Blog April 15, 2019

Your Customer Engagement Strategy is Scaring Your Customers

Originally appeared in MarTech Advisor on April 4, 2019

An overly complicated customer engagement strategy results in a disconnected experience for your customers. Here are pointers to help you become more efficient and build loyal customers through a simplified customer engagement approach, says Maropost CEO, Ross Andrew Paquette.

According to Gartner, 89% of companies compete based predominantly on customer experience, yet many companies are simply getting it wrong by overcomplicating the customer journey – doing too much, with too little focus and very little connection between moving parts.

It’s time to shift the focus to quality over quantity to deliver exceptional experiences for customers.

You’re doing too much to engage your customers.

Think about all the interactions you have with your customer base. Chances are, you are leveraging a variety of media and channels to deliver marketing and sales messages. You might think that by using every possible outlet, people must be engaged with your content, but in reality, lines are getting crossed and your communication is disjointed. As a result, your customers don’t get a sense of who you are or what you can offer them.

Additionally, by resorting to the age-old “spray and pray” method, you aren’t showing customers that you care about them as individuals or their wants and needs. Rather than thinking about what else you could be doing to market to customers, consider those customers’ characteristics and behavior-what they are looking for, where they are in the buying process, what (if anything) they have in their cart, past purchases, etc.-and focus your efforts on that. Use the data in your arsenal to better understand your customer, and create personalized messages and experiences that speak directly to what they are looking for.

You are gathering large amounts of customer data and don’t know how to connect it all together.

Companies are also taking the “more is more” approach when it comes to collecting customer data. It seems right; the more data you gather, the better insight you will get into demographics, interests, and behavior, right? Not necessarily.

We often see organizations using too many marketing technologies to both execute and analyze campaigns, none of which work in conjunction. By using multiple programs, you get multiple sets of fragmented data, and your marketing team gets bogged down trying to analyze it and tie it all together. Excessive data coming in from different directions makes it difficult to create an action plan that is customized to engage every customer.

This doesn’t mean you should cut certain programs, but it does mean streamlining your approach to collect only the data you need and do more with what you already have. By being analytical and insights-focused, data won’t be a complex monster to tackle; it will instead be a helpful tool to guide you through your customer engagement strategy.

You are analyzing the wrong metrics.

While it’s important to consider engagement and conversion rates to inform your marketing strategy, they don’t address levels of customer satisfaction, and ultimately it is happy and loyal customers that drive success. Anybody can buy from you once, but an engaged and satisfied customer will make purchases from you again and again, and retaining customers is vital to a lucrative business.

Since it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to retain a current one, the most important metric for B2C organizations is Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV). In fact, it is the metric that should inform business decisions. To estimate your CLTV, take your average purchase value, multiply it by the average purchase frequency rate, and multiply that number by the average customer lifespan.

You are only thinking about short-term rewards and quick wins.

It feels great to see high open and click-through rates for a promotional email, but what does that actually mean for you and your business? Many marketing teams are operating task by task rather than thinking about their customer engagement as a whole. Sure, the individual puzzle pieces are important, but by seeing the bigger picture, you take the customer more into consideration than reporting numbers.

That one email with a great CTR? Your customer isn’t going to remember it after a few days. What they will remember is the entirety of their experience with your brand, and even though they were interested in one specific message, that doesn’t mean they are satisfied overall. The irritation consumers feel from being targeted with irrelevant content only leads to pain on behalf of an e-commerce provider losing its audience as a result of focusing on quick wins. It’s easy to get overly focused on the immediate wins, which leads them to miss out on the big prize – a loyal and long-standing customer base. Engaging with your customers should be an ongoing practice; you must iterate on your strategy to continue providing value and fulfilling their needs.

You are using too much technology to get too few results.

Adding more platforms to your tech stack won’t fix the data problem, it will only make it more complex. For simple, effective customer engagement, look for a unified platform that integrates all the solutions you need to create campaigns, engage with customers, and collect and analyze data. Simplifying your customer engagement strategy will drive an optimal customer experience and build a group of loyal brand followers.

Customer engagement is the top priority of any business that sells online. It can be easy to undo progress with a misstep; however, by focusing on simplifying each part of the process, your customer engagement has the power to become your top revenue-driving strategy.

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