Win at Customer Engagement Marketing with These 3 Principles
[Estimated read time: 4 minutes]
Question #1: Who drives more revenue, new customers or existing customers?
Question #2: Where does your marketing team spend most of their time, acquiring new customers or retaining current ones?
The answer: Although existing customers drive more revenue, most marketing teams spend a disproportionate amount of time on new customer acquisition. Research tells us that, no matter the industry, the majority of revenue comes from a small percentage of customers. In fact, a study conducted by Bain & Co. and Harvard Business School found that a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits up to 95%. Still, marketers spend more time on acquisition tactics — only 16% of marketing organizations say their primary strategic focus is retention!
What’s the deal with that?
Seems like it’s high time marketers shifted their focus to include more customer loyalty strategies, prioritizing customer engagement over acquisition. After all, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times the amount of their original purchase. Here are three principles of customer engagement marketing to get you started.
1. Marketing is not the sole arbiter of your brand
That’s because a customer’s perception of your brand is influenced by each touchpoint they experience with your company, sometimes referred to as the customer journey. Some of these touchpoints will be controlled by marketing, such as your website, your advertising, your social media posts, and so on. But if your manifold acquisition strategies are successful, people will buy your products — and then they will experience all kinds of touchpoints that the marketing team may or may not control. Ask yourself, what do your customers experience when they are…
- visiting a store location?
- talking to customer service?
- reading reviews of your products?
- searching online for answers to their questions?
- using your product for the first, second, or hundredth time?
Many of the most influential and memorable experiences customers have with your brand come from interactions with A) front-line employees, B) customer-facing technology, and/or C) your actual product or service. If this fact causes you to squirm in your chair, it’s probably worth investigating if your technology, people, and processes are equipped to deliver an exceptional customer experience.
2. The best customer engagement marketing comes from getting it right the first time
“Be the labor great or small, do it well or not at all.” An old proverb, but a true one — especially when it comes to brand interactions. According to Forrester, 77% of consumers say “valuing my time” is the most important factor when interacting with companies. And every interaction is higher-stakes than you might imagine: It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one bad, unresolved one, according to Understanding Customers by Ruby Newell-Legner. But there’s a great deal of upside, too, since 97% of your satisfied customers will spread the word about their awesome experiences with you. Positive word of mouth is the best advertising any brand can hope for.
Unfortunately, “getting it right the first time” is easier said than done. For every seamless, successful interaction with your customers, there is an abundance of time, energy, and technology invested in making it happen. Like watching Michael Phelps win yet another Olympic medal, people see only the flawless performance — not the hours upon hours of hard work it took to get there. In order for front-line employees and technology interfaces to get it right for your customers the first time, every time, they need to be equipped with the right information and tools to do so. No amount of marketing messaging or advertising can equate to the authentic goodwill generated by meeting your customers’ expectations flawlessly and consistently.
There’s another key aspect of getting it right: Your products! Your customer-facing systems need to be able to identify (i.e. through social listening or customer case analysis) and escalate product issues so they can be addressed immediately, as well as be able to uncover market insights to use for future development.
3. Interact and engage on your customers’ terms
New channels such as social media have effectively removed barriers to individuals’ communication with companies. In the past, customers were forced to call a 1-800 number if they wanted to talk to someone. Now, they can email, tweet, text, video chat, you name it.
This shift in communication styles brings with it a major change in what customers expect from brands, and huge opportunities for customer engagement marketing. Once you’ve mastered the art of getting it right the first time, it’s time to capitalize on all the customer goodwill you’ve generated:
- Motivate customers to share their positive experiences via reviews or social media posts.
- Track and reward customers who provide referrals.
- Use customer data to personalize each customer engagement, enriching loyalty and driving up-sells.
- Push out relevant content and engage with your social media audience (here are nine tips for engaging on Twitter, complete with examples from real brands).
Successful customer engagement marketing starts with successful customer experiences. At Astute Solutions, we help brands drive customer loyalty through smart relationship management, social engagement and monitoring, customer self-service, and knowledge management technology. Schedule a free demo to see how.