Digital marketing is all about improving customer experience and customer engagement of your brand. And if customer experience is apparently a logical term, then what does “customer engagement” really mean? There are dozens of different definitions and endless lists of tips on how to boost it.
Most SEOs measure user engagement by the amount of post likes, social media reposts, and comments. And if these indicators can somehow characterize user engagement in a blog, then what about commercial sites? Let’s unfold it together and learn how to increase customer engagement.
What is Customer Engagement?
Before we proceed to best practices and tips, we have to clarify and choose one overall definition for customer engagement.
Like any other element of website marketing, the concept of online customer engagement has been upgraded in recent years. And there are some obvious reasons for this. Companies strive to get more purchases and thereby get more creative in attracting potential customers. So, what is online customer engagement today?
Customer engagement is a process that helps to build a strong relationship between a customer and a seller. It is the company’s purposeful and consistent strategy to provide value in every contact with a client, hence developing customer loyalty. Online customer engagement consists of making a client learn more about the company through its website and social media.
Many companies think that it’s enough to have a website with a bunch of products and contact information. Though, in today’s world of online marketing, a relevant website of the company is much more than just an information source. For example, did you ever think about how often you should redesign your website to make your client like it and come back?
A Bain & Company research found that increasing customer retention by at least 5% would increase profits by 25-95%. And since attracting a new client can cost 5-25 times more than retaining an existing one, it is worth investing in retention and engagement.
How to Calculate Customer Engagement Rate
To define customer engagement level or customer retention rate (CRR), you can use this simple formula.
For example, if you had 100 customers at the beginning of the year and made 20 new ones, but lost 10 by the end of the year, your CRR would be 90%.
Step 1: Determine the time period that you want to estimate. It can be a year, a quarter, a month, etc.
Step 2: Calculate how many loyal customers you had at the start of the measured period. These are people or companies who are familiar with your brand and have bought from you before.
Step 3: Calculate how many customers you had at the end of the measured period.
Step 4: Subtract new customers from the amount you got in step 3 to avoid skewing retention rates from newly arrived customers.
Step 5: Divide the total number of clients at the end of the period by the number of clients at the beginning of the period and multiply by 100%.
Got your retention rate? Now it’s time to think about why customers leave and how you can keep them on your website.
Website Performance Checklist
Before we proceed to tips for improving customer engagement, there are some things you need to make sure of so you can move further. A properly optimized website will provide not only an influx of customers, but also sales increase. There are three main elements of a website that should be revised before you will take steps to increase customer engagement.
The content of a website is extremely important for stable traffic. Regular updates and useful texts will keep visitors coming back for more. Also, do not forget about the quality of the published content.
An engaging article is a well-thought, informative and helpful text that includes visuals and captivates a customer. Any article published on your website is a piece of information that ensures a customer about the quality of your services and products.
It is said that clothes don’t make the man, but in the digital world website’s appearance is actually the most important thing. When was the last time your site was reviewed and updated by a designer? Following digital design trends makes your website look more professional and shows the company’s attitude about its online presence.
Site navigation and section layout are also important design elements. A user should be able to find needed products quickly and intuitively. Navigation and user-friendly interface are probably crucial aspects of a good website that can engage a customer and turn them into a client.
Site speed, 404s, and headlines. These are three most important elements to check and correct if you want your site to indicate high performance. You can check site loading speed using special software. If it takes more than 5-6 seconds, review the visuals and other media content that can affect the loading speed.
Revising your site to detect “Not found” pages contributes to user experience. Believe it or not, people do not enjoy bumping into non-existing pages on a website. Think about asking your site’s developer to fix these pages.
Headlines and descriptions of site pages should be correct and SEO-optimized. It is important to make site sections and tabs easy to navigate. Use simple and catchy phrases and keywords.
Ideas to Improve Customer Engagement
Ready to go further? Check out these ways to increase customer engagement for a tech company.
Improve UX of the website
How your website visitor sees your brand plays a big role in website UX. If your resource cannot boast of high speed and clear navigation, then visitors will not get the best opinion about your company. If they like the site due to its high technical and aesthetic indicators and aspects, then the impression of your brand will be positive.
