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The word “engagement” has generated quite a buzz over the past several years. It seems everyone is worried about their customers’ level of engagement and what it takes to keep those levels high, but what exactly is it and how do you best measure it?
Put simply, customer engagement is the relationship you create that fosters brand loyalty and it happens by delivering connected, aligned experiences to your customers instead of one-off transactions. It is also usually a strong indicator of how happy your customers are with your product or services and ultimately how likely they are to stick with you. Disengaged customers on the other hand are likely not going to stick around for the long haul. As such, you must be able to keep a pulse on customer engagement across a number of factors quickly and easily.
So what metrics can you put into place to accurately assess engagement? Based on my nearly 25-year career in B2B software sales and marketing, these are the five most important factors metrics and why they matter most.
Related: 6 Marketing Metrics Every Business Should Track
A customer’s engagement with your company and brand is rarely going to be higher than at the beginning of their tenure with you. Your product or service benefits are fresh in the customer’s mind, and it’s up to you to make the most of that enthusiasm the best that you can. This is especially true if your product or service offering is lesser known; larger brands with established reputations enjoy the benefit of legacy marketing efforts that make customers less likely to abandon them when frustrated. If you’re not a well-known brand, that first week is even more important.
Something that can help with first-week engagement is literally showing your customers their onboarding process — guiding, tracking and displaying the progress they’re making to get them up and running. If they can visualize where they are in their own journey, they’re more likely to stay engaged and thus, more likely to stick with you.
While there may be bumps in the road during onboarding, the key is to be ready to help with reliable customer support when they reach out. Things like chatbots, onboarding “how-to” videos and FAQs can be helpful here, but nothing is going to replace one-to-one interaction with a dedicated onboarding specialist or support team member. Show your customer they’re valuable right off the bat by providing dedicated support.
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Are your customers happy enough to recommend you to their friends? If your customers aren’t likely to recommend you, you have a big problem. That’s why measuring NPS is critical.
When your customers are surveyed, they’re almost certainly being asked on a scale of 1 to 10 how likely they are to recommend your company/product — and the hope is that your most engaged, happiest customers will help spread the word about you. Those who score 0 to 6 are called “detractors,” 7-8 are called “passives” and 9-10 are engaged, happy customers — your “promoters.”
Your NPS = promoter percentage – detractor percentage. Generally speaking, a great way to track your brand health (and predict revenue) is from NPS.
Related: Redefining Customer Engagement in a World Where Data Privacy Reigns
Customer satisfaction (CSAT)
One step simpler than the NPS is a CSAT score, which is often measured in a quick 1 to 5 star or emoji rating, and it’s something all companies can benefit from. These fast check-ins are easy for customers to execute quickly (they’re literally just one question) and help brands measure engagement. It might help to think of NPS as tracking customer loyalty, while CSAT tracks customer satisfaction — and both are important.
Smaller businesses and startups must measure CSAT as they keep a pulse on how well their new-to-market solutions are working, while bigger brands need the metrics when rolling out upgrades to their platforms.
User activity metrics
One of the most important metrics you can keep tabs on is user activity metrics — daily and monthly active users (DAUs and MAUs) — because they show you how engaging your product is and how often customers are using different aspects of your product. If customers don’t use your product or its key features that drive value, it isn’t “sticky,” and that’s a bad sign. The last thing you want is a surge of sign-ons followed by your product sitting idly unused; your customers won’t be your customers for long.
These metrics are important for all companies, from tiny startups to tech behemoths. Small to medium-sized companies can benefit from this metric by acknowledging marketing strategy milestones, and MAUs are important for large companies to maximize their market share for ever-important bottom-line profitability. But it doesn’t stop there — DAUs and MAUs don’t just indicate market share. MAUs are your benchmarks, DAUs are your indicators, and if you see a big difference between the two, something could be going wrong.
Related: Customer Experience Is Gaining Traction. But Are We Measuring It The Right Way?
We mentioned above that DAUs and MAUs can show how “sticky” your offering is — but what does this mean? This very important metric shows how engaged and happy your customers are with your product/service based on how often they come back to it. It’s an easy and effective way to see how likely they are to “stick” with you and all you need is a simple formula: DAU/ MAU = Stickiness.
You may see businesses use churn rate as an alternative measure for stickiness, but once a customer is gone, they’re gone; using DAU and MAU allows for a more proactive approach in combating issues while your customers are still your customers.
Engagement isn’t just an industry buzzword that you can ignore. If you care about retaining your customers, you care about engagement and you should care about measuring it. With the right metrics and tools, you can be sure your customers will stick with you for the long haul.