Engaging & Retaining Customers
Knowing when customers disengage will help determine what strategies you can put in place to increase engagement through certain key stages of the Customer Engagement Model.
But knowing when to do something is not very helpful if you don’t know what to do.
There are three major factors that cause sharp and distinct variations in the levels of customer engagement. The three factors go hand-in-hand and can be found to influence disengagement through all of the stages.
Causes of Customer Disengagement
Content appropriateness means you’re accurately meeting the content needs of your target audience, in terms of both relevance and quality. Increasing the quality and relevance of your content assists in transferring your customers from one stage to another and will lessen the likelihood of disengagement
Design plays a key role in delivering your promises to your audience. Whether you use text, pictures, audio, video or other formats, your website’s design must match the online behaviours of your target audience if it is to be an effective engagement tool.
Design incorporates presentation and navigation. Ease of use and simplicity are two of the key principles to effective web design.
The technical performance of your website reflects its efficiency which, in turn, is critical to retaining customers. From the point of view of customers, performance is assessed by how quickly the pages are downloaded into their browsers, but also how quickly they can perform important tasks.
Increasing Customer Engagement
If you’re finding customers increasingly disengaging from your website, the first thing to check is the possibility of a mismatch between the content you’re providing and the overall communication message of the website to your target market. It might just be that the message they see on the page they arrive at is fundamentally different to the message that invited the visitor in the first place.
An example might be where the initial message offered free delivery with a call to action for the visitor to provide their email address. When the visitor gets taken to the next page, they discover a website message that further refines the offer by limiting it to people within 10 km of the store.
Similarly, if a visitor has to go through hoops, provide their name, address, drivers license, pet dog’s name etc, to get access to something you’re offering, it’ll result in surefire disengagement. There is a saying amongst the website usability community “Ask them for what they need to provide in order to carry out the next step…and nothing more.”
In fact, in Australia it is illegal to collect personally identifiable information unless there is a clear and specific need. The National Privacy Principles September 2001 even go so far as to say “It would not ordinarily be acceptable for an organisation to collect personal information on the off chance that it may become necessary for one of its functions or activities in the future.“.
Fundamental to any website strategy adopted for Digital Marketing is to ensure that the value provided to visitors and customers is relevant to their stage of engagement.
And where price/performance, the cost to achieve a particular result, continues to decrease, we are now seeing technology concede to more human qualities such as Influence and Trust.
When you’re next thinking about online business improvement, think about what you can do to put a human side to your website.