If your website still lacks a chatbot, you might miss a huge bit of customer impression. Chatbots are common for various niches: you can find them on medical websites, pet shops, groceries, etc. Having a chatbot allows you to answer simple questions and solve issues within several clicks.
The advantages of getting a chatbot on your ecommerce site are obvious. First, it’s convenient for the user because they don’t have to call or wait for an answer. Second, chatbots are your store’s consultants that can lead a potential customer to make a purchase and increase the overall receipt.
And third, chatbots help to save time and money. Chatbots are easy: they answer the simplest questions they’ve been taught to deal with. More complex questions are directed to specialists.
Find brand ambassadors
If you think that only big brands can attract ambassadors, then this is not at all the case. Representatives are also needed by little-known companies that have just entered the market and have not managed to gain a loyal audience. How can a representative help them with this? Firstly, with the help of an ambassador, the brand can easily “push” its ideology into the masses, and secondly, the company automatically gets a part of the ambassador’s reputation.
If a brand produces really high-quality products, but cannot reach consumers, it will be very useful to enlist the support of an opinion leader. A similar format of cooperation will be useful for cosmetic and perfume companies, restaurants, alcohol brands and sports goods. Simply put, with the right approach, ambassadorship will benefit any business segment.
Talk about your employees. It is very important to add photographs of live people to the pages, this increases the level of visitor’s confidence in your site. He sees that this is not just a page made by a robot, but there are real people behind it.
For example, in an email newsletter or on social networks, you can periodically talk about the life of employees, what they are like, how they relax, etc.
Important: the format of your business should allow it. Info business people, for example, love to display photos from their travels. However, if you cannot spread about your personal life, then it is better to draw the attention of readers to something else. For example, what public events and conferences you attend. Maybe some of your readers were nearby and right there.
It brings you closer to your audience. For her, you will become not just a writer of articles for some website on the Internet, but a living and interesting person.
What’s up with your SMM?
For 2021, consumers have gotten used to communicating online and are unlikely to give up Internet communication with brands in social networks and instant messengers. This means that users become closer to the business than before, and you have to work with them carefully. Aggressive promotion should be replaced with polite communication and sincere attention to the needs of the client.
The abundance of goods and services made the audience more discerning and finicky. Direct sales are not doing their work anymore. To make sure your business stays on top, experts recommend to use gradual, unobtrusive formation of a need for a product before announcing a product or service, or, simply saying, a “warm-up”. The more expensive the product is, the longer it takes to warm up. This is not a trend, but a qualitatively new approach to sales on Instagram, capable of monetizing even a microblog.
Obsessive, feigned and thought-out to the smallest detail warm-ups remain in the past along with the obsolescent era of fake information business. Openness, sincerity and imperfections are in trend.
Storytelling is a great way to tell about yourself, about the company; point out how you differ from your competitors. Of course, a few paragraphs of dry text or just a list with pictures will more accurately convey the necessary information, but this is too boring for visitors. Impressive story, story. It can be text, it can be video or infographics. You don’t have to look far for an example – just look at the website of the world leader in sportswear and footwear, Adidas. They talk about their products, their attitude towards customers and the philosophy of the brand.
It’s hard to improve the customer engagement and retention level if you don’t know what makes a client leave your site. That’s why asking for feedback is important. Any kind of feedback will help you to understand your highs and lows. It also helps you to discover new opportunities to satisfy your customers. Maybe there are any services or products they wish you’d have?
Video content is the future. It’s one of the effective ways to promote products and services, as well as a powerful source of traffic to your site. Take full advantage of the video format to expand your audience, increase their trust and increase customer engagement.
2/3 of people are more likely to order a product if they watch a video about it. 9 out of 10 people say the video helped them make a purchasing decision. Large online stores have long adopted video content. Now most products are accompanied by a demo video. The video perfectly complements the text description and photo. Entrepreneurs use reviews, news, commercials. Many of these videos go viral, driving traffic and driving sales.
Instead of talking about the properties of your new coat’s waterproof fabric, you can show it in a 10 second video. In many cases, a video is more informative and convincing than a text description, especially if you need to talk about external merits or about the process of work.
Summing It Up
Your website is the backbone of your online presence. So be sure to use the right customer interaction tactics in addition to a well-targeted ad campaign. Try different methods and see which one works best for you.