We are in a new year and resolutions have been made. They say 41% of the population set a new year’s resolution, but only 9% feel they accomplished their goal. One resolution that every business should not only make but succeed at, is increasing customer engagement. Making this resolution is not only the right thing to do, but a smart business choice. I’ve collected excerpts from several popular blog posts to paint the picture of why increasing customer engagement should be this year’s top resolution.
We need to define what is customer engagement. Reading a blog post by the company Thunderhead, they give a straight forward explanation:
“Customer engagement is a function of knowledge and trust coming together over time.
Got it? Good…
Each and every time a brand and a customer come into contact with each other that event must create a value for both the business and the customer. Every healthy relationship is mutual; it can’t be one-sided or it becomes parasitical. No one likes a leech.”
Creating value is critical component to any business. In the same post, Thunderbird, describes why creating value is important.
“Measuring value is what determines the ability to change a single event into a series that will ultimately result in engagement – or not. Without value being created at each and every point there is no engagement. The value must be reciprocal, enjoyed by both the customer and the brand. When this happens, over time, you see the evolution of trust. And where there’s trust, there’s a relationship. And where there’s a relationship, there’s growth…starting to get the idea?”
Read the Thunderbird blog article here: Measuring the value and ROI of customer engagement.
As the Thunderbird post pointed out;
“where there’s trust, there’s a relationship. And where there’s a relationship, there’s growth..”
So how do we build trust? I personally have found a great place to start is putting myself in another person’s shoes. Empathy is a powerful tool that provides insight to the needs others. Fast Company discusses the benefits of using empathy in their article, “Why Genuine Empathy is Good for Business.”
“Some people think of empathy as a touchy-feely, “soft” skill. It isn’t. Empathy is a hard business skill that’s absolutely critical to the bottom line. It’s not about being nice—it’s about feeling someone else’s pain.”
If we are to get our customers engaged, we must walk in their shoes and see what is important to them. By understanding their pain points, we can see the path towards increased engagement.
Read the Fast Company Article Here: Why Genuine Empathy is Good For Business
When was the last time a business exceeded your expectations? Did you tell people about it? From how we communicate to how we follow through with a service, there are countless opportunities to exceed customer expectations. If we settle for mere satisfaction, we could be losing out on increased engagement. In a Huffington Post article, “How to Exceed Customer Expectations”, the author points out the potential outcome if we settle for mere satisfaction.
“A key business indicator, customer satisfaction has everything to do with customer loyalty — especially return and referral business. I’d posit that most of us do business with organizations that we are merely satisfied with. This does not make us exceptionally eager to continue the relationship, nor anxious to terminate it. However, if a friend or associate mentioned a better mousetrap, chances are we’d be more than willing to defect. That’s the end result of mere satisfaction.”
Read Huffington Post article here: How to Exceed Customer Expectations
As a professional 24-hour answering service, we engage with our clients’ customers 24/7. As you have read, there is a connection between exceeding expectations to trust to increased engagement. So how does Unicom increase customer engagement?
Our clients are big and small, all with different needs. With our average customer being with us for over 5 years, our success comes from taking the time to understand not only our client’s needs but their customers as well.
In many cases, we are the first line of communication between our clients and their customers. Part of our strategy is to constantly look for opportunities to create efficiencies. As an example, we have a common practice optimizing our client’s call processes to deliver a better customer experience. Faster responses lead to happier customers. By looking for and leveraging these opportunities, we have created a mutual reinforcing strategy. If we exceed the expectations of our client’s customer, we in turn can exceed the expectations of our client.
It is very common in the answering service industry for companies to practice a churn and burn strategy. You can read for yourself if you check social media and the internet, people tend to have poor experiences because of this strategy. Companies want to get you set up quick without really knowing business goals or setting expectations. How can you exceed expectations if you forget your client 5-minutes after them becoming a client?
This principle applies not just to the answering service business but to any business. By taking the time to understand the needs of customers and their expectations, we can begin to build trust. And with trust we can build higher levels of engagement. With higher level of engagement…well, better business and a new year’s resolution fulfilled.
Read Unicom’s post on Customer Experience: Top 5 Articles on Customer Experience
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For 25 years, Unicom has worked with companies large and small to discuss their needs. To understand their processes allows us to determine how we can deliver value.
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