With greater access to information, more sensitivity to price, and a by the shrug manner to advertising, today’s customers are harder to win and keep. The key to acquiring and retaining customers in this environment is to engage them – to participate in an ongoing, two way conversation that creates for the customers —
- A deep emotional connection with the brand.
- High Levels of active participation
- A long-term relationship.
It is an accepted belief that the real difference in customer behaviour – and profitability – comes from customers who are both rationally satisfied and emotionally connected to your brand.
Behavioural psychologists have long argued that only 30% of human decision and behaviours are actually driven by rational consideration. This means that more than 70% of consumer loyalty and spending decisions are based on emotional factors.
The emotional connection is what customer engagement is all about.
Emotional Connection = Engagement
World’s leading organizations understand one simple fact and that is: organizations that engage their customers outperform those that do not.
So when you consider the premium that fully engaged customers are worth to your organization, a focus on increasing this ratio is a critical part of any growth strategy.
What Steps can your organization take to engage its customers?
To find out, Forrester Consulting conducted a survey of more than 200 business decision-makers – including customer service, support, and marketing professionals on their customer engagement efforts. And we found that engaging customers requires a year-round focus on changing organizational behaviours, processes, and systems to anticipate and respond to your customers’ needs. From the leadership team to the frontline employees, all levels within an organization must commit to making these changes.
- Engagement Activities Must Span all Channels – Of course, the web might be more ubiquitous, addressable, and measurable, but physical locations and interpersonal interactions still matter. The primary customer engagement programs should involve both offline and online touch points.
- Online Engagement Programs are bound to Grow – As companies plan to add technologies such as online customer reviews, mobile web sites, and user-generated content to their portfolios over the coming time, it is of no surprise that such tools offer customers a new way to engage with brands. And when implemented properly, this type of technology also provides a reason for customers to return to a website again and again.
- Honouring Emotional Attachment – Customers are not strictly rational; and the most profitable customer has strong emotional bonds with your organization. Those bonds must be honoured and strengthened.
- Brand Alignment – No organization has a single unified “brand”. There are as many ‘brands’ as there are customer touch points. All must be measured, reviewed and managed.
Instead of focusing on lagging indicators such as stock price, earnings per share, profit, and growth, organizations which concentrate on measuring and managing behavioural metrics lead in their story of organic growth. By individualizing their approach and working with human nature, they unlock their maximum potential and profitability.