Magazine

What is customer engagement?

In this blog we explore the meaning behind the widely used term ‘customer engagement.’ Simply put, the phrase is used in many different ways, but typically defines the way in which organisations engage with their customers. Customer engagement is all about deepening your relationship with your current customers as well as establishing new, high value customer relationships.

Engagement can be formal or informal, ranging from attendance at a focus group, or a transactional survey response, through to informal conversations and interactions through social media.

The more engaged customers you have the more they promote your business. Engaging customers can lead to improved services, and ultimately these more engaged customers promote your brand, last longer, tend to be loyal, and ultimately can add business value.

Who to engage?

Customer engagement should include both your internal and external customers.  Typically, many organisations focus primarily on those customers with whom have a transactional relationship. However, engagement should also consider employees, board members, colleagues and the wider community.

Why engage?

Ultimately, if we don’t engage with our customers we fail to understand both our current and potential clients. Engagement is critical for success. It is important to understand who our customers are, where they have come from, what they want, and how they want it.

How to engage?

In order to find out the answers to these key questions, data is key. There are wide-ranging methods to capture this data including, but not limited to:

  • Surveys and questionnaires;
  • Social media;
  • Email;
  • Telephone engagement;
  • Face to face (for example focus groups, specialist groups, membership groups);
  • Advertising campaigns; and 
  • Websites, including online user reviews.

When using any of these methods, it is important that the experience is personalised to the customer when possible.

Conclusions

Customer engagement means that businesses can listen, learn, understand, and speak across multiple channels in a relevant and engaging way with individual customers. This is too good an opportunity to miss. We just need to ensure that we communicate with the right audience, at the right time, with the right message, via the right channels, in the right tone of voice, and make the most of the information we glean.