5 More Customer Engagement Challenges & How to Fix Them

Inspiring interaction between brand and customer has long been a major goal of marketers. But in today’s rapidly evolving, digital-first landscape, customer engagement has become more important than ever. With so many communication platforms at their disposal, brands and retailers have unprecedented opportunities to reach consumers at different stages of the buying journey. At the same time, they face a sharp decline in conversions if they can’t capture and maintain their audience’s attention in a highly saturated digital market.
 
That’s why it’s essential for brands to have a solid customer engagement strategy — and to identify and address the issues that may be harming or hampering their efforts. As a follow-up to our first blog post on common customer engagement problems, here are five more engagement challenges brands frequently face and how to overcome them.

56% of brands that developed formal customer engagement strategies reported exceeding their revenue goals in 2020. (SOURCE)

1. Strained Resources

Not all brands have the bandwidth to carry out a fully-baked customer engagement plan from a manual perspective. Fortunately, marketing automation has made it possible for businesses of all shapes and sizes to implement strategies and carry out essential tasks without the need for additional human labor. This is especially true when it comes to customer service solutions for smaller companies.

For example, customers who receive personal messages during their buying journey are 7.2 times more likely to make a purchase. AI-driven chatbots can achieve this objective — and don’t worry, today’s chatbots are nothing like the stilted and robotic communicators of the past. Powered by machine learning and natural language processing, they can analyze data, make personalized recommendations, and intuitively respond to visitors in a natural, engaging way. Chatbots are also highly efficient data collectors that can help build out your marketing lists and segment your audience more effectively.

2. Poor Personalization

While a variety of factors can negatively affect a user’s overall brand experience, poor personalization has quickly become one of the most significant. Today’s consumers don’t have the willingness to wade through irrelevant messaging — nearly three-quarters say they’re frustrated by impersonal shopping experiences and will only engage with messaging that’s clearly tailored to their interests. And almost half say they’ll head straight to Amazon if the brand they’re shopping with doesn’t provide relevant product suggestions.

At the same time, 77 percent of shoppers say receiving push notifications or text messages for promotions that they’re not interested in is extremely irritating, which means that poor personalization strategies can be just damaging as having none at all. To ensure you’re delivering an experience that makes each customer feel recognized as an individual without missing the mark, your communications need to be powered by actionable insights based on accurate data. And in today’s new age of restricted third-party tracking, that requires solid collection strategies for first-party data.
 
For example, offering incentives such as loyalty points or coupon codes in exchange for participation in questionnaires or surveys is an excellent way to gather valuable first-person data. In fact, according to a recent survey, half of consumers say they’re willing to share personal info in exchange for perks such as free shipping, rewards points, or discounts and coupons codes.

3. Scaling Creative

When it comes to using data to power advertising campaigns such as display ads, many in-house creative teams find themselves overwhelmed by the amount of variation that’s required. Fortunately, dynamic creative ad templates provide an easy fix by automatically swapping out ad elements to build new creatives without any manual effort. 
 
For example, feed-based creatives allow teams to build hundreds of ads that are optimized for product remarketing and retargeting campaigns. These creatives can be filtered by a wide range of data sets, including geolocation, sales history, contextual info, previous engagement data, price range, and more.
 
Additionally, marketers can improve upon the effectiveness of their dynamic creatives without taxing additional resources by utilizing

Personalized calls to action convert 202% better than non-personalized ones. Hubspot 

4. Disconnected Customer Journeys

Today’s consumers want complete control over the how, when, and where of their shopping journey. This means to successfully drive engagement, brands must be prepared to engage with their customers across all channels, from website and mobile and to social and in-store. Not only that, brands need to create consistency across platforms — providing users with a cohesive and seamless experience across all major touchpoints is essential for driving engagement.

Take Starbucks, for example. The coffee giant’s rewards program kills it when it comes to customer engagement, due in large part to its masterful leveraging of omnichannel marketing. Whether program members decide to buy their java by app, online, or in-store, they’re able to access their rewards points and have updates to their accounts made in real-time across all channels. At the same time, the app streamlines the buying experience by connecting mobile and in-store experiences, allowing customers to place their orders ahead of time so they can bypass the line when they arrive at the store.

If putting together an omnichannel marketing strategy for your brand seems daunting, it’s important to remember that it’s not really about the number of channels you utilize. Rather, it’s about honing in on the platforms most important to your target audience and keeping the content relevant to each channel. As with personalization, you need robust data resources to do this effectively. The best way to start is to evaluate your channels by digging into behavioral data and determining where you should be focusing your efforts.

5. Lack of Strategy

Today’s consumers want complete control over the how, when, and where of their shopping journey. This means to successfully drive engagement, brands must be prepared to engage with their customers across all channels, from website and mobile and to social and in-store. Not only that, brands need to create consistency across platforms — providing users with a cohesive and seamless experience across all major touchpoints is essential for driving engagement.

Take Starbucks, for example. The coffee giant’s rewards program kills it when it comes to customer engagement, due in large part to its masterful leveraging of omnichannel marketing. Whether program members decide to buy their java by app, online, or in-store, they’re able to access their rewards points and have updates to their accounts made in real-time across all channels. At the same time, the app streamlines the buying experience by connecting mobile and in-store experiences, allowing customers to place their orders ahead of time so they can bypass the line when they arrive at the store.

If putting together an omnichannel marketing strategy for your brand seems daunting, it’s important to remember that it’s not really about the number of channels you utilize. Rather, it’s about honing in on the platforms most important to your target audience and keeping the content relevant to each channel. As with personalization, you need robust data resources to do this effectively. The best way to start is to evaluate your channels by digging into behavioral data and determining where you should be focusing your efforts.

Some brands simply don’t have the in-house expertise to create and execute successful customer engagement strategies. Luckily, this is one of the easiest customer engagement challenges to tackle, as it can be solved by partnering with experts who specialize in niche marketing areas like customer engagement strategy. In most cases, it costs less time and money to outsource these duties than it does to assemble, train, and oversee in-house teams. And at the end of the day, attempting to implement engagement strategies with limited skill, knowledge, and resources will only hamper their results and diminish campaign ROI.

In Short

Customer engagement challenges are common among brands and businesses of all shapes and sizes, especially in today’s overcrowded, digital-first marketing landscape. If you’re struggling to retain and convert customers, it may be time to take a look at what your business is doing to optimize audience interaction and engage customers across channels. Nine times out of ten, there is a solution that can be easily implemented with the help of a skilled, experienced marketing partner.

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