Every business owner's dream is to have customers that flock to their store, bring traffic to the website, buy merchandise in thousands, and become repeat customers.
The reality is not so simple. The truth is, modern-day customers are more fickle-buyers than they used to be. The reason behind this change? An abundance of choices.
Making a striking first impression is as important as having the substance to back it up. Almost half of online shoppers make impulse purchases based on personalized content. Millennials are even more likely to make split-second buying decisions.
Companies must keep interactions flowing without interruption to secure checkout conversions. It is, after all, 5 to 10 times cheaper to have repeat customers than acquire new ones.
Throughout this article, we'll look at examples of companies that have successfully implemented various customer engagement strategies, from customer support to personalized content marketing, and how they shape the overall customer experience.
Let's dive in.
Customer engagement and customer experience are inseparable. The path towards a positive customer experience goes beyond sales performance. It goes deep into human psychology. Behavior, perception, and consistency play a prominent role. Once you have an established customer base, implementing changes that contradict your mission statement is a risky move.
Customer engagement begins with a captivating shopping environment. For a brick-and-mortar store, it is their product display, flashy showroom, and helpful staff members. The same goes for online business, with a slight twist. The credibility, appeal, and interest come from the website design, social media presence, and personalized interactivity.
Love for the brand extends beyond simple admiration. The way your company presents itself, its products, and services throughout the customer's lifecycle impact how engaged customers will be.
Let's take, for example, Hugo Boss's loyalty program. It offers a complete experience for their subscribers from the get-go. Among the benefits are:
All benefits are designed to make the customer's life simpler and the shopping experience positive—both pre and post-sale!
Customers are unique. That's a sentence that we have all heard about a million times! However, they do share similar characteristics, defined by personality, geographical area, or behavior. Each of these characteristics makes up distinct customer segments.
Marketers who wish to target each customer segment need to pay special attention to inspirational content. Using a compelling recommendation page, for example, can work wonders in encouraging undecided shoppers to make a purchase.
Take, for example, the UK bookstore Waterstones. A banner on their blog page advertises the best books of the year, and also includes acclaimed writers' recommendations.
Each title is then described in more detail by clicking on each writer's pick, with an option to purchase the books online or click-and-collect. Such recommendations from industry pros can lead to higher trust in the product and increased sales numbers.
Based on your segments, a customer journey map can help you observe customer touchpoints and identify sales opportunities. Using it will help you set up your engagement strategy goals, simplify the onboarding process, and improve customer relations.
Mapping customers' lifecycles is one of the best ways to understand a customer's journey and its complexity, whether you use a simple Excel spreadsheet or a more in-depth approach.
A company's success is influenced by more than just the experiences customers have with sales reps. How customer service agents respond to orders and interact with customers can impact revenue. Leading DTC brands invest in their customer support, and for the right reasons. According to Hubspot, 78% of customers have abandoned a purchase due to poor customer service.
Nowadays, customer service representatives can be contacted by many different channels, depending on how efficiently a company can handle the communication.
Multichannel and omnichannel are the two most common types of customer communication software. Service agents can communicate with customers through one channel at a time. An omnichannel help desk solution, on the other hand, allows customer service reps to handle queries from any channel through one interface simultaneously. For example, a customer service agent can live chat with a customer, access their history, and reply to a ticket at the same time.
The quality of customer service makes or breaks a company. Online shoppers want seamless service, preferably in real-time, and with the right tools, businesses can deliver it.
Customer-specific, relevant, and interactive content elevates marketing tactics and approaches to customers. For example, 72% of consumers claim to only engage with marketing messages if they are personalized. Tools for customer engagement enable teams within the organization to test, personalize, and analyze campaigns and engagement.
Let's look at four examples of content marketing.
By and large, online shoppers are known to be indecisive on their first visit. To reduce abandoned carts, use automated emails.
Email marketing is also an effective method for converting prospects who signed up for a free trial. Sending a welcome email in the first hour of signing up gives you a much higher chance of converting your prospects. The trick is to keep up with email marketing but not overdo it to the point where it becomes intrusive. You can, for example, set up recurring emails that will be sent out regularly to your existing customers—newsletters, emails with special promotions, birthday emails, etc.
An apology, an invitation to participate in a Kickstarter campaign, and special benefits and discounts are all featured in Unidragon's newsletter, below.
Audiences in our modern digital age are used to consuming content as quickly as possible. As a result, finding information about products and services via video is a growing form of online research. It's, after all, faster to watch a video than read a lengthy description.
Video marketing can function simultaneously as two separate marketing campaigns when combined, as demonstrated in the Kohl's Cash presentation video. Not only does it entice consumers to buy their products, but it also promotes their rewards program.
Interactive quizzes are a great way of engaging customers with your brand. As an added bonus, you can collect data directly from your website visitors and create more accurate customer profiles.
A coffee giant like Starbucks, for example, uses its quiz to encourage shoppers to find out their best type of coffee blends. By doing so, customers don't have to waste their time scrolling product pages, which makes for a more satisfactory and memorable shopping experience.
Online communities often crave unique content! Use your social sites as platforms to deliver new content and encourage direct participation from your followers.
A good example of this marketing tactic is by Qwertee. They run a continuous promotional campaign on all standard social media platforms, giving subscribers a chance to win a free t-shirt. Each "tee's" design is exclusive to Qweertee.
With every like, share, and comment, subscribers have an increased chance of winning. A social media campaign like this one can help you build an active community of followers.
Here's the kicker. Virtual and augmented reality is the future. Each year the devices that support these technologies are becoming more commonplace.
Even though there is no denying that customers prefer the human element in customer support, the future holds opportunities for AI in digital marketing and online shopping.
A recent study published in the MIT Sloan Management Review found that 76 percent of companies with at least $500 million in annual revenue target higher sales growth with AI and machine learning. (destinationcrm.com)
Augmented reality can simulate the experience of walking into a store and physically interacting with the products. It is unsettling to order something online, only to be disappointed when it arrives and is not what we expected. VR can help avoid such disappointments. For example, Warby Parker, offers a virtual try-on for their frames through their app.
The use of virtual assistance extends to after-sales services as well. Imagine a scenario where a customer contacts customer service due to an issue with a product they purchased—but they don't have the technical know-how to describe the issue. With AR, customers can show a 3D model of the damaged product to an agent in real-time. This new way of interaction significantly reduces the frustration of potential miscommunication.
Sometimes, trying out a new engagement strategy can feel like a game of cards. You have to observe what others are doing, subtle changes in behavior, and their playing style. Be careful to go all in, even when you think it's safe. Slow and steady wins the game. In our case, it wins new customers and keeps the existing ones loyal and engaged.