In today’s competitive and global business environment, customer experience is the great differentiator. Unfortunately, while many businesses claim to put customers first, few create raving fans.
Let’s explore the role customer engagement (as opposed to customer satisfaction) plays in predicting and driving repeat business and referrals.
The “What,” “How,” and “Why of Customer Engagement
- What – Customer engagement refers to the level of involvement, interaction, and emotional connection customers have with your company. It includes customer perceptions and behaviors across all touchpoints, including their experiences with products, people, and technology.
- How – Customer engagement is measured by asking customers for feedback using tools like the Net Promoter System (NPS™) and by tracking customer behavior in areas like website traffic, social media interactions, survey response rates, and email open rates.
- Why – Engaged customers are likelier to repurchase from you and refer their friends and family to your business. Engaged customers are also more likely to provide feedback and suggestions that can help you improve your products and services.
How can you use customer engagement to predict and strengthen business success?
- Choose a mix of behavioral and subjective customer engagement indicators. For example, you might survey customers using the NPS and track the degree to which they open promotional emails.
- Look for correlations between your engagement indicators and KPIs. For example, does a high NPS score today positively correlate with the customer making a repeat purchase in the next 90 days? Does a low open rate on promotional emails predict customer churn over the next six months?
- Ensure that everyone in the organization understands the importance of customer engagement and their role in engaging customers.
- Look for engagement indicators with predictive validity regarding future customer behavior and develop strategies and tactics to drive engagement as a leading business growth indicator.
- Reward staff for delivering outstanding customer experiences that result in engaged customers.
High customer engagement suggests your customers are “happy and invested” in your business.
While working on an upcoming book, I asked Fred Reichheld, the creator of the Net Promoter System, about his take on customer engagement and happiness. Fred shared:
“I haven’t found a company that can consistently deliver outstanding shareholder value that does not do a better job than competitors at making customers happy… Happy customers come back for more and refer their friends.
Isn’t it time to track and foster engagement and customer happiness?
If you want to drive increased customer engagement in your business, please contact me at josephmichelli.com/contact.