What Is Customer Engagement?

Return to Glossary

The concept of customer engagement has evolved over recent years. It typically involves finding innovative ways of attracting and retaining customers. That often means cultivating a positive relationship between buyers and your company or brand, beyond a simple sales transaction. A consistent and intentional approach to building customer engagement can increase repeat purchases, loyalty, and advocacy.

Is There a Difference Between Customer Experience and Customer Engagement?

There is a common misconception that customer experience and customer engagement are the same, but there are some key differences. Both are important to a company’s success.

Customer engagement involves taking active, ongoing steps to make customers happy and strengthen your relationship with them. In contrast, customer experience refers more simply to how the customer experiences the buying process and how much they like or dislike the product and service.

What Are the Benefits of Effective Customer Engagement?

Effective customer engagement improves customer relationships, which results in many benefits for brands and sellers. Higher customer retention and loyalty and more repeat purchases lead to higher profits. Not to mention that your engaged customers are more likely to refer other buyers or recommend your brand to others, which boosts lead generation.

What Should I Do to Increase Customer Engagement?

Customer engagement can take many different forms. A few common actions that your company or brand can focus on include:

  • Effective and efficient customer service to deal with any questions or issues. Consider adding social media to your service dealings, as many customers now prefer to reach out to brands on that channel.
  • Prompt responses to online reviews, both positive and negative. This is important not only to engage with the customer who wrote the review, but also to show your commitment to future prospects who may see the review later.
  • A rewards or loyalty program. Three-quarters of consumers say they prefer companies that offer rewards. Customer rewards programs are also a great way to encourage advocacy, since over 70% of purchasers would be willing to recommend a brand with an excellent loyalty program.

What Customer Engagement Activities Can I Include as Part of a Rewards Program?

Implementing a rewards program is a smart place to start to increase customer engagement, because it can combine many aspects of engagement and encourage a number of different actions. Whether you decide to use instant rewards or a points-based structure, an effective program will keep customers engaged on an ongoing basis, even between purchases. Depending on whether your business is mostly B2C to B2B, the tasks you give rewards for may vary, but some common options include:

  • Making a follow-up purchase.
  • Posting about your brand or service on social media.
  • Writing an online review.
  • Participating in a case study.
  • Submitting a referral for a colleague or friend.
  • Responding to a customer feedback survey.
  • Answering other users’ questions in a community forum.

Not only will you delight your customers by giving them rewards, you will also reap the benefits of these actions, which can bring you more leads, boost sales, increase awareness of your brand, provide valuable feedback, and help you save on customer service costs.

What Kinds of Rewards Are Best for Loyalty Programs?

Digital gift cards are an ideal option for your customer rewards program for several reasons. First, research shows that rewards are more effective than discounts, and people prefer the flexibility of gift cards over physical gifts. They also offer a lot of flexibility for you as the sender, because they can be used in whatever structure you choose for your program, either delivered as instant rewards or redeemed for a certain number of points. They are available in multiple currencies, and there are options for customers all over the world. Plus, digital rewards are free to send and, with the right tools, can be integrated directly with the customer engagement software you already use. This allows for automatic delivery that reduces the ongoing maintenance time for your program.

BHN Rewards offers this convenience by integrating directly with many popular customer engagement and community tools, including HubSpot and Marketo. It also supports both instant rewards and points-to-rewards and has an extensive catalog of global reward options, including e-gift cards, virtual prepaid cards, and e-donations. Contact us to request a demo today!

Related Topics:

6 Stats to Help You Justify and Optimize a Customer Advocacy Program

7 Reasons a Points-Based Loyalty Rewards Program Is So Effective

BHN Rewards’ Pro Tips: How We Use Incentives for Engaged Customers