What is customer engagement and why do you need it? From a marketing perspective, customer engagement is all about deepening your relationship with your current customers and establishing new, high-value customer relationships.
So how does a ? Here are five key starting points which are necessary for successful customer engagement:
We are in the process of creating increasingly complex layers of digital distance between our companies and our customers. Mastering these six layers represent both enormous challenges and opportunities ,and form a base for a company build a successful customer engagement strategy in today’s digital-heavy environment
Historically, we dealt with customers face-to-face, with a trusted word and a firm handshake. Then in the late 1990s, with the creation of our first company websites, we took a one way ticket AWAY from these personal relationships and created the first, permanent digital divide between ourselves and our customers.
Year by year, this divide grew as companies found ways to cut costs and create customer delight by moving more and more self-service options to the web. We literally raced away from our personal relationships.
the 2nd layer emerged just a few years ago as nerdy chat rooms bloomed into social networks. For many people, this became the preferred way to communicate, discover products and services, and connect with customer service. Time on websites went down, time on social sites exploded.
So for a business, we search for the targeted customer groups and niches than ,we must now figure out how to connect with people in this new information eco-system and compel them to love us so much that they want to investigate our website, which is where the business takes place. After all this “socializing” we still need to get people to buy something right? getting customers to spend more time with your company and to feel more of a connection with and more value from you.
In return, more engaged customers last longer, are more loyal and spend more money. This leaves you more time to focus more on making your customers happy and providing products and services they want and need, and spending less time on securing new customers.
Yes, people love Flickr, but Facebook is the number one photo site in the world. We love YouTube, but millions of hours of YouTube videos are watched every day THROUGH Facebook. Does it seem like there is yet another layer going on here? There is. Even if we do a great job populating the social web with our content, that content is increasingly viewed through Facebook. So, our businesses need to be there.
Today, more than half of Facebook’s users access the site over a mobile device … and that is increasing month by month. So even if we have a great website, even if we are populating the social web and optimizing for Facebook, we now need to do it in a way that works on a screen that fits in the palm of your hand.
Mobile represents the fourth layer between our customers and the money we would like to liberate from their wallets.
All of this is probably familiar to you and your business is already implementing a web design that is responsive for mobile. If your head is spinning about the rate of change so far, you’re in for an even greater shock. We are on the cusp of the most rapid and disruptive technological change in history – augmented reality. There will be a digital layer over the “real world” and the Internet will surround us like the air that we breathe.
The Google Glass project is just the first volley in a revolution that will change the way we connect, learn, shop, communicate, and entertain ourselves. In fact, it will touch almost everything in our daily lives. It is not the new Internet. It will be something far more important and foundational — it will be more like the new electricity. The widespread adoption of augmented reality, first in glasses and then in contact lenses, will transform every way we connect and communicate. Your business will need to master this layer and all of its implications.
The virtual layer will liberate us from devices and open up dazzling new opportunities to create new businesses, new applications, new customer connections.
Now that we have a ubiquitous digital layer across the world, what do we do with it? Why, we have fun of course …
People love to play games more than anything. The average World of Warcraft player spends six hours at the game. Wow. Six hours. Wow. What if a business could tap into just a little of that!
Smart businesses are trying to figure out how to do exactly that. There is a whole theory of game science that creates these addictions and it can certainly be applied to marketing plan.
Social, mobile, location, augmented reality … it all enables the game layer. Why not turn your customer engagement strategy into a game with levels, achievements, and rewards? Today, the popular mantra is to create “utility.” But I think there is a limited amount of engagement a company can provide through some useful electronic connection. But there is no limit to the amount of fun that can be provided. We are a few years away from an economy based on fun.