Merchants have always valued loyal, engaged customers, but until recently, there hasn’t been a ton of measurable evidence to explain just how important they are. With today’s data, we now know that customer engagement directly relates to revenue.

Engaged customers buy 90% more often and spend 60% more per transaction, according to research from Rosetta Consulting Company. The bottom line? To drive revenue, you need to engage customers. But, how? What’s the best way to engage customers that result in both strong relationships and impact to your bottom line?

Here are five digital customer engagement tactics that every business can use to increase revenue:

1. Reward your best customers

Your customer base is made up of a lot of people, but the ones that keep coming back – they deserve special attention.

Wait. Aren’t you supposed to treat every customer the same? Yes and no. You want every customer to feel respected and appreciated, but loyal customers spend an average of 66% more than occasional customers. That’s a significant chunk of your profits, so it’s wise to elevate your marketing efforts for VIP customers.

Loyal customers don’t just spend more, they’re more likely to refer your business, too. Fifty-five percent of loyal customers recommend brands they love to the people they love, according to a customer loyalty report from Accenture.

How should you reward your VIP customers?

  • Step #1: Identify them

Capture customer data that shows you how often customers buy from you, what they spend, and which products they buy most often. (Hint: a customer engagement platform does this for you.)

  • Step #2: Create a specialized promotion

Create a promotion or deal that’s just for your VIP customers. Maybe it’s $5 off their entire purchase or a freebie with a small purchase. Make it something special and relevant to them based on the purchase and behavior data you have.

  • Step #3: Send it to VIPs

Press “send.” Make sure the platform you’re using to communicate with customers gives you the ability to send messages in a variety of ways, like email, text, and push notifications. You want to connect with customers on the channels and platforms they prefer.

  • Step #4: Watch happy, loyal customers roll in

With an awesome offer to redeem, you’ll see a steady stream of loyal customers come in and visit your business and more often than not, spend more than offer calls for. We call this the overspend effect.

Pinthouse Pizza rewards its most loyal customers with special promotions, deals, and even company swag. Loyal customers get a recurring promotion and extended happy hours, and the results are impressive.

The company says they’ve watched their profits climb by 18%, thanks in part to customer engagement that helps them identify and reward their VIP customers.

2. Surprise and delight your customers

Customers come and go, but why? The main reason customers leave might surprise you.

Research shows 60% of customers leave because they think companies are indifferent to their existence, according to research presented by Customer Experience Insight. In other words, customers leave because businesses act like they don’t care about them. While it’s surprising, this problem is 100% fixable.

Customers want to feel appreciated. They want to know that their purchases matter. To respond, send targeted messages and offers that surprise and delight your customers.

In an effort to show their customers how much they mean to their business, Dewey’s Pizza sent an impressive offer. On National Cheese Pizza day, customers received a $10 off promotion good towards a 17” pizza.

The company sends regular promotions to its customers, but a $10 offer was larger than usual. This attention-grabbing promotion was a huge success. By surprising and delighting customers with an irresistible promotion, the company saw a 20% jump in sales on that day.

3. Use AI to winback customers

Sometimes, despite your best efforts to do right by your customers, they leave. Research suggests that a growing number of customers are switching companies, leaving an estimated $1.6 trillion up for grabs, according to a report from Accenture.

With each switch, you lose money. But, what if you could stop a customer from leaving? With the right customer engagement platform, you can.

Through sophisticated AI and data tracking, a customer engagement platform can detect when a customer’s visit frequency slows and send an automated promotion to bring him or her back to your business.

Pacific Catch, a West Coast Fish House, used an automated customer engagement winback campaign to detect lapses in visits. When a customer’s visit frequency slowed, the company sent an automated promotion to encourage a return visit. The result? The company won back over 2,000 customers and brought in hundreds of thousands in incremental revenue.

4. Collect and respond to feedback privately and personally

To truly understand how your customers feel about your product and company, you must capture customer feedback.

While many merchants realize the importance of gathering feedback, many are hesitant to do it. They don’t want to bother customers or they’re afraid of what they might say – the list of reasons to shy away from obtaining customer opinions are vast.

However, research suggests customers are happy to provide feedback, you just have to do one thing: Ask. That’s right, 70% of customers will give you an honest review of your product or company if you just ask them.

EVO Entertainment group sends its customers an NPS survey after each visit. This survey asks one question: How likely are you to refer our business to family or friends? Customers answer the question on a sliding scale, with 0 being not likely to refer and 10 being very likely to refer.

When a customer gives a low score, it alerts the company who responds directly to the dissatisfied customer. In addition, the manager may send the customer an offer to give the company another shot.

As a result of personally responding to feedback, 63% of unhappy customers returned to EVO.

Customers want to feel heard, and responding personally to feedback is a great way to make that happen.

5. Use offers that change customer behavior

Driving engaged customers to your store is effective, but what if you want to shift customer behavior? For instance, what if you want to introduce customers to a new product or service that you just released?

Elephants Delicatessen, a quick service restaurant based in Portland, wanted to do just that.  The company wanted to introduce its weekday regulars to their weekend brunch at a different location.

Their customers typically stop in during the weekdays, but now they wanted to show customers how awesome a weekend visit could be.

On a Friday night, Elephants Delicatessen sent their weekday customers a 20% off coupon for brunch via email and a push notification. As a result, the restaurant saw a 43% increase in month-over-month traffic on the weekend.

The restaurant proves that well-timed promotions not only drive sales but influence – and even change – customer behavior.

Wrap up

The key to growing a successful business in today’s world is through digital customer engagement. You need a way to reach customers with relevant messaging and offers to build relationships and drive measurable repeat sales. The time is now to engage your customers.

Customer Engagement in the Era of Hyper-Personalization GET THE GUIDE

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