Customer engagement ·
Customer Engagement: Best Practices and Outstanding Examples
Customer engagement plays a pivotal role in any business's success today. It's no longer enough to just offer an excellent product or service. Customers expect more. They desire interaction, personalization, and above all, they want to feel valued.
Brands that understand and harness the power of customer engagement stand a stronger chance of forging meaningful connections with their audience, leading to an uptick in loyalty, customer retention, and ultimately, business growth. Let's dive deeper to understand what customer engagement truly entails.
What is Customer Engagement?
Customer engagement refers to the interaction between a customer and a brand through various channels and touchpoints throughout the customer journey. This could range from a simple interaction on social media, a thoughtful email marketing strategy, or personalized offerings based on a customer's preferences.
The key to successful customer engagement lies in making customers feel heard, appreciated, and valued. It involves more than just selling a product or service; it's about fostering a loyal customer base that actively interacts with and advocates for your brand.
Why is Customer Engagement So Important?
In today's hyper-competitive business landscape, customer engagement is not just a nice-to-have; it's a must. A study by Gallup showed that fully engaged customers represent a 23% premium in terms of share of wallet, profitability, revenue, and relationship growth compared to the average customer.
Engaging customers consistently leads to brand loyalty, and loyal customers spend more. According to a study by InMoment, loyal customers are seven times more likely to test a brand's new offering, five times more likely to buy again, and four times more likely to refer a friend to the brand. Clearly, the importance of customer engagement can't be overstated.
Examples of Customer Engagement Marketing
Customer engagement can manifest in numerous ways, depending on the brand's approach and the customer's preferences. Here are a few exemplary strategies adopted by brands for boosting customer engagement.
User-generated content (UGC) is a potent tool for promoting customer engagement. UGC refers to any form of content - be it images, videos, reviews, or social media posts - created by users rather than the brand itself. Brands can encourage UGC through contests, features, or simply by creating an engaging community where customers feel motivated to share their experiences.
GoPro, for instance, has been successful in encouraging its users to share their adventurous videos shot with GoPro cameras. They often share this user-generated content on their social media platforms, which not only acknowledges and appreciates their users' efforts but also displays the product's capabilities to potential customers.
Free Trials and Loyalty Programs
Offering free trials of a product or service is a powerful customer engagement strategy. It lets customers experience the benefits firsthand, increasing the likelihood of purchase. Adobe, for example, offers a free trial of its Creative Cloud services, which has resulted in increased conversions and customer loyalty.
Loyalty programs are also an effective way to boost customer engagement. Brands like Starbucks and Sephora have highly successful loyalty programs that not only encourage repeat purchases but also foster a sense of belonging among customers.
Personalization can significantly enhance customer engagement. A study from SmarterHQ found that 72% of consumers only engage with marketing messages customized to their interests. Amazon is a notable example of a brand leveraging personalized marketing. By offering personalized recommendations based on customers' browsing and purchasing history, Amazon significantly boosts customer engagement and conversions.
Customers today interact with brands through multiple channels – be it through a brand's website, email, social media, or even physical stores. Brands that provide a seamless and consistent customer experience across all these channels are likely to see higher engagement.
Disney offers a stellar example of multichannel engagement. From its mobile app, which provides real-time updates on park attractions, to its Magic Band program that serves as a hotel room key and photo storage device – Disney provides a seamless, magical experience across all customer touchpoints.
Customer Engagement Examples: Leading Brands
Several brands have successfully unlocked the power of customer engagement, leading to impressive business outcomes.
Apple: Superior Customer Service and Innovative Products
Apple has long been recognized as a brand that champions customer engagement, and they achieve this through a combination of excellent customer service and consistently innovative products.
When you walk into an Apple store, the customer experience is far from typical. Apple's Genius Bar is a perfect example of their commitment to superior customer service. Customers can book appointments with 'geniuses' who will help troubleshoot issues, provide technical support, and offer personalized service. This high level of personalized customer service fosters a sense of trust and loyalty among Apple customers, which is evident in their high customer retention rates.
