Every business owner wants to keep their customers happy and loyal.
But in today’s digitally connected world, word spreads faster than ever before, so if a customer isn’t pleased, they might let their entire social network know about it.
Your customers want to get in touch with your business the same way they would with friends and family—so you need to be present on the channels they prefer.
A digital customer engagement strategy can help you provide a better customer experience, resulting in better customer relationships and a boost to your bottom line.
What is digital engagement?
Digital customer engagement is all the ways a customer interacts with your business via technology, and how you interact with them. Think of it like this: it’s all of the digital interactions your customer has with your brand, including email, social media, and even your website. These experiences work together to build (or hurt) your relationships with your customers.
Digital engagement examples
Here are a few examples of digital customer engagement:
Customers interacting with each other via a community forum
Customers asking questions to an interactive chatbot on your website or social media pages
Customers calling your customer support team to get help
Customers completing a customer satisfaction (CSAT) survey
Customers engaging with your social media content and getting support over social messaging apps
Customers watching a tutorial via your help center
Customers clicking on email content
Why is digital customer engagement important?
Customer loyalty is hard to earn, but easy to lose: nearly half of customers say they’d switch to a competitor after just one bad experience.
Customers want to be treated as individuals, meaning they expect companies to know their preferences and purchase history. To do that, companies need to be able to harness their customer interactions across platforms and turn that data into actionable insights.
Companies that do this the right way can build on their success. Customers want companies to keep track of their data if it leads to a better customer experience.
So better digital customer engagement leads to more customer data and better customer experiences, which can lead to higher profits.
“You can post on social media all day long, but without a plan, there’s no goal,” says Andy Crestodina, cofounder and chief marketing officer of Orbit Media Studios. “If your business is present on a digital channel, you need to have a strategy.”
Here are three key things to consider:
1. Your business goals
The first step is to determine your business goals. As with any other plan, your goal should be based on data and it should be actionable.
“How can you know you achieved your goal without data?” asks Crestodina. “Every plan needs to have numbers.”
For example, let’s say your business has launched a new product feature, and you dig into the analytics and find that awareness among your customers is low. Your ultimate goal is to get 200 demos through digital channels.
That’s a solid goal to shoot for—now what do you need to do to get there?
Once you set goals, you can look at all of your digital channels to identify the best ways to reach your target.
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Each digital channel needs a tailored strategy—they are levers that can be pulled for different goals. “The channel determines the promotional strengths of your content,” says Crestodina.
Here are some examples:
Webinars are live, virtual events that are executed online. It’s an interactive format with video and audio that gives you an excellent opportunity to listen to customer questions. You can use these questions to inform your next piece of content.
Paid search is a type of digital marketing where search engines like Google allow advertisers to show ads on their search engine results pages (SERP).
Search works on a pay-per-click model and is a good way to drive traffic and build brand awareness.
Social media marketing
Social media helps build brand loyalty and stronger customer relationships. Show how you’re living your brand values, post eye-catching content, and hear what your customers have to say.
Most social media users log in at least once per day, so keeping fresh posts in their feed keeps you top of mind.
Live chat and messaging
Live chat and messaging create a personal connection with customers looking for support. Live chat lets customer service agents help more customers in less time, which means happier customers more of the time.
And, customers are 3 times more likely to make a purchase when you reach out via chat, so it can be profitable, too.
Trying to figure out where to get started? You can create a matrix of your channels and topics to see where your opportunities are.
“You’ll start to see some interesting patterns in the data when you map it out,” says Crestodina. “You might see a topic is doing really well, so that means your customers want to know more about it. Create more content around that topic and push it through your channels.”