For a while now we’ve been talking about the power of information and why tools that provide in-store analytics matter. Today, we want to take a step back and look at the larger picture that is customer engagement. At its core, customer engagement is a business communication process that uses multiple message channels to build relationships with key audiences. Businesses that effectively use these channels to connect are the ones who convert browsers into buyers.
Now that idea may seem obvious, but some companies are falling short on customer engagement, especially when it comes to technology and marketing. Check out this survey by Adobe and Econsultancy. Respondents were asked what best describes their organization’s approach to marketing and customer experience technology? Here is what the survey uncovered.
The end game of any customer engagement strategy is to make an emotional connection with the customer and start building a relationship. Why? Because engaged customers are valuable customers who spend more money! According to Gallup, fully engaged customers provide 23% more revenue than the average customer. Consumer electronics buyers, when fully engaged, spend 29% more than the average shopper. This is because customers who have developed an emotional connection with a brand buy more, promote more in their own social groups, and ultimately demonstrate higher levels of loyalty.
The great thing about engagement is that it enhances profitability for everyone. Gallup’s study noted “companies that successfully engage their B2B customers realize 63% lower customer attrition, 55% higher share of wallet, and 50% higher productivity.” The old school of thought is that in-your-face advertising, aggressive rewards programs, and heavy discounts were enough to win over customers. While this might initially get people through the door and keep them inside for a while, it won’t translate to long-term profitability and valuable relationships. Where we see many companies go astray is in thinking that consumer purchasing decisions are based entirely on rational thought. This just isn’t so. Customers buy based on emotions, and these emotions are based on their experiences with your brand in-store, online, or over the phone. This is why creating positive, memorable experiences is so important.
So now that you understand the “why”, let’s talk about the “how” to engage.
- In-Store Experience: When a customer enters your store, they most likely already know what they want. They come to the store in order to learn more or experience the product in person. Because of this, it is important to know where customers are spending the most time in-store, which products they are interacting with, and which features they care about most. Having this valuable information allows you to perfect the layout of the store, the placement of products on the floor, and how and when to grab the customer’s attention. If you want to learn why in-store analytics matter, check out a recent blog here.
- Value Added Services: If you’re unfamiliar with the term, Value Added Services or VAS for short are non-core product/service offerings that help you win and retain customers by adding value to their lives. People may not “need” VAS but often want them. How you position and promote these products can add value to not only customers, but also your business and your market share. To learn how you can build value for your business and your customers, check out our VAS blog here.
While there are many ways to engage your customers and build valuable relationships, it’s most critical that you understand the importance of doing so. Once you’ve committed to your customer engagement strategy there is a myriad of ways you can implement and start connecting with customers. Let us help you experience the positive impact customer engagement can have on your business, contact us today.