If manufacturers want to stand out from the competition, it’s time to start rethinking your customer engagement strategy. An effective engagement strategy can help you provide better end-to-end customer experiences.
Here are seven tips to help you improve your existing strategy.
- Know your customers
- Map the customer journey
- Decide on the metrics you want to measure
- Analyse data and be ready to act
- Provide different ways for customers to get in touch
- Connect and engage with your customers
- Have a strong brand voice
1. Know your customers
A great customer experience is all about meeting the needs of your users (customers) via a frictionless, consistent experience. The best experiences take it up a level - they anticipate customer needs before the customer even realises they’re feeling a certain way or needing a particular thing.
However, the specifics of this will vary between industries and companies. They may even vary within a single company because every customer is different. That’s precisely why you need to know your customers - needs, challenges, desires and all.
Know them better than they know themselves and it’s easier to anticipate/predict what they might need next.
2. Map the customer journey
When you know what your customers need, you can map their journeys. Customer journey mapping involves plotting each stage of a customer’s* buying process/journey - from them first realising they’re experiencing a problem, researching and first interacting with your brand (e.g. discovering your website) to sales and after-sales.
Here are some of the key benefits of mapping your customer journeys:
- You can better anticipate customer needs
- You can identify ‘pivotal’ moments for customers and ensure they’re always excellent. This could be as early on in the buying process as the research stage. For example, when the customer is comparing your company and its products/services to competitors, make it easy for them to find reviews, accurate descriptions and pricing. If it’s difficult, customers could feel let down and abandon you for a competitor
- You can better understand how customers feel (as well as what they need) and ensure they’re always happy when engaging with your company
* Don’t forget that there may be differences between each individual customer. So, create personas for every type of customer.
3. Decide on the metrics you want to measure
Without metrics, how will you know if you’ve achieved what you’re aiming for? So, decide on which metrics are most important.
Some examples include:
- The number of active users
- Time spent on a certain area of your website/app
- Type of interactions
- Usage frequency
- Products purchased
- Customer demographic
4. Analyse data and be ready to act
Speaking of metrics, once you’ve collected them, analyse them and act on these insights. For example, if you’re finding a particular product range is popular among a certain customer demographic, personalise your marketing emails to your specific audience groups and include this range to pique their interest.
Or, if customers tend to purchase several items together, why not offer bundle pricing?
Here are some other ideas:
- Personalised product recommendations
- Bundle recommendations based on what customers of similar profiles also purchase
- Tailoring search results on your website/online catalogue based on the customer’s purchase history or what they’ve previously interacted with
5. Provide different ways for customers to get in touch
Issues can crop up on even the most well-designed websites, apps and other digital channels. Prevent your customers from becoming frustrated (which can lead to disengagement) by offering a variety of ways for them to reach out to you for help.
Email, telephone, live chat, social media, chatbot - there are many options available nowadays that can help keep your customers happy and engaged.
Tip: Keep all of your customer data and transcripts of conversations stored in a centralised CRM system. This data can be used for more than simply keeping track of customer cases. For example, you can use them to personalise customer experiences (above point) or create sales and marketing collateral (e.g. FAQ pages, marketing campaign ideas etc).
6. Connect and engage with your customers
Prioritise customer communication, regardless of whether they’re new customers, legacy loyalists or a prospective. You could send regular email newsletters to promote company news, spotlight products, promotions or marketing content.
It’s particularly important to connect with your most engaged users because they’re the people who will champion your brand. They can help you spread the word about your new products, collections and promotions, as well as recommending you to the world.
7. Have a strong brand voice
Your brand voice reflects your company’s personality. It’s important to define a voice that will best resonate with your customers. This will help customers imagine a face behind the logo, nurture a human-to-human connection and build trust in your company and the products/services you sell.
Want to learn more about customer engagement in manufacturing?
If you’re looking to truly prioritise customer engagement, the above tips aren’t the only things you need to know. In our guide for manufacturers, we discuss the role of customer experience (CX) and engagement in manufacturing.
We dig deeper into the above tips, how Industry 4.0 can transform CX, the solutions to invest in and more.