Every business owner wants to keep their customers happy and coming back for more. In today’s digital-first world, customer expectations are evolving rapidly, and that means that brands must work that much harder to anticipate and satisfy those needs. It’s all about meeting your audience on their own turf and providing value based on what they want and expect—and digital engagement helps you accomplish this.
A digital customer engagement strategy can help business owners deliver a better customer experience, resulting in better customer relationships and a significant boost to the bottom line.
What is Digital Engagement?
Digital engagement is the process of communicating and connecting with an audience of past, present, and potential customers using digital channels to establish and build strong relationships.
Depending on the situation—and the customer—those channels could include social media, email, instant messaging, SMS, live chat, and more. Communicating through these digital channels encourages engagement with the brand and supports the customer throughout the buying journey.
Brands offer multiple ways for customers to connect with them so they can satisfy individual preferences and build loyalty. By applying an omnichannel approach, brands can assure their customers of a seamless, frictionless experience no matter what channel or platform they use to connect.
Why is Digital Customer Engagement Important?
Digital customer engagement is an essential component of customer experience at every stage of the buying journey, but nowhere is it as important as it is in customer retention. Digital customer engagement keeps them engaged with the brand after their purchase and ensures they are 100% satisfied with the product and service they received.
Today’s customers rely on digital channels at every touchpoint—to research, compare, and inform their purchase decisions, as well as to access support when they need it. It’s no longer enough simply to purchase a product they like. The onus is on the brand to ensure their experience is meaningful or risk losing the customer to a competitor.
Customers want a highly personalized experience, one that’s relevant to their preferences and buying history. Brands that prioritize digital engagement have the data they need to address these demands. A digital customer engagement strategy generates actionable insights that help them advance and improve the customer experience in many meaningful ways.
A multi-channel digital engagement strategy drives loyalty and brand awareness and helps you improve customer relationships, all of which are good for the bottom line.
How to Drive Digital Engagement
Here are a few points to consider to help you drive your digital engagement strategy.
1. Determine digital engagement strategy
As with any marketing initiative, planning is critical. You need to define your digital engagement strategy, determine objectives, choose KPIs to measure, and create a timeline with milestones and targets. Finally, you’ll choose your channels—meaning the digital outlets your customers will engage with.
2. Remember about different digital channels
Your digital channels are the interface between your brand and your customers. Be sure you’re optimized for mobile access and that every channel has coverage to ensure you don’t miss an opportunity.
3. Use a customer engagement platform
A customer engagement platform stores all interactions between your customers and the brand. These include everything from customer service queries to help desk tickets, live chat conversations, purchase transactions, returns, and everything in-between. A platform consolidates all these engagements into a single source of truth, simplifying management and democratizing key data throughout the organization.
How to Boost Digital Customer Engagement
Here are a few strategies to consider if you want to improve digital customer engagement.
· Omnichannel. Omnichannel is a strategy that enables brands to provide a frictionless experience across multiple digital channels. For example, a customer might engage with the brand over social, purchase the product on their mobile, and access support in live chat, but each interaction is a seamless continuation of the last. This means that the customer won’t have to repeat their request or explain their issue multiple times. Associates all have a holistic view of the customer, their buying history, and their service issues, allowing them to address concerns quickly and boost customer satisfaction.
· Chatbots. Chatbots are very good—and very fast—at answering common customer queries. As a result, customers don’t have to spend time on the phone with support if their issue can be resolved with a simple answer. Chatbots can be set up on the website and messaging apps, and customers can always connect to a real person when needed. Customers appreciate getting their problems dealt with quickly, and it takes a lot of strain off the help desk so associates can focus on more complex issues.
· Personalized digital experiences. Personalization tailors experiences to customers’ preferences, keeping them engaged with your brand and inspiring continued loyalty. Customers want to feel heard and understood, and personalization is a way to contextualize messaging just for them.
In today’s digital-first environment, personalization is more than just a “nice to have;” it’s an expectation. Meeting those expectations is essential to continued customer engagement as it creates an emotional connection, letting customers know that the brand always has their best interests at heart. When it comes to making a buying decision, consumers will almost always gravitate to brands that emphasize personalization.
· CRM integration. Your CRM is ground zero for all customer data. When digital channels are integrated with your CRM, you have a comprehensive view of your customers to inform strategy and business decisions.
Your CRM platform connects digital insights from every direction, helping you understand and anticipate your customer’s needs. It centralizes communication, consolidating your multi-channel strategy and enabling meaningful customer connections at scale.
What Technology and Tools Are Used to Manage and Improve Digital Engagement?
The right tools and technology are essential to digital engagement strategy success. Enable digital channels such as social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or whatever resonates with your audience), messaging platforms like Messenger or WhatsApp, and enable live chat on your website.
A modern CRM is foundational, while your content management system (CMS) also plays a significant role. After all, your website is ground zero for many interactions and is often the first place customers go to learn more about your brand.
When we’re talking about customer engagement through digital channels, it’s essential to take a holistic approach. As you grow, customer communication will too, and understanding those interactions will help you improve relationships, build loyalty, and grow your business sustainably.
A customer engagement platform is helpful to make sense of all the data, and it also supports companies working with distributed teams. When remote workers log onto the system, they’ll be able to pick up any ball and run with it because they’ll have all the necessary data at their fingertips.
In conclusion, digital engagement, meaning the sum total of all digital interactions between your brand, customers, and prospects, should be a focus area for any company doing business in 2021. Choosing the right IT partner to support the journey ensures your digital customer engagement strategy is tailored to your organizational needs and shortens time to value. With the right tools, technology, and approaches, you’ll see the benefits reflected in improved brand loyalty and employee satisfaction, with results that resonate throughout the organization and straight to the bottom line.