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Blog

Nov 14, 2016

What Is Consumer Engagement?

customer using a mobile device as an example of what is consumer engagement

[Estimated read time: 3 minutes]

Consumer engagement refers to a company’s or brand’s efforts to build relationships with individuals through personalized interactions on multiple channels, with the goal of gaining and retaining loyal customers.

Successful consumer engagement accomplishes that goal by:

  1. Distinguishing the brand from its competitors
  2. Giving consumers an emotional connection with the brand
  3. Creating ongoing, omni-channel conversations

Why Is Consumer Engagement Important?

The average consumer is exposed to thousands of brand-related messages each day, but is only aware of 86, and only engages with 12. It’s not enough to just talk about your brand and hope it gets noticed—statistically, it won’t—you have to talk to someone. You have to do more than get and keep their attention; you must also convince them to take an action in response. In other words, if you’re not engaging consumers, you have very little hope of turning them into loyal customers.

"WHETHER A COMPANY WANTS IT OR NOT, OR WHETHER THEY ARE AWARE OF IT OR NOT, A CUSTOMER DEVELOPS A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE COMPANY BEFORE THEY EVEN MAKE THEIR FIRST PURCHASE. IF THE COMPANY DOESN'T TAKE CARE OF THIS RELATIONSHIP, IT'S LIKELY IT'LL WITHER AND DIE." -NICO BRENNER

Successful Consumer Engagement Is Personalized

Today’s consumers expect the communications and offers they receive to be tailored to them at a one-to-one level. In the past, that could only be done through agent interaction, but technology now allows companies to personalize communications on a mass scale. As CRM (Customer Relationship Management) consultant Paul Greenberg puts it, “Customers want to feel valued, and they want to know that you 'know' them, even in interactions that are not human-to-human."

If your message is going to make it to the final 12 brand messages that consumers actually engage with each day, it needs to be so relevant that it can’t be ignored. When you find the sweet spot, you’ll see consumers taking the action you want in the moment (e.g., clicking a link or making a purchase) and remaining loyal in the long run.

Successful Consumer Engagement Is Personal

A better product or a lower price is no longer enough to differentiate your brand from your competitors, but you can stand out by creating personal connections between agents and consumers. According to Harris Interactive, 73% of consumers say that a friendly customer service representative is all it takes to make them fall in love with a brand.

“THE MOMENT AN EMPLOYEE CONNECTS EMOTIONALLY WITH A CUSTOMER IS A SOURCE OF UNTAPPED POWER THAT HAS PROFOUND IMPLICATIONS FOR A COMPANY’S PRODUCTIVITY AND PROFITABILITY.” -GALLUP

Customer satisfaction occurs when a problem is resolved, but long-term loyalty only occurs when an agent takes the time to engage with consumers on a personal level and make them feel important and valued.

Successful Consumer Engagement Is Omni-Channel

Consumers expect to be able to engage with you over multiple channels, and 60% will actually switch channels depending on where they are and what they’re doing. At the same time, 68% expect the information they give you on one channel to be available on others, and 91% expect to receive consistent information over multiple channels.

To boil that down, consumers expect to be able to start a conversation with you on one channel and then continue it across any others that are convenient for them. According to customer engagement best practices, if you can’t seamlessly pick up with them where you left off, you will lose their attention fast.  

Consumer Engagement Software

Consumer engagement software gives you the tools you need to personalize communications, create emotional connections, and engage across multiple channels. While it’s often thought of as a synonym for customer relationship management (CRM) software, it actually encompasses much more, including social relationship management, live chat, marketing personalization, and digital self-service.

With Astute’s suite of software, all of those functions are integrated through our ePowerCenter CRM, making your customer engagement efforts easier and more effective. Learn more about how our products work together by watching our two-minute intro video.  

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