Why engage customers?
The goal of a Customer Engagement Program (CEP) is to create and sustain engaged customers. CEP moves you away from simply surveying customers and collecting data to managing the experience customers have and quantifying it in a way that drives the success of your business.
Engaged customers reward your company with:
- Retention; they keep doing business with you, buying more of your products and/or services
- Advocacy: they tell others to do business with your company—sometimes as a recommendation and sometimes, even better, as a referral
Engaged customers are loyal customers. They appreciate that you’ve taken the opportunity to reach out to them, learn from their experience, and—most importantly—act on what they’ve shared. They will like you for following up the first time, and they will love you when you follow up in the future to share how you’ve used their feedback to improve the experience your company delivers. An engaged customer helps you by buying more of your products and/or services more often and telling others they should do the same.
How does it work?
A Customer Engagement Program is a relationship program first, a survey tool second. The program enables two-way conversations with customers and is supported by tools for tracking, reminding, and reporting on follow-up actions and results. CEP also engages the workforce with customer feedback to create a stronger culture and more consistent customer experience.
The basic components of a Customer Engagement Program are that it is web-based, not confidential, short (one-to-two minutes to complete), and that it allows for follow-up.
The formula for follow-up is simple:
Types of Customer Engagement Programs
There are two program types a company may use for better understanding the customer experience.
- Designed for customers to indicate a degree of loyalty regarding the company/brand
- Administered annually or semi-annually
- Designed for customers to indicate how satisfied they are with a specific event, transaction, or interaction with the company, triggered by a specific customer touch point
- Administered on an ongoing basis
Customer engagement vs. customer satisfaction
What’s the difference between a traditional customer satisfaction survey and a Customer Engagement Program? It’s all in the follow-up.
A traditional customer satisfaction survey is more about collecting data, many times too much data that leaders/managers have trouble interpreting and acting on. While it is important to know whether customers are satisfied, the real value comes in the conversations that can occur when you follow up on the feedback provided.
Following up with customers builds trust, drives sales, opens up referral opportunities, highlights successes, uncovers challenges, fixes or prevents customer problems, and enables a company to connect feedback to business and engagement results.
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