What is customer engagement? (With strategy examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 14 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

No matter what sector you work in, one of the best ways to measure the success of a company is the rate of customer engagement. Engagement is typically a core goal of a company as it enables them to generate more sales, drum up more business and attract potential clients. There are many types of ways you can interact with your customers and measure how they engage with you. In this article, we look into client engagement, answer the question 'What is customer engagement?' and outline just why it's so important for your business.

What is customer engagement?

To answer the question 'What is customer engagement?', it's simply the way that your customers interact with you. It's essentially the ongoing cultivation of a relationship between a consumer and a client. Rather than the business being about someone making a simple purchase, it's about developing a connection with them that keeps them coming back and feeling connected to your brand. People sometimes confuse it with customer satisfaction, but engagement is a long-term strategy that focuses on client retention rather than a single memorable experience (though customer experience is a large part of generating a high level of engagement too.)

Related: 8 strategies to help you lead by example in the workplace

What are the benefits of customer engagement?

Businesses predominantly exist to make profits and build a client base. By improving your engagement you can benefit your business financially and strengthen your brand, potentially increasing your client base. Here are just a few benefits to engaging with your target audience:

1. It can improve customer relationships

By speaking and communicating regularly with your customers and thus building a solid relationship, you can build a solid connection. This in turn may allow you a better idea of your customer's needs, wants and opinions and may allow you to rectify any issues before they occur. It's important to keep in mind that the more you take your customer's needs into account, the more likely they are to work with you in the future.

2. It is easier to sell to them

With a high level of target audience engagement you know you won't be starting from scratch when you sell a product. It's much easier to sell to a current customer rather than a new prospect and is more efficient in terms of time and cost too. Customers who have a positive relationship with your brand can be more receptive to your advertising and marketing materials, as a level of trust has been built.

3. It can increase your customer's brand loyalty

When you create a connection with a client, they are much more likely to purchase from you again. If they have a memorable experience where they not only appreciated your product or service but also felt like you listened to them and understood their needs, they may want this again. With quality engagement, you are more likely to keep repeat customers. This can also help to build your company reputation, as happy repeat clients are likely to recommend your brand to friends.

Related: 20 fun team meeting ideas to boost engagement and productivity

What strategies can increase engagement with your customers?

Numerous strategies can increase employee engagement. Different strategies may be more useful to businesses based on the target audience they are trying to engage with. For example, engagement strategies on social media platforms may be useful for businesses targeting a millennial audience. Below are some strategies you can implement to increase engagement:

1. Provide them with a memorable customer experience

One way to increase your engagement is to provide a customer with a quality experience. If a client has a bad customer experience, you are much less likely to receive repeat custom from them. This may damage your company reputation.

Bad customer experiences can include being left on hold to speak to a sales rep, a website that doesn't work as it could, marketing that alienates your audience or added hidden fees at the checkout. Instead, ensure you have a simple and easy checkout process, offer things such as a live bot chat to answer simple queries and avoid customers being on hold for too long. Always take feedback on board for how you can improve in the future.

2. Make the most of your marketing tools

In today's digital world, customers expect instant responses to their questions and queries. Brands are ideally contactable outside of normal working hours and it is beneficial for you to be online to reply to queries on social media at any time of day. If you are an online store, for example, customers expect you to answer queries at any time of day or help with any issues that might occur no matter when this might be.

Chatbots are available 24/7 to help with simple questions and you could utilise AI technology to provide automated responses to common queries. You could also consider having longer social media operating hours. Utilise this data to hone your marketing strategy and have a more personalised approach to get your message out there. By showing you appreciate the loyalty and custom of your customers, it helps to establish a positive working relationship.

Related: How to write an engaging engineer CV in 8 simple steps

3. Focus on retaining the customers you have

According to a recent survey, it can cost a business up to five times more to acquire a new customer as opposed to keeping one that you already have. Not only is it a drain on your resources, but also takes a lot of extra time to do. Instead, turn your focus to retaining and looking after the customers you have by improving your levels of customer engagement.

Ensure you send them personalised messages such as emails or messages that include their name to make them feel valued. You could also introduce a customer loyalty scheme. This could involve, for example, sending them a free item if they purchase multiple items from you. You could also send them special discounts on their birthday or when they have been a customer of yours for a certain amount of time.

4. Respond to feedback that you receive

As a business, feedback is important and it is important to listen to both the good and the bad. No matter how successful a company may be, there is always room for improvement. By responding to the feedback you receive, it shows that you value the people that have left it and are likely to take their comments on board.

If you receive a customer's feedback suggesting things you could improve on, let them know you intend to do this in the future. You could also offer them a form of compensation for their trouble. By not replying or getting defensive it could create the impression that you aren't taking their comments seriously and that you don't value their opinion.

5. Think of other ways to interact with your customer base

In addition to marketing methods such as newsletters, social media and improving your website, consider other ways to get to know your customers. One thing you could do is to host an event or exhibition. By doing so, you give your customers the chance to further integrate themselves with your brand and feel like a valuable part of your community. You can speak to your customers face to face, get feedback, offer advice and give them a memorable experience. This event may also encourage people to speak about you both on social media and to their peers too.

Calculating customer engagement

There are a few ways to measure and track the engagement of your customers. These include:

  • comments, shares and replies on your social media accounts

  • comments on blog posts

  • the number of visitors to your website (you can use an analytics program for this)

  • the number of times your app has been downloaded and how often your customers use it

  • how many users purchase tickets to or attend an event you throw

  • the amount of time someone spends on your website and how often they return

Targeted audience engagement is a vital part of any business strategy and it's important that you adopt this as soon as you can. Ensure your customers and clients feel valued and important and your business can benefit in turn. Engagement of your customers isn't a one-size-fits-all strategy so you may wish to attempt multiple strategies mentioned above.

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