The rise of customer engagement

A blog from the Chartered Institute of Marketing

Customer engagement has become a top priority. Businesses should think beyond conversion and seek meaningful interactions with customers.

Digital technology has complicated the process of communicating your message to customers and prospects. Consumers are now browsing products and seeking information on social, web, and mobile platforms at all times of day. But they are not necessarily engaging with businesses.

So, how can you engage the disengaged?

Traditional campaigns that take place over a set period ignore the realities of digital culture. Marketers have begun to target specific customer ‘moments’. The rationale is that successful engagement depends on timing; that a customer will be receptive to a piece of content at a certain moment – but at other times may find it downright invasive.

Tools designed to ‘listen’ to interactions and social media conversations can give you an insight into what your customers are discussing and their sentiment towards your brand. The more interactions you can measure, the more accurate and reliable your customer map is likely to be.

From a customer point of view, a seamless experience is all-important. It’s frighteningly easy to disengage customers – if they hit a boundary created by your data management practices, or when moving between channels, for instance. Customers can easily become frustrated if they have to re-enter their data or begin an order from scratch.

Customer expectations are higher than ever, and patience and loyalty are in short supply due to the abundance of online options. In essence, businesses that fail to create seamless transitions across platforms, channels and devices will lose customers to their competitors. With many retailers selling the same products, and some offering a one-click purchase route, customers won’t hesitate to go elsewhere.

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