Acquiring and converting new customers is a significant part of business success - but it's only half the battle.
Retaining those customers and building brand loyalty is just as important.
Unfortunately, it's a challenging endeavour in a world of digital transformation and an increasingly saturated market.
Consumers now have more brands to choose from than ever before and their expectations are constantly evolving.
So, if you want to capture consumer attention and keep it, it's imperative that you take steps to stand out from the crowd and foster lasting customer relationships.
And that's where digital engagement comes in. In this article, we'll cover:
- The importance of digital engagement
- How to digitally engage your customers
- The next step to taking your digital customer engagement to the next level
The importance of digital customer engagement
Put simply, digital customer engagement is the process of connecting with customers through digital communication channels in order to build authentic relationships with them.
Successful digital engagement gives you a competitive edge and keeps your business at the forefront of customers' minds. It also increases brand visibility and has a direct impact on revenue.
In fact, a study by Constellation Research found that increased customer engagement improved business' cross-sell profits by 22% and raised up-sell revenue from 13% to 51%.
It's common for businesses to focus on connecting with customers primarily for the purposes of securing a conversion.
But, ultimately, the digital engagement that happens between and beyond purchases is just as significant - it strengthens the emotional connection between consumers and your brand.
Genuine connections with your customers are crucial if you want to drive brand loyalty, keep customers happy, and create lasting relationships. These elements combine and lay the foundation for increased conversions and long-term business success.
If you want your brand to have a lasting impact on your customers, it's important that they feel like they're a part of a brand community - and digital engagement is the best way to achieve this.
How to engage customers: The effective digital engagement strategies
Now that we've covered the impact of customer engagement on business success, let's dive in and explore the key steps to optimal digital engagement.
1. Develop a comprehensive digital customer engagement strategy
If you want to succeed at digital engagement, it's vital that you lay the groundwork with a comprehensive digital engagement strategy.
This strategy should detail what you want to achieve through improved engagement and how you're going to get there. It should include actionable goals and strategies, along with quantifiable performance metrics or KPIs to measure your progress.
There are a number of key steps to a lucrative digital engagement strategy, including:
- Deciding your goals and what you want to accomplish
- Developing an understanding of your customers' wants and needs
- Connecting proactively with customers through a range of channels
- Creating engaging content
- Tracking the success of your efforts
A well-designed strategy is fundamental, not just for fruitful digital engagement, but for brand profitability too. In fact, research indicates that two thirds of a business’ revenue may rely on an effective customer engagement strategy.
Remember that finding the engagement strategy that works best for your brand can be a process of trial and error. Don't be afraid to experiment and always listen to your customers' feedback.
2. Create a digital community
An important part of getting customers to digitally engage with you is giving them a space to do it.
By creating a digital community, you'll provide a platform where customers can connect with you and each other. This will also boost brand visibility and help create more meaningful relationships with your customers.
The best way to establish a digital brand community is by leveraging the power of social media platforms.
Social media is a powerful engagement tool that enables businesses to reach a vast range of individuals and demographics. Currently, almost 60% of the entire global population uses some form of social media.
If you want to engage customers through a social media community, some useful strategies include:
- Reply/react to customer comments or posts about your brand as much as possible - two-way communication is crucial to building authentic relationships and trust.
- Utilize multiple social platforms so that customers have a range of ways to reach you - that way, it's convenient for them to engage and they can interact via their preferred social channel.
- Get creative with the content you produce - it doesn't all have to be business-related. You should also share fun content that customers will enjoy and are more likely to share.
- Give your brand a face by posting pictures of your employees as well as your products.
- Host competitions and/or giveaways.
- Entice customers with exclusive content or offers/discounts that are only available to members of your brand's digital community.
Because of the way social media works, you can use it to engage with your customers on a personal level. You can respond to customer questions and comments or even chat with them one-to-one through direct messages.
By engaging with your digital community through social media, you can build brand loyalty by making customers feel valued and listened to.
You'll be able to convey a brand image or personality that customers can emotionally connect with and relate to.
3. Always be responsive to online customer engagement
Being responsive is absolutely essential for successful digital customer engagement.
Case in point, 75% of consumers consider a fast response time to be the most important element of the digital customer experience.
One of the most significant consumer complaints in today's digital landscape is that they don't feel listened to - they reach out to businesses via contact channels only to be met with silence or an extremely long average response time.
This can make customers feel like they're shouting into a void - and they certainly won't feel engaged or connected to a brand that doesn't seem to care about their messages. So, it's vital that you respond to all customer contact in a timely manner - whatever the engagement channel.
By responding promptly to every customer conversation, you'll demonstrate that you care about the customer and want to ensure that they have the best possible experience with your brand.
