Continuing the Turning Customer Complaints Into Gold series, this is part 3, Define and Implement an Engagement Strategy.
A brief outline of the topics that are part of this series:
- Embrace Complaints
- Dive deeper in understanding your customers
- Define and implement an engagement strategy
- Create new benefits that will better serve your customers
- Build a retention program that encompasses your engagement strategy and new benefit offerings
You’re making progress on embracing the complaints and gaining a deeper understanding of your customers…awesome!
Now, let’s look at your engagement strategy and current efforts.
Engagement = Relationship, that’s it. There is nothing else to it; however, it is not an easy thing to master and no matter how good at it you are (or believe you are), there is room for improvement, especially with technology advancing as rapidly as it is and the significant influence it has on consumer behavior.
The first thing to tackle is getting a view of your current structure of methods and channels that you utilize to communicate with your customers.
Does your current structure align with the preferences that your customers want to be engaged? What gaps exist?
Please note that a gap may mean that a current method is outdated and needs to be upgraded. A gap is not always a “missing” piece.
Gaps are now identified, now what? Firstly, resist the urge to start putting a solution in place for each of the gaps.
You need to take a step back and think about what is it that you want to accomplish and how this will fit within your company’s overarching vision and goals.
What’s The Goal?
Increasing customer retention is generic and is what I hear all the time. Let’s go a level deeper and look at how to accomplish this goal.
For example, “needing to increase customer feedback by 10%”. Ok, that’s more specific, but don’t stop there. Take this and tie it into another objective such as “using customer feedback to develop new features”. And so on and so on.
By doing this, you are ultimately defining your engagement strategy at which time, you’ll be able to then define the best-fit solutions for the gaps that were identified.
From a strategic road mapping exercise, you may want to start with your existing base first since it’s crucial to keep your revenue base strong.
I’d like to also point out, that your engagement strategy should include the very first point of contact with prospective customers (i.e. the Sales process) and not just focused on existing customers.
This alignment creates a compounding effect.
For example, if a customer signed up via the telesales method, more than likely, they will engage and respond well with a phone call in addition to your emails.
You’ve now taken the momentum of the initial sale and used that to drive a long-term relationship.
It’s not about one method per customer preference, it’s about knowing which method to use for each scenario per customer preference. It’s an ecosystem vs a standalone channel.
Putting this together, your engagement solution will create an environment where customers want to have a dialogue with you and not just log a complaint.
It shows them that you understand them and listen to their preferences.
Your engagement strategy should always be evolving and adapting. What is impactful and relevant today may not be tomorrow.
In short, your customer complaints are useful inputs to your engagement methods and channels.
Up next…#4 Creating New Benefits
Previous blogs on this series: