7 ways to improve customer engagement on a tight budget

Natalie Smithson
AI enthusiast | Tea addict | Focused on using AI assistants to win the working week
happy customer using ai assistant

Improving customer engagement means you can build a loyal customer base that’s willing to grow with your business, but how do you do that on a tight budget? Find out why a well-executed customer engagement strategy is key to your success. Get engagement right and you can quickly build deeper connections with your customers to keep them coming back to you year after year, ahead of even your biggest competitors. Discover how to create meaningful experiences that go beyond selling, and why metrics and tracking are so important.

What is a customer engagement strategy?

A customer engagement strategy is a plan of action you can develop to engage with your customers in a way that builds strong relationships that last, so you can exceed customer expectations before, during, and after a sale across all your channels. Use it to identify and document communication channels you’ll use to reach them, the kinds of content you’ll share, methods of listening and responding to customer feedback, and the types of rewards or incentives you might offer.

Why is it important to have a customer engagement strategy?

A customer engagement strategy is about creating valuable experiences that encourage customer loyalty. When customers have a positive experience they’re left with a positive perception of your brand, and if they’re happy overall, satisfaction increases too, which in turn pushes up brand loyalty.

84% of companies say improving customer engagement increases revenue, and when you focus on giving customers value beyond the price tag of your offer, you can quickly turn them into loyal brand advocates too. Let’s not forget, loyal customers are 23% more likely to spend money with you.

In addition, Salesforce found 93% of consumers are more likely to make repeat purchases after a positive customer service experience, and 78% will do business with you again, even if you make a mistake, which increases the lifetime value (LTV) of your customer.

LTV estimates the total value a customer will bring to your business over the course of their relationship, looking beyond the first transaction. Referrals are just as important as repeat purchases, since 94% of consumers who rate your customer service “very good” are likely to recommend you to someone else.

All of that means learning about the needs and interests of your customers is an essential part of putting together a successful customer engagement strategy. Clarify how you’ll use the stories behind the metrics for greater impact, so rather than just engage with customers and accept feedback, decide how you’ll listen to and act on what they tell you. This gives you a deeper understanding of customer needs, pain points, and preferences, so you can increase engagement, conversions, retention and referrals.

What metrics should customer service professionals use to track success?

The types of metrics you use to track your progress will vary depending on the industry you’re in, the size of your business, your goals for success, and available resources. When you start to focus on customer engagement, you’ll naturally start to track how many people convert and how happy they are, alongside metrics like LTV.

  • Conversion rates ― percentage of website visitors who take a desired action, like making a purchase, asking for a meeting, or subscribing to a newsletter. Increase engagement and you’re more likely to increase conversions since you’re building familiarity and trust.
  • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) ― how satisfied customers are with your products or services, usually via a survey with a rating scale.

You might use advanced analytics tools and more complex calculations to affect things like:

If you’re specifically looking to reduce call volumes or wait times, you’re most likely looking at:

Choose metrics that show the true impact of all activities across your whole customer base and track them consistently, perhaps within the OKR framework, so you can follow progress.

7 customer engagement strategies you can start using today

The possibilities for engaging with your customers are endless. Share insights and ideas across your organisation, so you can optimise touchpoints across the whole customer journey.

Here are seven suggestions to get you started:

  1. Be active on social media

    Create compelling and shareable content, engage with customers through comments and direct messages, run social media contests and giveaways, and provide customer support. This allows customers to interact with your brand in real time, creating more of a bond so you can build long-lasting relationships. It also helps you better understand customer needs and preferences.

  2. Fill your blog with useful content

    Create high-quality, informative content relevant to your target audience, encourage comments and social sharing, use visuals and multimedia to enhance engagement, and actively promote your blog through email newsletters and social media. Your blog posts not only help build trust and relationships with customers, they should offer valuable information and resources to help your readers make more informed decisions.

  3. Send emails to customers regularly

    Create personalised and relevant content, segment your email list to target specific groups, include clear calls to action, and provide exclusive promotions or incentives. Regular emails keep customers informed about everything you’re doing, from new or upgraded products and service to latest offers, which consistently reminds them of the value your business brings.