You'll also avoid gaining a negative public image which is key. Remember, a reputation for poor customer service will be the death of your digital engagement efforts.
A great way to ensure that your brand is always responsive to customer engagement is by making use of automation technology.
For example, with Talkative, you can deploy an AI-powered virtual agent chatbot that can immediately respond to customer messages at any time of day or night. That way, your customers will always get an instant reply and they may even get their query resolved without having to be transferred to a human advisor.
You can also make use of dynamic canned responses so that your customer advisors can respond to customer engagement lightning-fast. Additionally, even something as simple as an auto-reply to emails can reassure customers that they're being heard and their queries will be dealt with.
Providing exceptional customer service and maintaining positive relationships with customers is a key element of succeeding at digital engagement.
By always being responsive, you'll be able to build trust and goodwill with your customers - which will result in increased engagement and conversions over time.
4. Delight customers with personalization
Personalization should be a top priority for any brand looking to engage customers digitally.
It's important because 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand that provides personalized experiences. On top of that, personalization enhances the customer experience by providing digital engagement that's tailored to the individual.
The key to providing personalized experiences is knowing and understanding your customer. You must consider the entire relationship between the customer and your brand.
Make use of any historical customer data at your disposal, such as previous interactions, past purchases, and any feedback your customer has provided.
To achieve this with Talkative, for example, you can actually send your Supervisor Dashboard back in time. This allows you to view the full historical context of all previous interactions with that customer.
This wider context will allow you to provide engagement that is shaped by the customer’s specific interests, needs, and preferences.
However you choose to get to know your customers, make sure you get creative with your personalized engagement strategies. The following examples are great ways to offer next-level personalization:
- Surprise offers, vouchers, or discounts via social messaging channels like SMS or WhatsApp
- Product recommendations based on the customer's interests and purchase history
- Tailored loyalty rewards for returning customers
- Virtual clienteling and virtual shopping experiences
Incorporating personalization will not only take your digital engagement strategy to the next level - it'll also boost conversion rates and customer delight.
5. Offer a variety of customer engagement channels
For the majority of today's consumers, technology and digital communication are prominent features of everyday life.
This means that most customers will automatically turn to their preferred engagement channels in order to contact and research your business.
So, it's imperative that your brand is equipped to meet them where they are - and that means providing a variety of ways for customers to engage with you.
The traditional channels of email and phone systems are simply not enough to make the cut anymore. Obviously, you can still have these channels as an option but you want to make sure you're not relying on them.
Impactful digital engagement requires communicative agility and the use of more progressive technology - customers aren't going to feel truly engaged with your band sitting in a phone hold queue or drafting a long-winded email.
The best channels for digital engagement are the ones that combine a humanized customer experience with the speed and convenience of digital communication.
The most essential engagement channels to have at your disposal include:
- Social media
- Social messaging channels
- Live chat
When you offer a variety of channels, the key to getting the most out of them is to ensure that they're all connected. That way, customers receive the same level of engagement and service throughout the customer journey.
Remember that, for optimal digital engagement, you need to provide a consistent and seamless customer experience at every touchpoint.
6. Get the right customer engagement platform
And finally, one of the most critical steps to optimal digital customer engagement - investing in the right platform.
After all, how can you expect to succeed in your digital engagement endeavours if you don't have the best technology to fuel them?
If you want to deliver truly impactful digital engagement, you need a platform that's dedicated to strengthening customer relationships and delivering exceptional, personalized experiences.
And that's where Talkative comes in.
Our Consultative Service Platform was specifically designed to power better engagement by connecting you with the right customers, via the right channel, at the right time.
We provide a complete suite of engagement channels that'll empower your customer advisors to connect instantly, and effortlessly, with your digital customers.
As a result, you'll be fully equipped to engage and convert more customers than ever before.
By getting Talkative, you'll be able to set yourself apart from the competition by providing next-level digital engagement and superior customer experiences.
You’ll enjoy the benefits of all the essential communication channels - including live chat, cobrowsing, video chat, web calling, social media messaging, and an AI-powered chatbot.
The takeaway: driving customer engagement with Talkative
It's clear that working to improve customer engagement is fundamental for any brand.
Through impactful digital engagement, you can improve customer loyalty, strengthen relationships, and establish a positive public image.
As a result of these benefits, you'll witness an increase in conversions and customer retention that'll drive long-term business success.
With the strategies detailed in this article, you'll be armed with a valuable toolkit to elevate digital engagement.
But ultimately, the most important tool in your arsenal is an innovative platform that lays the foundation for successful digital engagement.
Want to see for yourself? Book a demo with Talkative today, and start supercharging digital engagement success.