Published on March 14, 2016
A recent study by Gallup shows that only 29% of customers are fully engaged. Think about what that means for your brand.
71% of customers are ready and willing to part ways with your company.
Why aren’t they happy? What can you do to mend the relationship? We share a few tips below that can help boost your customer engagement and create a culture of loyal, happy customers.
Make your business more customer-centric
“A customer-centric model is about more than focusing on the customer or having a defined customer experience; it is about putting the customer at the core of everything.” (Gallup)
Put the customer at the heart of every decision you make and get the whole team involved. Let your employees know the impact that the customer service has on the business. How does it affect your employees.
Companies like Helpscout and Netflix, both notorious for great customer service, empower their team members to make the best decisions for the customer. For example, if a customer is upset that they received a damaged product, the agent may offer free return shipping and a new product replacement on the house. Both businesses also recognize that you can’t go crazy with offering discounts and deals. You need to provide to your agents a framework for these types of decisions.
Survey data is important. Use it.
Don’t allow the data you collect to get sucked into a black hole. Acknowledge to the customer that you’ve received their survey (the more personalized the better). Then, consider what you’d like to do with the data you received. Do you measure the results against last year’s survey? Customer satisfaction surveys allow companies to to measure their performance at any given time, and it’s because of that that it’s a continuous process.
“When customers share their thoughts and opinions, they expect to see change…Ignoring the voice of the customer can be exponentially more harmful than not asking for feedback at all.” (Gallup)
The results can serve as a performance benchmark. How well are you doing compared to your competitors in live chat? Phone service? Email? If you notice that your score is weaker in some areas, take actionable steps to improve. After your next cycle of surveys, you’ll be able to determine how much of a difference you’re making.
Evaluate the status of your customers/accounts
Are any of your accounts flagged as “at risk” for churn? Make a list of customers who you think are at risk and reach out to them individually. Is it possible to salvage that relationship?
Reward loyal customers
Customer loyalty programs are a great way to produce long-lasting relationships with customers. When approaching yours, try thinking outside the box. Can you approach it in a unique way?
Popular sustainable fashion brand Everlane introduced a new spin on customer loyalty programs by opening a private instagram account and inviting a few of their most loyal customers. Only those with access to that account can take advantage of deals like early access and sales.
“By creating an exclusive forum for its most loyal customers where fans of the brand can buy new products before anyone else, Everlane is making their loyal customers feel special and valued, while acknowledging them for their loyalty in the public sphere of Instagram for all their friends to see.” (source)
Place a focus on employee engagement
A study by Harvard Business Review on the relationship between employee engagement and customer satisfaction found that having a strong, measurable employee engagement program helped their employees perform better. Of those surveyed, 71% rank employee engagement as very important to achieving overall organizational success.
Follow the lead of companies like Zappos who consistently “WOW” both customers and employees. The secret to their success? A great, empowered team.
Implement a weekly check-in with your customers or accounts and talk about what customer engagement looks like for them. How can you target that specific goal? Figure out a great solution together.
Invest in video
Video in customer support is growing. Gartner has predicted that more than 100 of the 500 largest global businesses will introduce video-based chat by 2018.
Warby Parker is one company that has found a great way to incorporate video in both social media and customer service. By taking questions directly from their customer service Twitter feed and having employees answer them in short Youtube videos, everyone wins. The employees see the importance of the experience and the customers get a peek inside of the company culture.
Be active on social media
“Surprisingly, customers who are very satisfied with the way their problem was handled — regardless of whether the problem was resolved — are more fully engaged (54%) than customers who did not encounter a problem at all (50%). When companies handle them correctly, problems can become opportunities to increase customer engagement.” (Gallup)
With more and more customers turning to social media to report product bugs or issues, it’s important to have an active brand presence on all major platforms. The way your team handles an issue as simple as a return or password reset can make or break the customer relationship. Take advantage of Twitter’s new customer service tools and create brand evangelists with great service.