Customer Engagement Strategies in 2021

For any business to grow and flourish, it requires constant and unwavering support from its customers.  A one-time purchase isn’t enough to create a strong brand following, let alone continue in the market for a long time. To create a strong  brand identity and ensure maximum customer retention, brands need to engage with their customers consistently and build a strong consumer-brand relationship.

Imagine you see two similar products by different brands on the same aisle at the supermarket. Both serve the same purpose and have similar functions and utility, but one is a brand you have never heard of, while the other is made by a company you know about through emails, ads, and other such mediums. Which brand would you trust?

A consumer’s buying decision is based on more than just product quality and price. It also relies on trust, brand recognition, and brand engagement with the customer. Customer engagement is the brand’s interaction with its consumer over the course of the customer life cycle. The brand’s content doesn’t always have to be a sales pitch. To engage with customers in an organic and constructive manner there must be a consistent dialog between the brand and the audience, while also adding value to the customer’s experience. A good mix of informative content, loyalty-based incentives, and engaging content that encourages two-way communication between the brand and its clients is the crux of an efficient and effective customer engagement program.

Why is Customer Engagement Important?

According to Forbes, 84% of companies that work to improve their customer experience and engagement strategies report an increase in their revenue. Besides boosting revenue and sales, customer engagement facilitates long-term benefits such as:

Promoting brand loyaltyConsumers that receive special attention and personalized engagement tend to return to the said brand more often with less engagement. Brands that engage with customers regularly build a strong relationship with their target audience. Customers that repeatedly purchase from the brand eventually become brand loyalists. A study by Brand Keys shows that a loyalty increase of 7% can increase the lifetime value of a customer by 85%; even a loyalty increase as small as 3% can lower company costs by 10%. To better understand how loyalty solutions can empower your business, connect with Annex Cloud.

Increasing brand recall – Effective customer engagement strategies create a strong brand presence. Consistent engagement with the consumer makes the brand a part of its consumer’s day-to-day routine and increases brand recall value in the long run.

Giving the brand a competitive edge – According to a survey by Salesforce called ‘The State of the Connected Customer,’ 54% of customers think that companies need to change the way they engage with their customers. When a brand or a company engages on social media and starts a one-on-one dialog, it boosts the feel-good factor and enhances the overall experience with the brand. Enhancing the customer’s experience ensures repeat purchase and long-term association, thus giving the brand an edge over competitors.

Improving customer retention – Engaging with the audience improves customer retention considerably. A study by Harvard Business School states that a mere 5% increase in customer retention rate can increase profit anywhere from 25-95%, stats that no business should ignore.

Customer Engagement in 2021

The pandemic and subsequent global lockdown in 2020 had a massive impact on businesses. Considering the ongoing stay-at-home orders and travel restrictions in several parts of the world, there is a dire need for brands to connect with consumers and reimagine their engagement strategies.  Here are some tips to help you make customers commit to you in 2021:

  • Omnichannel Strategy – The lockdown has reinforced the power of online channels. More and more consumers are shopping from their phones and electronic devices in 2021 than they were before the lockdown. In order to stay relevant, active, and responsive, brands need to communicate the right message through the right platform to its audience.
  • Show Compassion – These are difficult times for businesses and consumers. Connecting with your consumers on a humanitarian level, such as checking up on them from time to time, will help in building a strong relationship with them.
  • Additional Offers – This is also a great time to make your customer feel important and appreciated; offering additional discounts or cool perks can brighten a patron’s day.
  • Exclusive Campaigns – Many brands have tried to create an online community of their consumers by offering exclusive privileges. One such example, Barcelona-based fashion brand, Paloma Wool, hosted an online dance party for its community. These campaigns and programs create a sense of belonging and are efficient ways to engage with customers.
  • Share Useful Information – Many CEOs released monthly newsletters during the initial phase of the lockdown. These desk letters were informative and engaging and as a result, were shared multiple times on social media platforms. This shows that consumers enjoy relevant and informative content, which works double-time in also boosting your brand credibility in the market.

Strategies to Engage with Your Customers Successfully

Before strategizing, it is crucial for a brand to map out customer journeys. Learning about the customers and performing data analysis, along with studying their buying patterns, can give valuable insights. Based on these understandings, you can customize strategies that are best suited for your business.

  • Listen to Your Customers – The first step is to listen to your consumers. Customers share a lot of useful information with the brand by the means of reviews and feedbacks. Genuinely working on consumer feedback projects the brand as reliable, willing to listen, and considering their customers’ wants, all of which greatly improves the image consumers have of your brand.
  • Incentivize Their Efforts – Loyalty programs are a great way to engage with customers. They not only ensure repeat sales but also build a bond between the brand and the consumer.
  • Show Recognition and Appreciation – It is important for the brand to show genuine appreciation to its customers from time to time. Recognizing their continued loyalty, strengthens brand-consumer relationships to a great extent.

Efficient customer engagement strategies will empower your brand and provide a competitive edge. Communicating with your audience at various touchpoints and across multiple channels also helps in building a strong brand identity.

 
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