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. Increased engagement with customers is not only the right thing to do but also a smart business choice. I’ve collected excerpts from several popular blog posts to explain the concept of customer engagement and paint the picture of why increasing customer engagement should be this year’s top resolution.
We need to define what is customer engagement. This blog post by the company Thunderhead gives a straightforward 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 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 a 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 and 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 into the needs of 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 toward increased customer interactions and engagement. And this will eventually lead to customer retention and loyalty.
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 and ensure positive customer reviews.
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 and not strive for more.
“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 the Huffington Post article here: How to Exceed Customer Expectations
As a professional 24-hour answering service, we engage with our client’s customers 24/7. Excellent customer service is often the foundation of a successful customer engagement plan. You need to be there for your current and potential customers at all hours, ready to answer their questions, receive customer feedback, and, why not, establish an emotional connection.
As you have read, there is a connection between exceeding expectations to trust to increased engagement. So how does Unicom increase customer engagement? We provide personalized experiences and invest time in our relationships with customers.
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. We work together with our clients to understand customer behavior and make sure we are always there for them.
In many cases, we are the first line of communication between our clients and their current customers. Part of our effective customer engagement strategy is to constantly look for opportunities to create efficiencies. Engaged customers are usually happy customers, and the easiest way to keep your customers happy is to answer their calls and have solutions to their problems.
We have a common practice of optimizing our client’s call processes to deliver a better customer experience. Faster responses lead to satisfied customers. By looking for and leveraging these opportunities, we have created a mutual reinforcing strategy. If we exceed the expectations of our client’s customers, 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. If you check social media platforms and the internet, people tend to have bad experiences because of this strategy. Companies want to get you set up quickly without really knowing their business goals or how to set expectations. How can you exceed expectations if you don’t establish a relationship with your clients? Communication with customers is essential for a better understanding of what they need and what your company should provide.
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 connection with customers and consolidate customer relationships. With a higher level of engagement, we can build a better business and fulfill one of our new year’s resolutions.
Read Unicom’s post on Customer Experience: Top 5 Articles on Customer Experience
This post was updated October 28, 2022 to reflect changes in the industry. The original post was created January 17, 2017.
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For 25 years, Unicom has worked with companies large and small to discuss their needs and establish effective customer engagement strategies. Understanding their processes allows us to determine how we can deliver value and create a loyal customer base.
With Unicom, you just need to simply request an answering service quote. Together we can create a personalized service that allows your company to deliver professional telephone answering service while helping you to build loyalty and achieve a higher conversion rate and improved customer engagement metrics.