Customer engagement is fundamentally changing the way companies operate. When businesses provide the meaningful experience their customers want, the result is greater rewards in terms of loyalty and profits.

And your customers will take notice of your efforts. They understand what their loyalty means to your business and they understand that they are the ones who keep your business going. This means that they expect to be valued by the brands that they patron or they will move on. If you want to breed better customer engagement, consider the following tactics so you don’t get left behind.

Social Media

No doubt your business most likely already has a presence on social media, especially as it relates to customer service. But here’s why it’s becoming more critical – According to an Aberdeen Group report, companies who respond to and engage with customers over social media can expect those customers to spend 20 to 40 percent more money with that company, while the same report found that 71% of consumers who have positive social customer service experiences are likely to recommend that brand to others. Though it can be difficult for businesses to connect with them, consumers are willing to spend more money with companies they feel emotionally connected to, while ignoring or even opposing those that provide them little to no value. A strong social media presence can truly help bridge this gap.

Omnichannel

For your customer engagement efforts to be successful, you’ll need to consider leveraging multiple platforms. It’s no longer just about having a great website; It’s about offering your customers a full 360-degree experience with your brand. Therefore, your business must be readily visible to customers and able to interact with them on their smartphones, tablets, social media, web, SMS, etc.

Plus – the experience needs to be consistent. Accenture recently reported that “65% [of consumers surveyed] are frustrated by inconsistent experiences across channels. It’s not enough for brands to simply offer service on multiple channels. Optimizing for a seamless, consistent experience will help your business create a more meaningful marketing campaigns across multiple platforms for the highest engagement rates.

Automation

Self-service is currently in high-demand. No matter the industry, businesses who allow customers to resolve issues quickly by themselves can significantly reduce costs and increase customer loyalty. Intelligent virtual assistants (IVAs) are one example that are often found in airlines and hotels allowing you to check in via phone and avoid long waiting lines.

Video Chat

Face-to-face interactions offer a richer, more personalized customer experience. Gartner has predicted that more than 50 of the 500 largest global businesses will introduce video-based chat by 2018. Video technology is further evolving as a means of delivering personalized videos for stronger customer service and marketing targeted at each specific customer’s needs.

Don’t wait too long to get started with your customer engagement strategy. Capturing your customer’s attention and keeping them interacting with your brand needs to be an ongoing effort that is present in everything you do. As more places to engage emerge, keeping these points in mind when developing your customer engagement strategy will be important to getting the best results.