Customer engagement is the holy grail of a healthy consumer relationship and should be encouraged and nurtured wherever possible. Sometimes it can seem as though the only representation of customer engagement we see is difficult comments on social media and bad reviews online. However, there’s much more to customer interaction than the snippets we see on the internet – and it can be considerably more positive, and useful, than expected.
The internet is not only filled with uncontrolled social media commentary and hearsay on brands, there is also a range of software tools, data sets and interesting statistics on them too. The last year or so has shifted trading conditions irrevocably for many industries and, with it, customer interaction has shifted too. So here in 2021, as we embark on what many are calling the ‘new normal’, which customer engagement statistics actually matter and should be prioritised by businesses? Let us investigate.
An immediate response is now expected by 83% of consumers
The way in which businesses and their customers (both potential and existing) interact has changed over the coronavirus pandemic, with many moving to online and virtual solutions. Lockdowns and restrictions on business openings have seen even those who would not normally favour online interaction move to do so – and many companies have seen the cost and resourcing benefits in working online.
Consumers expect to see brands responding speedily through virtual engagement, and expectations seem to be increasing exponentially. CRM giants Salesforce found in a recent survey that 83% of consumers expect an immediate response when they make contact with a company online, and 70% believed that the convenience of a fast response was more important to them than branding. This reflects the immediacy of service that society has now come to expect in day-to-day life and should not be underestimated when it comes to customer care.
Personalised support services increase average revenues by 166% per user
Computing firm IBM is responsible for some of the world’s most important development innovations, and personalised support services are just one of them. The business tested the ability for customer service to be dealt with almost entirely virtually (with a human back-up for peace of mind). They did this by installing a ‘predicted next step’, which improved the average revenue by an impressive 166% per user!
This technology doesn’t need to be installed direct from IBM and can be implemented in a number of different ways, both automated and manual. It simply introduces a suggested next action for the user to make to answer their question, solve their problem, or encourage further engagement. This further engagement may be the offering of a discount or loyalty reward and, when personalised, can be hugely valuable for your bottom line.
Engaged customers are 23% more valuable compared to ‘average’ customers
It’s a well-known fact that it’s more expensive to recruit new customers than it is to retain existing ones, but the potential of existing and engaged customers is perhaps more valuable than most understand. It has been found in a survey by Gallup that customers who are ‘successfully engaged’; that is, interact with the brand enough and are satisfied with the interactions and the products and/or service they receive, are worth 23% more than an ‘average’ customer in terms of share of wallet, profitability, relationship growth and revenue.
In contrast, a customer who appears to be involved with a business but is actively disengaged detracts value from the business – value of up to 13%. In many circumstances, a disengaged customer can be converted into a healthily and actively engaged one, so companies should consider investing time and effort into the people it has already attracted, even if they’re not currently interacting in the way hoped.
B2B customers are 63% less likely to leave if properly engaged
Although many consider customer engagement to be a B2C metric, it should be applied to B2B companies in the same way. Another survey run by Gallup found that B2B-focused firms who successfully engaged their clients and customers had an attrition rate of 63% less than those who didn’t properly maintain these relationships.
B2B customer relationships should always be considered strategic and, as such, should be nurtured properly. With such high stakes – particularly when you consider the profitability of an attrition rate 63% lower than ‘standard’ – customer engagement of this type should be prioritised at all times. Those businesses that have survived the pandemic are looking to build lasting relationships moving forward and, having proven their worth and trust through the most tumultuous of times, now these engagements can be developed and grown properly.
People value people, and everyone likes to feel they’re needed and being looked after. Working with – and not just for – customers is always worth it. Engage, entertain, and enjoy!