3 Reasons Why Customer Engagement Counts

“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption on work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider to our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him… He is doing us a favour by giving us the opportunity to do it.”

In the days when the above quote was uttered, there was no such thing as the internet, let alone social media. However, the importance of customer service was equally as imperative then as it is now.
Word-of-mouth marketing is indeed an age-old story. Business owners have always known that the second a customer steps back outside the store, they are free to share their experiences – both good and bad.
Today, no matter if you’ve got a physical store, an ecommerce site or both, your customers reside online. They are members of social networking communities that contain millions of users. Any experience shared with these communities, therefore, has massive impact-potential on your future sales – so those experiences need to be good ones.

From Customer Service to Customer Engagement 

And this is where the distinction between customer service and customer engagement comes into play.
Customer service is all about providing due attention at the point of sale, or during the moments when the customer is actively engaging with your business.
Customer engagement, on the other hand, is ongoing. Customer engagement is about fostering all those connections that you have in between customer visits – and social media provides ample opportunity to do so.
Customer engagement requires a business to learn more about each customer beyond the transactions that they make. It means delivering personalised and useful content to your customers in order to extend the engagement time with your brand.
In short, customer engagement means building and nurturing relationships online over time.

3 Reasons Why Customer Engagement Counts 

Customer engagement helps to grow your business. That’s why it counts.

1- Acquiring New Customers Costs More the Retaining Existing Ones  

How much more? Well, according to Invesp, five times more – that’s how much.
What’s more, Marketing Metrics tells us that the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 – 70%, whilst the probability of selling to a new prospect is just 5-20%.
Engaging your existing customers online, therefore, is vital, for these are the people who have been good enough to give you their business already. Focus on targeting these guys and gals with interesting content in between purchases and they are far more likely to come back for more.

2- They Can Always Go Elsewhere 

Today, no business holds a monopoly. If you aren’t acting on your customers’ expressed needs, then there is a competitor out there who will more than happy to pick up the slack.
Customer engagement means listening to those who do business with you. It means actively seeking out discussions where your brand is mentioned online and addressing as many pain-points your customers are expressing as possible. If this means that you need to add additional services or improve existing ones, then that’s what you’re going to have to do.

3- Bad News Travels Fast 

Negative customer feedback travels a lot faster than positive feedback. As mentioned earlier, word-of-mouth marketing these days takes place primarily online, and so managing and even pre-empting any negative review that you may receive online can make all the difference to how you are viewed by larger swathes of the online community.
The good news, however, is that feedbacklite.com reports that 51% of people who do write a negative review will react positively again towards your brand if you address their issues. The lesson, then, is not to bury your head in the sand. Engage your customers even when they have grievances and your business will benefit.

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Why Customer Engagement is So Important?

No matter how big or small your business is your customers are the most important factor for you. They are the main driving force behind your company, and your future depends on them. Customers are more informed than ever and the vast opportunity the Internet offers has completely changed the way they behave and think. Customers nowadays carefully choose what brand to associate with and whenever they spot a problem, they speak their mind in reviews and comments. Whenever they have a question, they ask it and expect a good answer. Don't think that your marketing campaign is over when to attract some new buyers.

The last, but one of the most important parts of your marketing strategy is called customer engagement or lead nurturing. And unlike other aspects of your marketing, this one never ends, and as long as you have a product or service to offer, you must engage your customers. But why is this so important?

Engage Your Customers to Boost Your Retention Rate

Building a healthy relationship with your customers is vital for your customer retention rate. The more you engage them, the more likely they are to stick with your product or service. Not only will they ask for more, but they will also become emotionally connected to your brand, and this is what all businesses want.

Create an Army of Promoters without Spending a Single Penny

Engaged customers will become your advocates and will influence others and their decisions. By building a relationship with them, you basically create an army of promoters who will spread the word of your business, and you don't even have to pay for that service. And potential customers are much more likely to believe other people than traditional marketing campaigns, no matter how aggressive or effective they are.

Never Ignore Negative Feedback

Negative reviews are unavoidable but instead of ignoring them, you can set customer engagement in motion and take advantage of such feedback. By responding in a polite manner and attempting to help the unhappy customer resolve his problem, others will see that you care about their opinion, and it really matters. Not only you will make them feel valued and important, but you will also be able to get valuable information about trends and customer behavior.

In Conclusion

Engaging customers is a truly innovative approach, and although it is not easy and you certainly won't see any results overnight, it pays to invest time and efforts. It is a lengthy process that requires consistency, but at the end of the day, it is one of the cheapest yet effective ways to market your products or services, make a name for yourself and create a special bond between your customers and your business.