Author Profile Picture

TLSA International

TLSA International

Marketing Executive

Read more from TLSA International

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Engagement part 2: How engaged are your customers?

default-16x9

Engaged customers are loyal customers.

We know that employee engagement leads to customer engagement, and that customer engagement can lead to performance increases of up to 240%. However, how do you ensure you’re engaging customers?

Gallup found that fully engaged customers represent a 23% premium in terms of share of wallet, profitability, revenue and relationship growth compared to the average customer. These engaged customers are loyal customers, and they form the bedrock of your business growth.

Figuring out how to engage employees is much easier than figuring out how to engage customers. However, if your employees are engaged, you’re halfway there. When employees make contact with either potential or pre-existing customers, they must give meaning and dimension to your company’s brand.

Take a restaurant for example: if the service is bad, you can generally assume that the waiter hates their job and is not being paid enough. Their lack of engagement impacts on your experience eating there and you’re unlikely to return again. When employees are engaged, they become genuine brand ambassadors who glow with a sense of pride for the company they work for. The Gallup study notes that there is a high price to pay for not creating company-wide brand ambassadors: it can cost millions in lost opportunities.

The most important part of a good customer engagement strategy is that every interaction counts.

The customer experience

Companies with high customer engagement treat every department in the organisation as a potential customer touch point. When businesses have an overarching, holistic customer engagement strategy, there is no such thing as a ‘customer services’ department that is relegated to just one small section of the office.

These days, customers get to interact much more of the company. Everyone is a customer services representative. Your customers may be dealing with accounts, the social media team, technical support or even executives. At every level of the organisation, your people need to be trained on how to provide customers with the best experience possible.

This does not mean that everyone has to have a perfected sales pitch ready to go; it just means that the customer must feel respected and listened to, no matter who they’re dealing with from the organisation. 70% of Americans are happy to spend an average of 13% more money with companies that provide them with excellent customer service. If customers only have positive experiences with you, they are likely to feel a sense of loyalty to your brand, and may even become brand ambassadors themselves.

Be approachable

In the age of communication, nothing needs to be more than a click away. Companies with the best customer service make themselves as easily available as possible to the customer. It’s important to open up a range of communication channels because different demographics will prefer different channels: social media, email, phone, letter, live chat and online contact forms are all at your disposal.

The easier it is for customers to contact you, the closer they will feel to you and the less frustrated they will be by the time they get to speak to you. There’s nothing worse for an angry customer than being left on hold for 20 minutes, or transferred around multiple departments who are unable to resolve the issue.

Part of being approachable means that you’re available to talk when it suits the customer. If they are only available to call you on evenings or weekends, make sure you have sufficient staff on the phones to be able to manage their call. If they’re expecting a call back, let them know exactly when you’re going to ring so they don’t miss your call.

Remember, every interaction counts. If customers tweet you and have to wait five hours for a response, this does more than just inconvenience them. It makes your business look both out of touch and unresponsive to the customer and all other twitter users who will have seen the interaction; no business can afford this.

Be accountable

Part of being approachable is behaving more like a business partner and equal than a faraway service provider. Working in partnership with customers is rewarding for both parties, and requires companies to behave honestly and with a sense of accountability towards their clients.

When something goes wrong, or something is not going as planned, be honest with your customers. Don’t sweep any issues under the carpet or try to pretend they didn’t happen; stay in communication with customers and be ready to admit blame and compensate customers accordingly. In the short term, this may seem painful, but in the long run it will pay dividends. No company is without fault, but the ones that apologise sincerely and rectify the problem quickly are remembered by customers.

Finally, in order to fulfil all of the above, you first need to make sure both managers and employees are engaged and have a strong sense of investment in the vision, goals and strategy of your organisation. Once this is in place, you can successfully implement a customer engagement strategy that operates from every corner of your business.

By Angela Stephenson

Angela is Commercial Director at TLSA International. She has a background in sales and customer service, and now focuses on talent assessment.

www.tlsasalestraining.com

Follow us: @TLSAltd

Suggested Reading

Engagement part 1: How engaged are your people? 

One Response

  1. How to create real interactions with customers?

    Very interesting article on the need for engaging customers. Actually a recent Google/Ipsos shows that customers request interaction buttons while browsing a business website. People need real interactions to build confidence, customer loyalty and more. Different solutions exist like the Click to Call, the Live Chat Support, Contact Forms. You can check this blog post to read the study: http://blog.agendize.com/2014/07/the-role-of-click-to-call-in-business-success/

    For more information on how to make your business approchable you can visit Agendize website: http://www.agendize.com/platform/online-appointment-scheduling-software

Author Profile Picture
TLSA International

Marketing Executive

Read more from TLSA International
Newsletter

Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.

 

Thank you!