Don’t confuse hammering your audience with marketing messages with customer engagement. You can’t force customers to engage with you. It has to be a decision the customer makes to want to interact with you in whatever manner they wish to engage, said Paul Greenberg, Principal of The 56 Group, at Zoholics, the Zoho user conference.
That engagement can be intense, casual, occasional, and/or frequent. And at any time that engagement level can change to any of the other states. Your job as a company is to provide customers with channels and capabilities to want to connect with you. If you get the customer in that state of mind, that’s engagement, Greenberg said.
Greenberg offered up the example of a company sending customers a coupon for 20 percent off every month for six months. They don’t expect each customer to actually come in and make a purchase every month, but the company is giving their customers the opportunity to make the choice to engage. Similarly, if you give people discounts to give to their friends, that’s another form of engagement that they select.
Engagement is proactive and it’s typically the customer who initiates it. What you’re providing are products and services and consumable experiences that make them want to interact with you. All you can ever do with a customer is “make them want to.” You can’t shove a message in their face and expect them to respond. You can try it that way but the typical response is usually negative, explained Greenberg.
“The goal is to engage the customer so they feel valued. So they’ll act and be proactive, not reactive.” said Greenberg.