Updated May 5, 2023
Introduction to Customer Engagement Planning
Customer Engagement Planning focuses on providing personalized customer engagement strategies based on authentic customer relationships. This customer engagement data plays a very important role in helping customers understand and comprehend customer behavior and analytics. Customer engagement planning is, therefore, one of the most important fads to hit brands and companies across all sectors and sections of society.
More about Customer Engagement Planning in detail
Social media has exploded on the global map and completely transformed lives and economies worldwide. One major way in which social media has changed how brands and organizations operate is by raising the bar when it comes to customer service and expectations. Because barriers to communication have been reduced on social media, the bar of customer service has been increased in a substantial manner. This is mainly because, on social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, people are free to share their thoughts and customer engagement planning, both good and bad, with the wider world, making exceptional quality service a prime need for brands and organizations around the globe.
Customer service is something that every brand has to focus on. The better they provide, the more they can stand out. Smaller brands, therefore, have to change and evolve in a rapid manner because the expectation of the consumer and market scenario is rapidly changing. That is why brands have to shift focus from providing excellent customer service to delivering amazing customer engagement planning and connection.
Customers are the building blocks and foundation for all brand growth and development.
Every brand manager knows that providing personalized service on hand and having in-depth expertise, on the other hand, are two major factors that can help retain existing clients and expand and empower brand loyalty in a profitable manner. While this was something that almost every brand manager knew for a very long time, what has changed now is the playing field. And this change has been brought up by the reach and growth of social media channels. Before venturing into that, let us first clarify the difference between customer service and customer engagement planning.
Not just providing good and qualitative service, customer engagement planning focuses on providing personalized customer engagement strategies that are based on authentic relationships with customers. For example, earlier brand managers would deliver personalized experiences depending on the knowledge and expertise of the customer. This means that if store managers would drive customers in the right direction, then in most probability, the said customer would return more frequently. To bring up the customer’s experience to the level of customer engagement planning, brand managers must have intimate knowledge about the customer beyond mere transactions.
When brand managers have the said information, they can easily help customers by providing information about tools, offering information on how to save money on certain products, and advising them about the best possible products and services that the customer would be interested in. This means that the more the store owners know about the customer, he has a better opportunity to provide services that are intimate and personal. All this will eventually ensure that the customer keeps returning and increase the brand value and customer engagement loyalty.
With social media, the field of expansion and growth opportunities has widened to an even greater height. Brand managers can effectively engage, entertain and profitably grow their customer base by providing customers, especially the best ones, with private insider deals, private shows, and other discounts. However, creating and sustaining customer relationships is not an easy task. And this becomes all the more difficult and complex when the same has to be done with thousands of customers regularly. In fact, ‘Dunbar’s Number’ theory substantiates this claim by pointing out that human beings can only have 150 meaningful relationships in their heads. That is why brand managers will have to focus a lot of their efforts on cultivating relationships with only their top customers so that they have repeat sales and word-of-mouth referrals are increased in the maximum possible manner.
The ability to move beyond traditional customer service and customer engagement planning on social media is crucial in driving successful brand growth and customer engagement loyalty across all sections. In a nutshell, engaging customers online and offline media comes down to a passion for creating a brand that enables interaction with customers and talks about their experience, products, and services in an open and understanding environment. When the management of the brand is sincere in its customer engagement planning and creation of customer relationships, then that effectively transforms into a good and superior connection on all possible levels.
Many industries are transforming at a rapid pace, and that is why brand managers need to be aware of the market situation and customer expectations. Here, technologies like data analytics can help brands stay ahead of the competition in a successful and innovative manner. According to Lightspeed’s Retail Technology Adoption report, nearly 26% of retailers plan to use data analytics to make better decisions during the coming year.
The purchasing decision journey of consumers involves multiple points of contact, many of which are being captured, digitized, and transformed into metrics and data by many brands and store managers. This is helped by many tools that are available in the market. As customer engagement data becomes an important factor, data insights can become a competitive advantage for a retailer. That is why gaining these data and their insights becomes very important. All this will result in better results for brand managers and improve and enhance the overall experience of the shopper and consumers.
