Customer engagement is more important than ever now and businesses have the power to reach potential customers in all areas of life and interact directly on social media. Creating a customer engagement strategy can help direct these efforts where they matter most.
What is a customer engagement model?
A customer engagement model is the strategy and set of principles that a business employs to engage and build relationships with customers. A successful model will increase customer satisfaction, repeat business, and ROI.
Stages of Customer Engagement
In order to develop a strategy to increase customer engagement and relationships, it’s important to fully understand the stages of customer engagement.
The pre-purchase stage begins with your business identifying a potential lead and making them aware of your brand. If your offerings resonate with them, they will then move to the consideration stage, researching your brand and envisioning your product or service in their life. This is when you will employ your customer engagement model, typically starting with a lead magnet, which leads to a nurture sequence, and ideally a sales conversion.
The post-purchase stage is all about customer retention. The easiest customers to market to are your existing customers because they already know (and hopefully love!) your brand. Maintaining customer loyalty is all about staying in touch, offering “insider” perks like discounts and special events, and developing trust.
Types of Customer Engagement Models
There are many types of customer engagement models—which one is right for you?
High-touch customer engagement models leverage real-time interaction, highly personalized outreach, and consistent contact. This could look like live webinars, personal phone calls, and engagement on social media. Due to the high cost and involvement of these models, they are typically reserved for large businesses or niche businesses with very specialized, high-cost items.
Low-touch customer engagement models are on the opposite end of the spectrum, relying more on automated sales funnels and onboarding processes. These models are best for startups and small businesses. The trick to success with low touch is to make your automated processes feel as personalized and custom as possible, utilizing communications that feel personalized, such as a “personal” letter to a new customer from the company CEO, live streaming, or access to an exclusive online community.
As the name suggests, a hybrid approach pulls strategies from both high-touch and low-touch models for the best of both worlds! Businesses big and small can build a model that works best for them with tools from both categories.
Tailoring Your Strategy
Your engagement strategies will be much different depending on whether your customer is a business or a consumer.
B2B sales are driven by corporate budgets and data, so your B2B customer engagement model needs to speak to their priorities and pain points which could range from workflow efficiency, sales goals, and improvement of KPIs. While there is little emotion involved in B2B transactions, it’s still important to develop strong relationships with your business contacts to reap the benefits of positioning your business as a reliable and trustworthy problem solver.
B2C sales on the other hand are less data-driven and more focused on creating a great customer experience and positive emotions. A great customer engagement model will make your customer feel confident, special, and heard while positioning your product or service as the best solution to a problem.
Customer engagement success looks different for each business, but at the end of the day, the goal of any business is to be profitable. Happy, engaged customers spend more and more frequently—“84% of firms that focus on improving their customer experience generate higher revenue”. What more could you ask for?
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