All businesses involved in customer relationship management will understand the importance of facilitating customer engagement, as ignoring to do so can result in the potential loss of loyalty and profitability.
“In most cases, these organisations are not actually engaging with the customer, and instead they have been disengaging for a decade in order to lower costs,” said Michael Maoz, vice president and distinguished analyst at research firm Gartner.
The four key attributes of customer engagement according to Gartner may take some adjustment to integrate, but can have long-term results that ultimately benefit both the business and customers.
Increasing alignment of social, mobile and traditional channels
Operators of CRM systems should be no stranger to aligning various business channels, as doing so is often a requirement to effectively manage customer relationships. This forms a key part of customer engagement, as Gartner say an active customer is far more willing to engage with a business through different channels.
This can be extremely useful to gather feedback and suggestions related to how a business operates.
Opening transparency and trust
The rise in big data and other information gathering trends and systems has made it easy for businesses to assemble large databases of customer information. This data farming should only be done with customer consent, however.
“By respecting customers’ privacy rather than bombarding them with semi-personalised campaigns, organisations can elevate trust and engagement,” says Gartner.
Facilitating greater customer participation
By engaging customers in the research process around products, a better understanding can be gathered as to the direction future developments should take. This can lead on to the creation of self-service communities and even creation of customer panels to garner feedback.
Demonstrating ethical fairness in regards to wider business networks
As ethical engagement “explores the deepest values and meanings by which people live”, businesses can no longer afford to ignore it. Due to the increased social media and mobile presence of many organisations, ethical considerations cannot be swept under the rug.
Paying attention to and facilitating these key attributes can ensure customers feel supported when dealing with a business, preventing loyalty and financial loss.