Customer Engagement

Do you know all of the ways customers interact with your company? And how those interactions are affecting your business?

What is customer engagement?

The term is used in different ways — but the ultimately, customer engagement describes every way in which customers interact with a company. This includes both direct interactions like calling a call center or visiting a company’s website, and indirect interactions like discussing a brand on social media or reading an online review.

This definition might seem broad at first. Many companies don’t treat visiting a store and reading an online review as the same type of interaction. But from the customer’s perspective, they are steps in the same journey.

Why is it important? And how can I tell how engaged my customers are?

A customer’s personal experience with a company is a huge factor in whether they’ll buy from or recommend it — and those experiences don’t just include traditional touchpoints. Every instance of engagement — direct or indirect — ultimately affects a customer’s decision to purchase from you or not. And today’s customers have come to expect a great deal of consistency and reliability across their entire experience.

So how can you tell if you’re providing that consistency — and evaluate all of the forms of customer engagement that make it up? To start, you need to be able to look at them from the customer’s perspective. This means evaluating all of the ways customers engage with your company in the context of a single customer journey.

This unified view helps you understand how customers behave after engaging with you in different ways. It also helps you fine-tune different aspects of your customer experience to make them more consistent and effective.

How can my company increase its customer engagement?

Best practices for cultivating customer engagement vary by company and industry, but here are some key ones to consider:

  • Truly understand every type of customer interaction

    Map every type of customer engagement onto a single customer journey. Keep this map high-level at first, and organize it around simple customer goals rather than business ones. This process helps you see which types of engagement are causing friction — and how different departmental silos can better collaborate to reduce that friction.

  • Use a unified system to monitor customer engagement

    To evaluate different forms of engagement — call centers, retail locations, social media activity and more — in action, you need to unify data from each one in a single Customer Experience Management (CEM) solution. The best ones let you use consistent metrics to track different types of engagement, and have features that help the people responsible for each one collaborate and share learnings.

  • Create a means to act on customer engagement

    Customer engagement is often an opportunity for you to connect with your customers — or even resolve their issues. These responses are most effective when they happen promptly, and when the employee who’s closest to the problem is the one who takes action to fix it. Medallia’s closed-loop functionality enables this operational approach — for traditional touchpoints, online, and on social media.

  • Drive customer insights to places where others are engaging

    Indirect engagement has a huge impact on consumers’ buying decisions — and it usually occurs in places like social review sites, where you can’t control what’s being said about your brand. Ultimately, the best way to improve your reputation in this places to provide great experiences. But helping customers share their feedback publicly can help give others a more balanced view of the experience you provide.

To learn more about Medallia’s approach for different types of customer engagement, visit our Use Cases page.