscent of a new iPhone - creating their own kind of ‘unboxing experience’. The campaign’s success is proof that even companies who trade offline can have a successful online presence.
Takeaway: To learn from this customer engagement example, remember to use social media in a way that compliments your company’s image. Have fun with your products, and your customers will have fun too.
When reviewing the above customer engagement examples, there are three main traits that each brand has in common, regardless of size or product.
Through rethinking and revisiting their approach, these companies’ customer engagement examples demonstrate how to motivate continued interactions between your brand and your audience. It’s proof that the ultimate way to get your customers excited is by providing them with a product experience that beats all others.
What’s your favourite customer engagement example, and how does it inspire you?
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