This blog is intended to make the concept of customer engagement easy to understand, so here I use the 5 W’s and 1 H to make the reading interesting and relevant.
Customer engagement as a field of study is of recent interest in marketing management and it is still evolving. ‘Engagement’ as a term was used in behavioural studies to refer to ‘employee engagement’, hence it has roots from social sciences.
Though there is no single acceptable definition of customer engagement yet, however researchers do agree that customer engagement strategy is an essential element for customer satisfaction and retention in this growing competitive market.
What is Customer Engagement?
Mckinsey defines customer engagement as a personal connection that exists between a consumer and a brand that gets stronger over a period of time leading to mutual exchange of value. CE is a two-way relationship that thrives on fulfilling customer needs and thereby generating profits for the brand.
According to Gallup Customer engagement is an emotional connection between the customer and the company and this emotional connect influences customers future purchase decisions.
Why Customer Engagement?
We should understand why customer engagement strategies be implemented in any organization. Few of the benefits are mentioned below:
• Customer engagement is tied to business outcomes
• Engagement strategies enable the level of transparency that customers seek
• Customer engagement ensures retention of existing customers in a cost effective way.
• Customer engagement help organisations to acquire new customers at a negligible cost
Where & when can customers be engaged?
One of the important driver of customer engagement is technological advancement. With growth of internet and use of smartphones customer engagement is just a click away. Competitive pricing by telecommunication network providers and reasonable prices of smartphones has accelerated the internet usage by consumers. The number of smartphone and internet users are increasing worldwide with 95% users in advanced economies, 60% users in emerging economies like India.
Smartphones allow customers to engage in activities that entertain them, connect with their loved and complete their task on hand. Hence Smartphones coupled with internet connectivity paves way for the marketers to engage with customers anywhere and everywhere.
Who are engaged customers?
The engaged customers may be called as the ‘ideal’ consumers that every business desires to have. Highly engaged customers eventually become potential promoters of the business and advocate the brand to prospective consumers. However all engaged customers may not generate profits for the organisations, hence strategy to engage customers needs to be designed cautiously.
How engaged Customer feel and behave?
Enngaged customers often express greater satisfaction with the brand and they feel emotional bond with the brand.The engaged customers admit that they trust the brand and continue being loyal to the brand in future.Engaged consumers certainly add value to the business by buying 90% more frequently and spend 300% more compared to other customers annually. Further they may even indicate their fondness for the brand by declaring that it is the only brand that they would like to purchase in the near future.
Hence it can be concluded that an organization employing customer engagement strategies is only going to improve its profitability through customer satisfaction and retention.
Gallup, A. M., & Newport, F. (2010). The gallup poll: Public opinion 2009. Blue Ridge Summit: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers