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8 Best Practices for Customer Engagement Strategies

Consumers have a strong appetite for recognition and reward for their custom as well for spontaneity and exclusivity and they appreciate brands that connect with them more responsively.

These are the core learnings from the findings in the DMA Customer Engagement 2016 report (UK) that can help Brands understand and fill the gap between consumer expectations and brand delivery.

By incorporating more intuitive technologies – such as voice or A.I. assistants, or virtual reality – into digital touchpoints, brands can become ever more intuitive and relevant to customers. It is also increasingly important that these technologies are integrated, aiming at creating a consistent data-driven brand experience across all consumer touchpoints.

To define the key routes to create positive customer engagement we provide you with an 8 point how-to customer engagement checklist:

1. Functional first: Consumers prioritise hard benefits such as convenience, quality, deals and good service and data driven strategies can help marketers constantly improve how they deliver on consumers’ core wants.

  • The top reasons why brands are favourites are quality (72%), service (64%), offers/deals (62%) and being the most convenient/easy (57%)
  • 72% are interested in receiving a delivery alert status after purchasing a product

2. Creatures of habit but with savvy shopping goals: Brands need to constantly reprove their value in consumers’ eyes. Habitual purchasing is common but price sensitivity and comparison continues to be aspirational and ever easier to achieve.

  • 40% of consumers fall into the “Active Loyal” consumer type
  • 76% agree that they are willing to spend time researching items/products in order to get the best value

3. Relevancy rules: Brands that can create genuinely relevant interactions will stand out. Consumers favour heightened forms of personalisation over content.

  • 63% are interested in receiving offers tailored to what they had bought after a purchase
  • 27% are interested in receiving interesting content about a brand/shop/site’s history tailored to what they like after a purchase

4. Feedback please: Brands can empower and engage consumers through greater reciprocity. Consumers are craving a more open dialogue and more feedback from brands they like.

40% of consumers are willing to be rated as a customer by brands • Just under half believe brands should respond to comments people make about them on social networks – rising to 61% of Gen Y

5. Reward me: Brands need to show consumers more appreciation. Many have high expectations of rewards they should receive.

Half believe they should be rewarded if they recommend products to friends and family
Just 11% receive surprises/free gifts from their favourite retailer, but in fact almost half of the sample like/ would want this

6. Make it special: Brands are currently not meeting consumers’ expectations in terms of surprise and exclusivity. Brands can heighten the impact of these forms of engagement through personalisation.

  • 62% of consumers agree that they would like it if loyalty offers they receive from brands/shops or sites related more closely to what they like

7. Data incentives: Brands must get much better at communicating to customers the hard benefits of using their data. While they remain cautious about sharing detailed personal information with brands, consumers are more willing to share this when benefits are clearly presented.

  • In order to get lower prices, 54% would be willing to share their email address; 17% would be willing to share their past purchasing history with the brand

8. Digital gets emotional: Brands need to find ways to better engage with consumers more intuitively in the digital space. Chat messenger/chat bots and virtual reality are creating more personalised yet human service experiences online.

  • 48% of consumers are interested in at least one virtual customer service innovation

Source: DMA Customer Engagement 2016 report

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