It’s more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing client. Having clients who pay you every month makes your business revenue more predictable. But how can you create the right conditions for this to happen?
You have to delight customers with your service and keep them engaged. Your customer engagement strategy is the key to gaining more loyal customers so you can stop worrying about your cash flow.
But here is a problem: when introducing customer engagement strategy, companies usually make a lot of mistakes. These mistakes can later result in a completely opposite effect to the intended — higher customer churn.
So what are those mistakes you should avoid when creating your customer engagement strategy? Let’s take a closer look.
7 major customer engagement mistakes
Note — it’s always better to learn from someone else’s mistakes, rather than your own. If you are thinking of the ways to engage your customers — read this. Here are seven mistakes that other companies make (and you shouldn’t).
- Focus on selling instead of providing value
For many businesses, having a customer buying again often requires upselling or cross selling other products or services.
When your customer support agents have a sales target and are trying to upsell or cross sell products, they are no longer support agents, but your salesmen.
Instead of providing the best answer to a customer ticket or doing their best to resolve an issue, they focus on selling more products and services.
But don’t get me wrong — there is nothing wrong about having support agents to upsell products. You just have to set the right incentives — they should focus on delivering value first (selling products in the end should remain a nice bonus).
Imagine you are selling vacuum cleaners and your customer calls your hotline to tell that their newly purchased vacuum cleaner has broken. Instead of explaining how a customer can claim their money back or offer a return, you agents ask to buy a new one. Let’s say this straight — it can’t work this way.
Instead of pushing a customer to spend more with you, your agents should first resolve a problem a customer comes with, be helpful, and act in the clients’ best interests.
Only when they tick the box for this task, can they make an attempt to sell more.
- The wrong timing
Email marketing and chatbots have become one of the key channels to communicate with customers.
While these channels are accessible for everyone, brands have started to use them way too often. Take a look at your inbox and count newsletters you receive every day.
Most people call it “spam”, but brands claim that regular communication can deliver value to clients — they can learn about new discounts, new arrivals, or special offers.
Of course — this makes sense, but most brands don’t stick to common sense when sending newsletters literally every day. So what should be the right frequency of communication?
There is no ideal answer. Moreover, every brand would get a different one. That’s because your users are different and you have to choose the right frequency to connect with your audience based on data.
You can also rely on studies (like the ones below) and experiment with your email frequency.
- Ignoring customer inquires on social media
Customers are often using social media to reach out to brands — they complain about their latest purchase or mention an issue they have encountered with your product.
Like so: they find a post that you have recently posted on Facebook. Then, they write a complaint right in the comments below.
Software businesses often have to deal with dozens of such comments (just like this example below).
Why does it happen? Perhaps, their customer support agents are not responsive enough on phone or chat. That’s when social media becomes the last resort for your customer to get your attention.
But you don’t want social media to become a tool to discredit your business, right? Here is what you can do — respond to all such comments with patience and show customers your respect.
First of all, explain the situation and offer a solution. Don’t prove that you are right even though you might be — it will only drive your customers crazy and the comments under your social media posts will become a place to show their dissatisfaction.
- Forgetting about personalization
In the era of automation, companies are using various SaaS tools to spend less time on tedious tasks. Take email marketing as an example — you would normally send one bulk email to all your subscribers. What’s in it?
Probably, just one message that will resonate with only a small chunk of people. The rest will think you have sent it to them by mistake.
Here is why — when brands launch their email campaigns they forget to personalize their emails. Fair enough — it’s easier to send one message to everyone than bother to segment lists. But segmentation is important the same way message personalization is.
You can segment your lists based on various criteria — customer demographics, gender, their purchasing history, preferences, and more. For each email segment, you can send a different message — the one that would be suitable for each of the groups.
That’s where personalization becomes your recipe to success. With smart personalization, you can create more engaging messages. All you have to do is find a decent email marketing service that lets you personalize based on many criteria and be creative in using them in your copy.
- Ignoring customer feedback
Collecting customer feedback helps improve your customer engagement strategy.
When asked for an opinion, your customers are more likely to use your products in the future — they understand you care. But that’s not only about appreciation or attention.
Product improvement is another positive aspect of collecting and analyzing customer feedback. You can do it by listening to customers and asking them what they lack in the products you offer and what improvements they are looking for.
There are various tools you can use to collect feedback — take NPS score as an example. This survey asks customers to rate their satisfaction with your products on the scale from 0 to 10. Often, brands also ask an open-ended question in the next step.
You can ask such questions:
- What do you love about our products? (as in the example below)
- What do you think could work better?
- What challenges do you have that our product could solve?
- Avoiding to share your expertise
You can help customers all the time — even after they have bought your product. Sharing knowledge, expertise, and showing your other products in action has many positive aspects.
Your customers will enjoy the value you provide with the free resources and, as a result, will remember your brand. Next time, when they need your products, it’s more likely they will come back to your store or use your services.
You can also inspire them to buy your products — you can create demand that wasn’t there before. As a result, you can sell more, upsell or cross sell your products.
Last but not least — they will share useful materials (videos, posts, or images) with their friends. This results in more recognition for your brand
While there are so many benefits to sharing expertise, some people still believe that you should share useful tips only if you are paid for it. If you stick to their opinion, you most likely fail with your customer engagement strategy — free content can be a great tool to engage people.
- Not investing in loyalty program
Loyalty programs help introduce gamification — that’s what makes it so engaging for customers. How does it work?
Imagine you go to a local coffee shop and with the first coffee purchased, you get one stamp.
When you order ten coffees, you get one coffee for free. What coffee shop will you go to next time — the one offering stamps or the one that doesn’t?
Given the fact all coffee shops sell similar coffee, you’d rather stick to the one that gives you one coffee for free.
This mechanism works the same with other loyalty programs — you get an incentive to spend more and get rewarded after some time (your dopamine levels go up — bang!)
If you decide to introduce a loyalty program, make sure you know how to communicate its benefits and conditions. It’s not enough to make a landing page and hope that your clients will somehow find it online.
Customer engagement is indispensable for higher retention — engaged customers can spend more with your brand and stay with it longer.
That’s where the right customer engagement strategy helps. When introducing customer engagement strategy, you can make a lot of mistakes. Hopefully, by reading this article, you can avoid a lot of them.