In terms of product innovation, Apple keeps its customers eagerly anticipating the next big release. Their well-executed product launches and innovative features keep customers engaged and excited. An annual event, like the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), serves as a platform to announce new products and updates, creating buzz and anticipation among their customer base and the tech industry.
Lego: Interactive Experience and Community Building
Lego, a leading toy manufacturer, has mastered the art of customer engagement by offering an interactive experience and building a strong community. Lego encourages its customers, both young and old, to unleash their creativity by building models, thus promoting an interactive and engaging experience.
Lego has also taken community-building seriously. Their platform LEGO Ideas allows enthusiasts to submit their own designs for new sets. If a design gains enough community support, it could be produced as an official Lego product, with the designer receiving credit and royalties. By involving customers in product creation, Lego boosts customer engagement and fosters a loyal community.
Netflix: Personalized Recommendations and Original Content
Netflix has changed the way we consume media, largely thanks to its highly personalized user experience and rich original content. The brand's recommendation engine utilizes viewer data to suggest shows and movies based on viewing history, keeping users engaged by continuously offering content tailored to their preferences.
Netflix has also been successful in creating a buzz and engaging customers with its original content. Series like "Stranger Things," "The Crown," and "Money Heist" have enjoyed immense popularity, becoming cultural phenomena and keeping subscribers eagerly awaiting new seasons. By consistently delivering high-quality, original content, Netflix has been able to keep its subscribers engaged and loyal to the platform.
In conclusion, these leading brands have demonstrated that effective customer engagement requires understanding your customer's needs, providing excellent customer service, offering a personalized experience, and fostering a sense of community. Their strategies offer valuable lessons for any business looking to boost their customer engagement.
Starbucks: Rewards Program and Mobile App
Starbucks stands out as a leader when it comes to customer engagement. Their rewards program is a key aspect of their strategy, incentivizing customers to earn stars for every purchase, which can later be redeemed for free drinks or food items. The success of the Starbucks Rewards program can be attributed to the fact that it is customer-centric, rewarding loyal customers based on the frequency of their purchases.
Further, Starbucks has mastered the use of mobile technology to enhance customer engagement. Their mobile app simplifies ordering and payment, allows for customization of drinks, and provides updates on the latest offers and promotions. The Starbucks mobile app accounts for about 22% of transactions in U.S. stores, demonstrating the power of mobile technology in boosting customer engagement.
Spotify: Personalization and User-Generated Content
Spotify has made music listening a highly personalized experience. Using advanced algorithms and machine learning, Spotify creates personalized playlists such as 'Discover Weekly' and 'Daily Mix,' which recommends songs based on a user's listening history. This level of personalization keeps users engaged and coming back for more.
Furthermore, Spotify encourages user-generated content by allowing users to create and share their own playlists. This not only promotes user engagement but also fosters a sense of community among users. Spotify has effectively used personalization and user-generated content to keep their users actively engaged.
Glossier: Social Media Engagement and Community-Building
Glossier, a cosmetics company, has taken customer engagement to a new level by leveraging social media. The brand has cultivated a dedicated community of followers by actively engaging with them on social media platforms. Glossier has utilized Instagram to showcase user-generated content, highlighting real users using their products.
Glossier has also used social media to solicit product feedback and involve customers in product development. For instance, they developed their popular 'Milky Jelly Cleanser' based on feedback from their followers. This approach of involving customers in the product development process fosters a sense of ownership and commitment among customers, leading to high customer engagement and loyalty.
From user-generated content and personalized marketing to loyalty programs and multichannel engagement, there are numerous ways in which brands can boost customer engagement. The examples mentioned – Apple, Lego, Netflix, and more – are testament to how effective customer engagement strategies can foster brand loyalty, improve customer retention, and drive business success. In today's competitive business landscape, understanding and harnessing the power of customer engagement is not just advantageous – it's essential.