Strategies You Should Be Using Customer Engagement Planning
Here are some important insights that can strengthen customer engagement planning through the use of analytics and techniques:
1. Analytics can help the consumer increase traffic and footfall metrics in malls and shopping complexes
Tracking visitor traffic patterns in a mall can provide a brand with valuable information about mall activity trends, peak periods, and some top-level impacts like weather, promotional events, and peak periods that can, in turn, greatly affect customer metrics and footfall. Nowadays, all malls collect all the said information, which is useful for analyzing customer behavior and analytics. For instance, this information can use the same analytics on visitor traffic to assess the impact of commercial propositions like product launches, events, etc., to draw more visitors to the mall. All this means that analytics can help the management of a shopping mall to use the data that they collect to gain valuable insights that, in turn, can determine the best time to run a marketing campaign on the one hand and empower brand loyalty and customer engagement strategies on the other hand.
A prime example of mall officials using mall metrics can be understood from the scenario at Kamppi Shopping Centre, located in Finland. This mall employed mall analytics to understand its target audience in a better manner. For a very long duration, the marketing team at the mall was under the impression that evening hours after work were the most profitable, and this was when many people, especially valuable customers, spent their time at the mall. However, after implementing mall analytics, the marketing team realized that most of the valuable customers of the mall came in during the afternoon or lunch hours. These people prefer spending time in the mall after business meetings or running errands.
The marketing team thinks the visitor population on weekends and weekdays is different. However, through analytics, they found that the people who returned to the mall regularly belonged to the same demographics, despite the day of the week. Additionally, mall analytics also helped marketing professionals to compare the performance and popularity of different customer engagement strategies in retail stores within the particular mall.
2. Analytics can help brand managers to understand consumers in a better manner.
Enhancing the layout of the malls and having a sound understanding of the customer is something that mall analytics can help brand managers with to a great extent. Another feature that can help brand and mall managers is heat maps. These heat maps can help brand managers track consumers’ movements within the mall and identify their areas of customer engagement strategies and empowerment. This means that heat maps can effectively help track consumers’ movements and use the same data to assess the impact of layout changes.
Brand managers can effectively improve customer engagement strategies and loyalty by understanding where best to place digital boards and signages. Another benefit of heat maps is that they can help brand managers identify zones with the highest attendance. Using this information, brand managers can improve the traffic in areas with low attendance through various measures like setting up a food joint or a pop store of a popular brand or by even shifting a high-profile store to these areas.
Also, highlighting these areas in shopping apps can help consumers to gain more information about the stores in these regions, thereby increasing their footfall and popularity. A great example of this method used is in Herning Centre mall, where Coupon Zones were created, and consumers were given coupons when they walked in with their mobile phones nearby retail shops. To advertise this, the Coupon zone was marked in yellow circles with the help of banners, which effectively helped to spread the mall’s traffic into different divisions.
3. Analytics can help different customer engagement planning in retail shops to work in tandem with each other.
Maximizing consumer distribution and visits to the mall is also something analytics can help brand managers understand better. This will help mall managers reorganize store placement to result in better profits and engagement. For instance, Adidas and Nike are stores that attract similar customers. So if there is a store that sells similar products and is not enjoying the same level of footfall or traffic, that store can be placed between the other two big brands. This will make it convenient for customers and also increase the traffic of all the concerned stores on the other hand. Analytics like this can help brand managers to understand their audience in a better manner and cater to their needs effectively.
4. Analytics can help to improve brand power and customer engagement loyalty.
Every brand wants to empower and engage with their consumer to grow its reach effectively. That is, analytics can help brand managers to understand customer engagement loyalty patterns that would enhance and increase their visits. When it comes to active customer engagement strategies, the whole playing field is rapidly changing and evolving, especially with the emergence of the digital medium. This is where brand managers can use this medium to deliver personalized and unique promotions. For instance, say a consumer’s favorite brand is Zara. The brand can use messages and advertisements to advertise the latest collection of Zara and drive more consumers to the store.
The need of the hour is, therefore, that brands deliver personalized advertising. That is why gathering consumer information and analytics is integral to the process. Data facilitates wide decision-making so that they can target ads based on the consumer’s interest. By ensuring that the rights ads reach the right visitors, brands can effectively reach their target audience.
In conclusion, analytics can help brand managers to focus on their consumers in a better and more engaging manner. This, in turn, can help them get a better return on their investment and grow their brand. Therefore, data-driven techniques will help brand managers be competitive in the true sense. It will also help them remain competitive in the national and global scenario. Brands must strive to create a continuous communication channel where consumers talk to the brand and simultaneously listen to consumers. By integrating many marketing techniques and analytics, brands can truly take themselves to the next stage of growth and development.
This has been a guide to Customer engagement planning. Here we have discussed the basic concepts and providing a personalized experience based on authentic customer relationships. You may look at the following article to learn more –