According to Gallup, today’s customer purchasing decisions are based more on emotional connections with the brand than on rational thinking. Marketing campaigns and promotions work well to bring in customers but it is the emotional connection between brand and customer that will retain them. However, customers’ behaviour and interactions with brands have changed dramatically in the last few years. So how do you create value for your customers? A report prepared by Thunderhead provides greater clarity about increasing customer engagement.
Thunderhead has performed a study amongst 2,026 US customers, supported by detailed market research and 33 in-depth interviews with Senior Leaders of customer strategies. They identified the top three engagement mishaps and missteps that do the most to undermine customers’ confidence, trust and preparedness to enter into an engaged and positive relationship with the business they transact from:
- Irrelevant and impersonal communications which are not informed by customer knowledge and insight and fail to provide value
- Keeping pace with technological change
- Disjointed communications caused by company silos
Positive outcomes for both parties
The results suggest that brands and businesses need to deepen interactions and enhance the value of their relationships with customers. At the same time, the findings reveal how a focus on knowledge and trust can engender customer engagement and positive outcomes for both parties. The report states that 84% of customers have a positive impression of businesses that communicate with customers in the channel of their preference. In addition, 82% of customers feel favorable about details of offers and deals that are presented to them at exactly the right time.
A context-based experience
The needs and circumstances of every customer differ significantly. Therefore, all interactions need to be personalized, contextualized, relevant and based on adding value at every point of interaction with a company. Mobile is the perfect tool for this. Take as an example imgZine’s Insights app, which allows companies to share their expertise, build a reputation in a specific area and create a bond of trust with (potential) customers. The app supports ongoing interaction between a company’s experts and their customers. At the same time, it provides extra value for customers by enabling them to read personalized insights on their own mobile devices.
We would like to end with a quote from Thunderhead (2014): “To match the needs and improve how customers feel about their relationship with organisations, businesses need to shift from improving just individual experiences to adding value across the customer journey as a whole.”
Click here to read the complete report on customer engagement.