What does customer engagement mean?
There really isn't a uniform definition of what customer engagement is, but this is not surprising given that the term has not been used for too long. Probably the lowest common denominator is that customer engagement can be described as the level of effort or personal commitment that customers spend on a brand, for a product or for a company, for example in the form of placing positive experience reports in rating portals such as Google My Business or, for example, participation in customer surveys or company innovation programs. The more commitment a customer expends, the deeper the customer's bond with the product or identification with the company and the higher the customer satisfaction. And the higher the customer satisfaction, the higher the customer loyalty. And the importance of loyal customers for a company is immense!
Loyal customers are loyal, committed and not looking for alternatives
Loyal customers recommend your company and your products to others because they are really convinced of it. Loyal customers are therefore the best “marketing and sales force” for your company. In addition, loyal customers are not looking for alternative products that are cheaper or easier to obtain, because loyal customers identify with your company and your products. And this high degree of identification ensures an equally high degree of customer engagement. Loyal customers go to great lengths to present your products and your company in a positive way, that is to say to “market” them, and are therefore first-class brand ambassadors.
A high level of customer engagement is important for the development of your products
Committed, loyal customers have a very close emotional bond and a high level of identification, and they are very interested in actively participating in the improvement of your products and the image of your company. Committed customers therefore like to take part in surveys and take part in discussions on product improvement in forums and communities.
This close connection to your company does not come from anywhere, but must be actively created, with marketing measures, or as they say today: by means of strategic customer engagement as a sub-discipline of marketing. However, customer engagement is not just a phenomenon that occurs in the case of heavily advertised products from multinational corporations. Small companies can also take active measures to promote customer engagement.
A simple example to illustrate: The pastry shop in the neighborhood
The pastry chef around the corner can also experience and stimulate customer engagement. The former, in which, for example, its outstanding cakes and cupcakes are recommended by happy customers in the neighborhood. The small pastry shop can publish special weekly offers via Facebook or Twitter, which are then liked or shared. Means: The customers actively advertise the products of the confectionery with personal commitment, i.e. with commitment! Now the confectioner can increase customer engagement by, for example, issuing a voucher for each recommendation, for example in the form of a cup of hand-filtered coffee.
Of course, measures to generate a high level of brand awareness and thus to increase customer engagement and customer loyalty are far more complex than those described in the example above, especially when there is actually no real personal contact with customers and the sale of goods via dealers or via the pure online channel.
Measurability of customer engagement
Of course, customer engagement can also be measured and evaluated. The simplest variant is to determine the so-called Net Promoter Score. In the course of surveys, customers are asked whether they would recommend the company to others. The higher the score, the greater the likelihood that customers will actually recommend the company to others. Or think of the possibility of measuring customer attitudes towards certain products and brands as part of the customer journey touchpoints. Other indicators of a high level of customer engagement include the repurchase ratio, upselling rates, shared posts or written comments on social media.
Questions to ask your customers about measuring customer engagement
If you regularly conduct customer surveys, then you should integrate the following questions into your questionnaire in order to be able to measure and determine the level of customer engagement.
- Overall, how satisfied are you with our product / our brand / our company?
- Would you also buy products from our company in the future?
- How likely is it that you will recommend our products / company to good friends and acquaintances?
- Do you have the feeling that our company / our product delivers what it promises?
- When a problem arises, do you feel you can always rely on us to find a fair and satisfactory solution?
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