Customer Engagement: The Key to Boost Customer Retention

6 Min. Read

Have you ever wondered why some businesses don’t run into difficult times while most others do?

There is a tribe of companies that never seem to have trouble with their sales pipeline. They are always selling, always making profits, and always seem to be popular with their customers.

What is even stranger is that, unlike the rest of the world, they do not push the envelope of marketing. They just go about doing their business and everything seems to work fine — like a well-oiled machine.

There is a secret sauce that such companies use. It is maximizing customer engagement and arresting customer retention. It is not cost control, it is not pouring billions into research and development, nor is it outwitting competitors. It is the time-tested philosophy of putting customers above everything else.

If you are a marketer, a business executive, or even a business owner, there are two words you will notice that get thrown around everywhere. It is customer engagement and customer retention. They are two different words and do not mean the same. Yet, they are inversely related to each other. As the value of one goes up, the other one nosedives.

As customer engagement spikes up, customer retention plummets and vice versa. That is why it’s said that every business that is keen on growth must double down on customer engagement.

Think about this. If customers are highly engaged on Netflix, they won’t think about switching to another streaming service. That makes it easy for Netflix to retain its existing customers. Incidentally, that also reduces the cost to acquire new users. Hence, the need to boost customer engagement.

How to Boost Customer Engagement

This is the age of distractions. It is also the time when customers have endless alternatives available at their fingertips and mobile screens. That makes it imperative for businesses to boost their customer engagement.

If you think your business needs to rethink the customer engagement game, here are some ways you can work it out:

Invest in active listening

Providing ample customer support is one thing. Active listening to customers’ wants is another thing. Active listening means fully concentrating on what is being said rather than just passively hearing the message of the speaker. 

How can active listening lead to better customer engagement? On a deeper level, every customer is an individual. It is a basic human want for every customer to be heard, listened to and understood. Especially when they have paid for a product or service. Customers expect businesses to listen to them.

That makes it imperative for businesses to listen to customers. A customer-centric business should also introspect on questions like: 

  • Why are they complaining about a specific feature?
  • What is amiss in the product/service that is upsetting customers?
  • Is it a process flaw that can be rectified to avoid future customer complaints?

In a way, it is up to the customer support reps to handle customer issues with care. They must explore the reasons why the customer is facing the problem, get to the root cause of the issue, and try to solve it permanently. That requires active listening.

Here are some handy tips that will help actively listen to customers: 

  • Ask open-ended questions.
  • Paraphrase the customer want to clarify.
  • Empathize with the customer.
  • Assure that the issue will be resolved with urgency.

Give ‘everywhere’ support

Website chat. Facebook. Twitter. Phone. Email. Your customers can reach you anywhere, anytime. In fact, they might even call you on Christmas Eve seeking support. Can you turn them away? If you do, that would result in a disaster. Customer support is a function that cannot have holidays or downtimes.

For a business in the digital age, it is necessary to provide ‘everywhere’ support. From the always buzzing social media to the old-age telephone, you must provide customer support everywhere to engage your customers.

A customer support tool like Acquire’s can help you resolve customer issues and make them feel valued by the business. It can give support agents total visibility about previous customer interaction data, their current plans, and current wants and issues that need to be taken care of and resolved. When customer issues are resolved faster, it leads to higher engagement.

Deliver a stellar mobile experience

  • Mobile has become the gateway to online experiences. Right from the first search to reading online reviews, customers turn to their mobile screens for everything. In fact, a poor mobile experience can chase customers away, as is established by these numbers from SuperOffice.

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  • How do you ensure your mobile experience is good? Also, how to tie it up to your customer engagement?
  • The mobile experience, be it on the app or on the mobile website, should be intuitive. The user should be able to navigate and find what they need easily. That requires the interface to be simple, easy to understand, and yet visually striking. There is a reason why mobile app developers are moving towards a minimalistic approach to mobile app UI designing. And so must you. Enhancing engagement on the mobile platform can work wonders for customer retention.
  • How do you ensure your mobile experience is good? Also, how to tie it up to your customer engagement?
  • The mobile experience, be it on the app or on the mobile website, should be intuitive. The user should be able to navigate and find what they need easily. That requires the interface to be simple, easy to understand, and yet visually striking. There is a reason why mobile app developers are moving towards a minimalistic approach to mobile app UI designing. And so must you. Enhancing engagement on the mobile platform can work wonders for customer retention.

Bringing It All Together

Customer retention or reducing churn rate. These are two challenges that every business faces irrespective of size or scale of operations. There are several ways of arresting customer retention. But, there is one surefire way that can always give you sustainable results. Customer engagement.

Engaged customers buy more, spend more, and stay loyal to the business. They help bring down the costs of customer acquisition enabling the business to strengthen its bottom line. But, improving customer engagement is not an arrow-straight road. It is a complex maze that should be unraveled one step at a time. The strategies outlined above can help with that.  

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Sam Makad

Sam Makad

Sam Makad is an experienced writer and marketing consultant. His expertise lies on marketing and advertising. He helps small & medium enterprises to grow their business and overall ROI. Reach out to Sam Makad on Twitter or LinkedIn

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