Customer engagement versus customer Experience

Ashley Sava

March 19, 2020

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When you think about customer experience (CX), you must think about it in terms of a customer’s entire journey with your brand. At its core, CX all comes down to how a person feels about the experience of interacting with your company. When someone has a great customer experience, you are delivering your promise, providing a valuable tool or service and creating an enjoyable experience with your customer across every touchpoint. Customer experience is such a big picture concept that you might think it covers everything your business should be focusing on. But what about customer engagement?

Let's take a look at the difference between customer engagement versus customer experience.

Customer engagement is optional, customer experience is unavoidable

Customer engagement is much more about customer choice. Here, a customer is seen as an active participant of the experience rather than a recipient of it. Customer engagement dives into how your customer explores your product or service, how they react and respond to your business and your offerings, how they reach out to you, how they spread the word to others, their relationship with your social media and content marketing and whether they are promoters or detractors. 

Customer Engagement versus Customer Experience: Are customers with a positive CX always engaged?

Nope. For some customers, never having to interact with you or your brand is the best way to deliver a positive experience. While they might not be cheering you on from the sidelines, they are still valuable customers who might be silently loyal to your brand for years to come. Think of it this way: if they never have to interact with you, that probably means you are delivering a low-effort experience and all things are going swimmingly. Although they might not answer your surveys, follow your social media profiles or leave you reviews, you are probably providing them with everything they want (ease of use, fulfillment of promises) and nothing they don’t want (high-effort experience, pressure to get involved). 

Are engaged customers always having a positive experience?

Unfortunately, no. And trust us, a negatively engaged customer can do far more damage than a negatively disengaged customer. Think of that furious customer leaving a poor review of your service all over the internet. That same customer is telling all their friends how dissatisfied they are with your business. 

If they aren’t mutually exclusive, why does engagement matter?

While a happy customer might not be registering for your webinar or reading your latest blog post, you shouldn’t give up on trying to enhance your engagement strategy. Maximizing customer engagement in today’s digital marketplace, where countless brands are competing for a smidgen of customer attention, is crucial. More engaged customers contribute stronger and more specific feedback, purchase more, tell others about you and use your product on a deeper level. 

Ways you can create more opportunities for engagement:

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Launch a loyalty program

In order to hook your customers in, roll out a loyalty program. Regardless of your product or service, there are tons of creative ways to implement a program to show your appreciation for your customers. A loyalty program can give customers free merchandise, early access to sales, product upgrades, promo codes and other fun incentives. They are proven to be successful in driving repeat sales for businesses. Customers will choose your brand over others because you’re offering something extra. These programs also help retain customers as no one wants to lose their points. 

Open the door for ideas, suggestions and requests on your brand’s social spaces

Don’t wait for customers to approach you! Take advantage of your social profiles to spark ideas and extract feedback. Poll them, ask questions and wait for the inspiration to trickle in. Just be sure to interact with them and thank them for their time. Engagement is a two-way street. 

Create valuable content

If you want your customers to share your blogs, comment on your posts, and attend your webinars, the content must be valuable. It also must be regularly scheduled. One post a week isn’t going to cut it. Content should be visually appealing, factual, relevant and timely.

Let your personality show

Think of your favorite brands. Aren’t they showcasing some kind of personality? Maybe they’re witty, snarky, sarcastic, or encouraging. Whatever the case, you enjoy interacting with the brand because they have humanized the experience. If you want this kind of bond, let the voice of your brand lead the way.

These are just a few of the ways good customer experience wins the Customer Engagement versus Customer Experience debate!

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