Nowadays consumers are becoming increasingly more demanding: they expect brands to anticipate and meet their needs in real time. Customer experience is not just about sales but it is also about feeling heard, have questions answered, problems solved, and, consequently, feeling a connection to the brand. Since consumers choose to interact with brands, customer engagement is also an emotional investment for them, and a great challenge for brands.
What is the Definition of Customer Engagement? Customer engagement is the means by which a company establishes relationships with its customer base to increase brand loyalty and awareness. This can be done through marketing and social media, delivering useful content and services both online and offline, personalizing discounts and special offers and outreaching consumers via a multichannel strategy.
Brands that are concerned about consumer engagement are focused on additional value creation. In fact, they give people something more than just a simple sales pitch: an exciting customer experience, great storytelling content, helpful and interactive real-time customer support.
This focus on consumers and their needs derives from the fact that highly engaged customers tend to buy more, promote more and actively support branding initiatives. They often become company’s best ambassadors. For example, consumers who believe companies are doing very well on offering personalized experiences shop more than three times more frequently. Furthermore, this trend in consumer behaviour will grow stronger in the near future: by the year 2020 customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.
In their turn, businesses realize the importance of meeting these consumer expectations: 72% of companies claim that improving customer experience is their top priority. As a result, brands that stand out at customer experience grow revenues 4-8% above the market.However, brands do not seem to be very successful when it comes to winning Millennials. In fact, only a quarter of Millennials are fully engaged customers, and their engagement is highly dependent on technology.
As an example, mobile search has become the starting point of most purchases. Instead of going directly to a site or app, 82% of shoppers use search engines for browsing product information while in-store.
In short, customer engagement is a challenge that spans from in-store shopping to after-sale services. Across this customer journey there is one lowest common denominator: the product we buy. Even in the digital era, physical products are the first touchpoint between consumers and brands and yet they are not leveraged as a crucial digital engagement tool.
This is why the Internet of Everything revolution is disrupting the field: enabling the connection to any product is key to enhance a mobile based customer engagement which radically changes our relationship with brands.
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Always remember that engaged customers generate 1.7 times more revenue than normal customers!