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Customer Engagement – You’re probably doing it wrong

Customer Engagement is not what most people think it is. Even Wikipedia only has it half right and still misses much of the point.

Customer engagement (CE) is the engagement of customers with one another, with a company or a brand.

That part is fine but they go on to say;

Customer engagement marketing places conversions into a longer term, more strategic context, and … the understanding that a simple focus on maximising conversions can, in some circumstances, decrease the likelihood of repeat conversions CE aims at long-term engagement, encouraging customer loyalty and advocacy through word-of-mouth

Again only partially right. Customer Engagement is not just long term and is not just word of mouth. Yes it is more than just simple conversion oriented marketing and that is what gives it power if done right.

In our always on, globally connected world your customers and prospects can know who you are even when you are not Marketing to them. The will form their opinion based on what you say and do in your marketing, in your interactions with other customers and prospects, your customer service actions. Based on news about you, online posts, tweets, product and company reviews and even the lack of them will say as much as your Marketing ever can. And it will say it more often they your paid marketing efforts can ever hope for.

So what to do? Begin by realizing that everything your business says and does is a form of Customer Engagement. Everything your customers or prospects says or does is Customer Engagement. The same is true of the press and even your staff and partners and especially disgruntled customers and employees.

Oh and most frightening, your competitors might actually be an unintended channel for Customer Engagement. If you have not clearly differentiated yourself from them, their actions can tarnish you and in fact a whole industry.

So if you have not considered the full Customer Engagement Environment your likely doing it wrong.