In today’s competitive, internet-driven market, it has become increasingly difficult to keep customers focused on you and your brand. Staying top-of-mind is necessary to build and grow customer relationships and the key to establishing those relationships is engagement. You may have happy customers, but customer engagement benefits can have a significant impact on your top and bottom lines.
Shorter Sales Cycle
Engagement can help shorten the sales cycle by getting stakeholders up to speed quickly. Rather than attempting to dole out information to each decision maker separately, customers and prospects can use a Customer Engagement Portal to instantly access the information they need at whatever step they may be in the buying process. If a key stakeholder sits down at 11 p.m. to do some investigating, the information they want and need is just a click away.
By giving them access to that information, you also prevent the dilution of your message as it travels through your prospect’s organization. Decision makers have access to information, philosophies, approaches and results created with your authoritative voice.
Improve Customer Loyalty (And Ultimately, Sales)
Engaged customers spend much more time and money with their favorite business than do disengaged customers. Data shows that when businesses offer something valuable to their customers, those customers are willing to give back—that is, spend more–in spades. Engaged customers provide businesses, on average, a 23 percent premium in share of wallet, profitability, revenue and relationship growth. Conversely, disengaged customers represent a 13 percent discount in those same metrics1. Here are some samples of how engaged customers behave in several industries:
- Consumer electronics: Engaged customers visit their favored retailers 44 percent more often and spend an average of $84 more per visit than disengaged shoppers.
- Retail banking: Customers who are engaged provide 37 percent more annual revenue to their primary bank. They have more banking products and a higher deposit balance.
- Casual dining: Engaged customers visit their favorite spots 56 percent more often.
- Hotels: Engaged guests spend an average of 46 percent more per year than disengaged customers.
- Insurance: Engaged policyholders buy 22 percent more products than disengaged policyholders.
Engagement Creates Natural Evangelists
In today’s hyper-connected environment, people are all to happy to share their opinions on everything from today’s weather to the price of a gallon of milk. People share all day, every day on social media and review sites like Yelp, and others are listening, to be sure. Customers care what their peers say about your products and services in both business-to-consumer (B2C) and B2B environments. In fact, 20 percent2 of B2B customers say they consider peer recommendations as a top resource when gathering information about potential new vendors.
Engaged customers, by nature, are brand evangelists. “Power users” can be mouthpieces for your products and services through third party channels. When a friend or colleague mentions a need or problem that your company provides solutions for, your happiest, most engaged customers will instantly think to recommend you. Moreover, engaged customers that interact with you online will mention you in their social media feeds and praise you in forums organically as you engage with them online.
Greater Penetration into Deeper Layers of Internal Stakeholder Relationships
Have you ever found yourself in this situation? You build a strong relationship with a customer in purchasing. Your sales rep and the purchasing rep know each other’s life stories, they send each other birthday cards, and they spend just as much time chatting like old friends as they do conducting business on a call. Then, one day, the purchasing agent announces he’s leaving his job for a new opportunity. The sales rep tries to build a bridge with the new contact, but in a few short weeks, the orders begin to slow, and eventually, they stop altogether.
Personal relationships are imperative to your business, but people can only be in one place at one time. If you want to maintain long-term relationships with a company, rather than just a person, you’ve got to be able to reach beyond your initial point of contact and establish a presence with other employees in other departments. A Customer Engagement Portal can address the needs of several (or all) departments of a customer organization, providing value beyond the person who places the order or the end-user of your products and services. Create value across the board, and deeper relationships will follow.
The benefits of customer engagement provide real and lasting return for your organization. Investing in an engagement program strengthens relationships, increases organic referrals and ultimately lifts your bottom line.