  4. Give away freebies

    Offer complimentary perks or value-added benefits to your customers, like free shipping, extended warranty, or exclusive access to content or events relevant to your audience. This encourages customers to make a purchase and keeps them feeling valued and connected.

  5. Personalise your service

    Tailor offers, content, and support using customer data, use AI to spot trends and improve personalisation, and optimise advertising and recommendations for a better experience. A more personalised approach means customers can feel better appreciated as you demonstrate they’re more than just a number ― show people they matter.

  6. Use live chat

    Offer instant customer support for issues that can’t be automated and resolve them in real time, maintaining a personal connection with your customers where it’s needed. Live chat provides an opportunity for customers to get their questions answered quickly and efficiently, improving both customer satisfaction and engagement. 

  7. Launch a chatbot or advanced AI assistant

    Deliver round-the-clock customer support, handle queries and transactions instantly, reduce contact volumes and wait times, offer more personalised services, upsell and cross-sell, link up with live chat, and integrate with your other business systems for a seamless multi-channel experience. AI automation is essential to be able to provide an efficient, personalised, and convenient way for your customers to get the answers they need quickly.

Why AI is disrupting customer support and how it improves service

Salesforce found high-performing service organisations are 2.1 times more likely than underperformers to be using AI chatbots. Launching even the most sophisticated AI assistant is fast and affordable these days, so it’s accessible for customer service professionals on any budget. Growth happens quickly and AI assistants are infinitely scalable. Customers can enjoy a 24-hour service and engage with your company any time they want to on any channel for both simple and complex queries.

  • That’s a far superior experience for customers than waiting in a lengthy call queue or for a reply to an email, especially since the average response time for customer service emails is 12 hours and 62% of businesses ignore email altogether.
  • Your AI assistant can live simultaneously on social media, messaging services like WhatsApp, smart speakers, SMS, and more, so rather than build several expensive pieces of kit to create customer engagement touchpoints, simply add more to your one affordable AI assistant.
  • You can use one AI assistant across multiple departments, like Barking & Dagenham Council. Theirs handles everything from council tax and benefits to parking permits, so customer engagement is opened up across the whole council, not just for isolated tasks in one team.
  • Tens of thousands of customers can engage with your AI assistant at once without slowing it down, so you don’t lose a sale. That’s unlike traditional websites where Google found 53% of visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
  • Every time a customer engages with your AI assistant, you can get instant, on-the-spot feedback. Instead of creating a separate survey using an external service or provider, you can include a rating scale (use emojis if you want to) at the end of every conversation.

The needs and preferences of your customers are ever-evolving, as are the technologies and tools you can use to satisfy them. A well-executed customer engagement strategy makes sure you continuously improve your offer to meet these needs, improve efficiency, and create better customer experiences. These lead to increased customer engagement, loyalty, and business growth.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can a customer engagement strategy increase revenue?
When customers have a positive experience, they are more likely to become loyal brand advocates and spend more money with your business. Improving customer engagement can also increase repeat purchases and referrals, which increases the lifetime value of your customers.
What is effective customer engagement?
Effective customer engagement is a plan of action that involves building strong relationships with customers that last beyond a sale. It involves identifying and documenting communication channels to reach customers, sharing valuable content, listening and responding to customer feedback, and offering rewards or incentives.
How can a business listen to and act on customer feedback?
Businesses can use a variety of methods to listen to and act on customer feedback, such as surveys, social media listening tools, customer service interactions, and data analysis. It's important to clarify how feedback will be used and act on it to show customers that their opinions are valued.
How can I personalise my service for my customers?
To personalise your service for your customers, you should tailor your offers, content, and support using customer data, use AI to spot trends and improve personalisation, and optimise advertising and recommendations for a better experience.
How can I use chatbots to improve customer engagement?
Improve customer engagement is possible through the utilisation of chatbots. Advanced AI assistants are now both fast and affordable, making them accessible to customer service professionals regardless of their budget. With rapid growth and infinite scalability, AI assistants offer round-the-clock service. Customers can conveniently engage with your company on any channel, at any time, seeking solutions to both simple and complex queries.