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The word “engagement” has made quite a splash over the past few years. Everyone seems to be concerned about the level of engagement of their customers and what it takes to keep this level high, but what exactly and how best to measure it?
Simply put, customer interactions are the relationships you create that foster brand loyalty, and it does so by providing your customers with a connected, consistent experience instead of one-off transactions. It is also generally a strong indicator of how satisfied your customers are with your product or service and, ultimately, how likely they are to stay with you. On the other hand, uninterested customers are not likely to stick around for long. As such, you need to be able to quickly and easily keep your finger on the pulse of customer interactions across a range of factors.
So what metrics can you use to accurately gauge engagement? Based on my nearly 25 year career in B2B software sales and marketing, these are the five most important metrics and why they matter the most.
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Participation in the first week
A customer’s interaction with your company and brand will rarely be higher than at the start of their stay with you. The benefits of your product or service are still fresh in the customer’s mind, and you should make the most of that enthusiasm. This is especially true if your product or service is less well known; larger brands with established reputations are taking advantage of outdated marketing efforts that make it less likely that customers will abandon them when they are disappointed. If you’re not a well-known brand, this first week is even more important.
Something that can help with first week engagement is literally showing your clients their onboarding process – guiding, tracking, and displaying the progress they’re making to get them to work. If they can visualize where they are on their own journey, they are more likely to stay engaged and therefore more likely to stay with you.
While there can be challenges during onboarding, it’s important to be ready to provide solid customer support when they contact you. Things like chatbots, how-to videos, and answers to frequently asked questions can be helpful here, but there is no substitute for a one-on-one interaction with a dedicated onboarding specialist or support team member. Immediately show your customers that they are valuable by providing dedicated support.
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Are your customers happy enough to recommend you to their friends? If your clients are unlikely to recommend you, you are in big trouble. This is why measuring NPS is critical.
When your customers are surveyed, they are almost certainly asked on a scale of 1 to 10 how likely they are to recommend your company/product, and hopefully your most engaged and happiest customers will help spread the word about you. Those who score from 0 to 6 are called “critics”, those who score from 7 to 8 are called “passive”, and those who score from 9 to 10 are called engaged, satisfied customers – your “promoters”.
Your NPS = percentage of supporters – percentage of detractors. Generally speaking, a great way to track the health of your brand (and forecast revenue) is through NPS.
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Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)
One step easier than NPS is the CSAT score, which is often measured by a quick rating of 1 to 5 stars or emojis, and is something that all businesses can benefit from. These quick checks are easy for customers to complete (it’s literally one question) and help brands measure engagement. It would be helpful to think of NPS as a customer loyalty tracker while CSAT tracks customer satisfaction – and both are important.
Small businesses and startups should measure CSAT as they monitor how well their new-to-market solutions are performing, while larger brands need metrics as they roll out updates to their platforms.
User activity metrics
One of the most important metrics you can keep an eye on is user activity metrics – daily and monthly active users (DAUs and MAUs) – because they show you how attractive your product is and how often customers use different aspects of your product. If customers aren’t using your product or its key value-adding features, it’s not “sticky” and that’s a bad sign. The last thing you want is a surge in registrations, after which your product will be idle; your customers won’t be your customers for long.
These metrics are important for all companies, from tiny startups to tech giants. Small and medium-sized companies can benefit from this metric by recognizing marketing strategy milestones, and MAUs are important for large companies to maximize their market share for consistently important bottom line profitability. But it doesn’t stop there – DAU and MAU 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 can go wrong.
RELATED: Customer experience gains momentum. But are we measuring it correctly?
We mentioned above that DAU and MAU can show how “sticky” your offer is – but what does that mean? This very important metric shows how satisfied your customers are with your product/service based on how often they return to it. This is a simple and effective way to see how likely they are to stick to you, and all you need is a simple formula: DAU/MAU = Stickiness.
You can see companies using churn rate as an alternative measure of stickiness, but once a customer is gone, they are gone; using DAUs and MAUs allows for more proactive problem solving while your customers remain your customers.
Engagement is not just an industry buzzword that you can ignore. If you care about customer retention, you care about their engagement, and you should care about measuring it. With the right metrics and tools, you can be sure that your customers will stay with you for a long time.