You don’t need a crystal ball to envision the future of customer engagement: since digital and mobile have taken a major place in our daily life, one of the key elements when it comes to running a successful business is to engage your customers.
Easier said than done. To improve your loyalty strategy, you will need to think beyond old-fashioned CRM and embrace technology to speak the same language your customers speak.
Thanks to the Internet, the smartphone and all sorts of disruptive devices (smartwatch and virtual reality headsets, to name two), the world of business is rapidly shifting from brand-centric outbound marketing to customer-centric inbound marketing. While market logic and engagement dynamics evolve, too many companies still plan and execute their marketing strategies the old way. Missing the real point of digital transformation.
In the Age of the Customer, technology surely can support your efforts to understand your clients (collecting their data) and to connect with them across all touch points of the digital customer journey; this is just one step of the process, though. The only way to reach real engagement is to turn your organization upside down, assume the risk of digital evolution, and account the customer as the main reason you do business in the first place.
WHY WOULD YOU?
To overcome the challenge of evolution is never easy or immediate. It requires a deep change not just in the organizational philosophy but also in the business structure and the human capital (and we all know the importance of employee engagement to determine long term success). It can take time and can be difficult to accomplish.
Why would you do it, then? Pure and simple, because you have no choice. As costly it may be to take this long road, it will always cost you more to be stuck while all others are running. With 6 billions mobile subscribers in the world and 1.2 people accessing the web from their mobile devices, the creation of a strong lasting brand starts with the ability to attract empowered customers and engage them in innovative customer experiences.
In this mobile environment, a good customer engagement strategy will make it easier to:
Attract new visitors and prospects;
Convert them into leads;
Close the path to conversion;
Change customers into promoters;
Communicate and connect at a personal level;
Collect feedback and understand needs and behaviors;
Decrease churn and increase customer retention;
Create a sense of belonging (brand based on emotions);
- Ultimately generate more revenues from repeat sales.
STATS AND FACTS
If you don’t believe in the power of loyalty, or maybe you still think that acquisition is more important than retention, here we share - and comment - 10 enlightening stats and facts about customer engagement that will make you think again. Whether you are a retailer, an E-Commerce firm, a financial institution or a fashion & luxury brand, the following numbers will help you shape your future marketing vision.
- Customers who are fully engaged represent 23% premium in terms of share of wallet, profitability, revenue, and relationship growth compared with the average customer (Gallup): sales pass, loyalty stays - potentially - forever.
- Only 14% of marketers say customer centricity is ranked high within their organization; only 11% percent say that their customers would say customer centricity is ranked high within their organization (CMO Council): clients know you more than you do. Deal with it!
- 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated (McKinsey): the experience is the key factor to differentiate yourself from competitors.
- A 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10% (Emmet Murphy): loyalty is not just a fancy name, it is a matter of business.
- The revenue impact from a 10% improvement in a company’s customer experience score can translate into more than $1 billion (Forrester): customer experience is what will help you stay top of mind and be the first choice in the purchase moment.
- 86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience, but only 1% of customers feel that vendors consistently meet their expectations (Forbes): a major rule to engage clients and reach satisfaction is to anticipate their needs and constantly exceed their expectations.
- In the retail banking industry, customers who are fully engaged bring 37% more annual revenue to their primary bank than do customers who are actively disengaged (Gallup): the experience has become critical for retail banking to attract new prospects and avoid capital outflow.
- 52% of companies say Facebook is the most effective social channel for customer engagement, service and support (Social Media Today): social media have a great impact in how you can manage customer relations and deliver personalized contents, mobile-first.
- 45% of buyers require person-to-person contact in the buying process (ITSMA/CFO): where technology touches all moments of our life, there comes the importance of increasing the human factor in business.
- Customer retention is 14% higher among companies applying big data and analytics to deal velocity (Aberdeen Customer Engagement Report 2014): the spread of mobile devices enables you to gather all sorts of data about customers. Use these numbers to improve customer experience.
Let's close up with a quote by Forbes, that sums up engagement in the mobile era: "Customers are in the driver’s seat now and many businesses that don’t have the technology and systems in place to support an omni-channel customer experience will be forced to take the backseat".
Want to learn how to improve the connection with empowered customers?
If you want to ensure a strategic advantage to your organization, discover Neosperience Engage, the end-to-end mobile marketing solution to help brands engage with customers by delivering personalized experiences to customers close to, or inside the store.