Engage to stay relevant
An excellent customer engagement strategy keeps your customer interested in your product beyond when they're buying it, visiting your website, or engaging with your service directly.
How is that possible? Let us explain it with a practical example.
Various seasonal sports, including car racing, are excellent at keeping their audience engaged even during the off-season when there are no actual races happening.
Theoretically, the masses should forget about it once the season is over. Yet, for so many season sports, the craze continues even during the off-season.
So how are they doing it?
They don't throw spaghetti on the wall, hoping some would stick. They have a clear and precise strategy that engages their audience, attracts their attention, and keeps them excited about the months to come.
First, they identify their target audience and segment them into multiple age groups. Even when all their target audience comes under the common umbrella of "Sports fans," they don't use the same strategy for everyone.
After segmentation, they prepare marketing materials, plan events, and initiate conversations that will encourage fans to participate in and get excited about the buildup to the next season.
For older fans, they might plan their engagement around evoking nostalgia, like sharing stories of their generation's heroes, conducting an exhibition that showcases iconic memorabilia, and more.
For younger fans, they might schedule events the fans can participate in and hopefully post about on social media.
For the ardent, expressive fans, they trigger conversations that will make the fans support their favorite team and engage in a verbal battle with other team fans. It ensures the topic stays on top of the fans' minds.
Non-sports brands should also follow these techniques. Customer engagement doesn't mean only when the customer is buying your product, visiting your website, or engaging with your service directly. It also includes the duration when they don't intend to spend any money.
Whatever your off-season looks like, you should be engaging with your customers during it to keep your brand's name on top of their minds so when they're ready to buy again, you'll be the one they'll come looking for.
You might have gotten a glimpse of why customer engagement is important from the above anecdote. But let's dig deeper for more.
Customer engagement is the process of interacting with customers through varied channels to develop and strengthen a relationship with them. - Gartner
As described in the definition, the primary purpose of building and practicing a customer engagement strategy is to earn your customers' trust, support, and loyalty.
Earning customer's trust, support, and loyalty
Gone are the days when you offer low prices and the masses will rush to your doors. Now people are willing to pay a premium to enjoy a great experience with your product/service, and they expect brands to engage them.
If you treat your customers as mere transactions, they'll treat you as just a provider. You can't form and develop a healthy relationship with those dynamics. Only by engaging with them on a continuous basis can you forge a relationship that will earn you their trust and loyalty.
Prolonging customer retention
Churn is unavoidable—at some point, even your most loyal customers might jump to your competitors. But when you've got a great engagement strategy and you're consistently engaging with your customers, you can prolong the retention duration and considerably decrease customer churn.
Cultivating a community that works for you
While most people mention Apple when describing the importance of community, we'll consider Adobe instead. For decades, Adobe has been consistently engaging with its customers.
What's the result?
- It built them an army of supporters who preached and propagated Adobe for free for decades.
- Having multiple products in their kitty helped Adobe cross-sell their products within their community and earned (still earning) them big bucks.
- Adobe used its community to ask about features they'd like to see or to find bugs in their program. This helped them stay relevant for ages without getting outdated by any of their competitors.
- Communities are data mines. Adobe mined and refined the feedback from their customers to understand more about them as well as their target markets. It helped Adobe make their products approachable to everyone.