Now, more than ever, businesses have no shortage of tools for interacting with customers and collecting data on their wants, needs and behaviors. Analyzing and using this data to improve customer engagement should be easy. But the customer engagement game is about quality, not quantity, and to give your customers the best possible experience, it’s crucial to focus on the most impactful strategies. Here are the five essential factors your business needs to capitalize on in order to deliver a best-in-class customer experience:

1. Customer data. Collecting data on customer behavior, interests and buying patterns is essential for improving the customer experience. Just having that data isn’t enough. You also need to be able to apply it in an actionable way. Segmenting data based on customer demographics, or tracking conversion paths where the customer may have dropped out early, are two key methods of using data to better understand customers’ habits and restructure your customer experience approach accordingly.


2. Location. It’s the first rule of real estate, and it’s just as crucial in business. Knowing where a customer is coming from gives you the opportunity to leverage that for more targeted marketing. Whether it’s promoting regional- or seasonal-specific products -- fine-tuning in-store merchandising, or even adjusting inventory based on demand in a given area -- location-based customer intelligence allows for a more personalized customer experience.


3. Insight. It’s important to be able to identify when customers repeatedly return to your business. That kind of insight into buyer behavior provides an accurate view of your customer relationships. This allows to you reward their loyalty, either through emailed discounts or promotions aimed at repeat customers. Recognizing brand loyalty among your buyers builds long-term relationships where they feel valued… and a valued customer is inherently encouraged to continue shopping with you.


4. Strategy. A customer journey map is a critical tool for developing customer strategy. Defining the journey from the customer’s point of view, rather than the business’, allows for a more intuitive pathway. From that vantage point, you can easily pinpoint where, how and why the customer is engaging with your business (or not). This enables you to build on the stronger points along that journey that lend themselves to conversions, as well as isolate and improve on areas that may be deterring customers from continuing. This adds up to a more strategic approach to securing both new and repeat customers, and providing an experience that customers will truly value.


5. Communication. Email, social media, direct mail – there’s no end to the ways that businesses can communicate with their customers, and vice versa. Leveraging these channels for more direct and personalized communications – such as Tweeting about new product discounts, or email blasts about upcoming promotions – ensures you’re putting the customer’s voice front and center in your marketing campaigns. This leads to better engagement and ultimately a better experience.

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