The financial industry relies heavily on consumer relationships and is a consumer-focused business. Trust is the foundation of relationships, and it’s even more vital in times of uncertainty.
According to Sprout Social, 64% of consumers want brands to connect with them and 66% of consumers associate feeling connected with a business to trust.
Businesses can no longer adopt a transactional position with consumers but need to transform it into a relational one through consumer engagement. But what’s that? Consumer engagement refers to the ongoing interactions between company and customer.
In this article, we’ve shared 5 benefits of consumer engagement in the hopes that you can understand its impact and start employing strategies to stand out from the crowd before it’s too late.
1. Promote online reputation
Whether you like it or not, consumers are always talking about your brand, positive or negatively, online and offline. Your prospects are bound to be influenced by these comments, regardless if the information is accurate.
Focus on customer engagement, so you’ve visibility of these conversations and be ready to deal with negative encounters or harness any favourable situation. Interact with your consumers so you’ll have a say in the conversation and manage how people are talking about you. Addressing a negative remark from an unhappy customer or reacting to praise from a satisfied customer are equal parts of online reputation management.
That is not to say that you manipulate what others have to say. Be authentic and sincere when approaching consumers. When speaking with your customers, spare the effort to understand their concerns and address them conscientiously. When your company possesses a service attitude, your brand reputation is bound to shine.
2. Build brand trust and affinity
Indulging in consumer engagement strategies and unabashedly allowing people to interact with your brand and customers will help to strengthen trust and create genuine business relationships. Provide a personalised experience for each customer and meet them where they’re at.
Don’t be afraid of being vulnerable. Featuring the humanistic side of your business is an invaluable strength. Consumers highly regard transparency and want to be able to connect with you. Listening to your stories will help them develop an emotional affinity with your brand.
Given the current behaviour of consumers and targeted marketing, the surviving businesses place a core focus on building trusted relationships.
3. Breed customer advocates
Customer advocates are your loyal everyday customers who promote your brand. Customer advocates are often viewed as more credible and relatable than standard advertisements or social influencers, thus heavily influencing your prospect’s purchase decisions.
Paying attention and engaging your consumers sparks a whole host of positive events. When your customers feel special and recognise that you care about their experiences, they become a fan of your product/service and not only continue to be loyal patrons but also become your best marketers.
As mentioned previously, if people are always speaking about your brand, why not give them something extraordinary to talk about?
Get on platforms that your consumers are on, reach out to them, and you’ll naturally breed customer advocates. Guide your customers to the right platforms to spread your good word by leaving reviews or participating in relevant discussions.
Fostering a community of brand advocates is a reliable and sustainable cycle that reinforces brand loyalty and strengthens social proof for your prospects.
4. Improve product/service quality
Consumer engagement doesn’t mean you tell or inform people what you think and do. That wouldn’t be any different from advertising. Instead, it’s a two-way conversation where brands must listen to their consumers. Let your consumers share their experiences so that your business can know them, identify their problems and needs, and understand what they want from you.
Your brand will obtain many consumer insights, which will be helpful to identify your areas of development. Take the priceless information back to your team and create a solution to meet or surpass consumer expectations.
Consumer engagement isn’t a once-a-month task to tick off your to-do list and isn’t a focus group or survey session. It would be best if you existed where your consumers are to have organic interactions and communicate with your consumers frequently because needs are constantly evolving.
Consumer engagement empowers your brand to improve product/service quality.
5. Increase revenue
Capture growth opportunities in conversations with your consumers. You’ll gain insight into their needs and are informed to make suitable product recommendations of a complementary or additional product/service.
Many people hold multiple financial products/services across different brands, but you can be the primary saving account, credit card, brokerage, or insurance provider by engaging your consumers.
According to research by Gallup about banking customers, fully engaged customers bring an additional US$402 per year to their primary bank. It may just be about $530 but multiply that by your consumer size, and you’ll realise the powers of consumer engagement.
Gallup’s data also reveals the following about fully engaged customers:
They’ve got a 10% greater wallet share in deposit balances with their primary bank, and a 14% greater wallet share in investments
They average 1.14 additional products categories (deposit accounts, credit products, investments, insurance and more) with their primary bank
When you relate well to people, your spiel becomes advice or recommendation instead of a direct sales pitch. Actively engaged consumers are more receptive to investment opportunities or financial products/services.
Develop proactive communication with your consumers. Join their communities and be present on their preferred communication platforms to co-create experiences with them.
Set your brand up for future success and stay relevant and competent. Engagement is crucial to understanding your consumers better and deepening relationships with them. Make consumer engagement a priority now to open opportunities for your business and keep ahead of the competition.
Start thinking of a consumer engagement strategy to manage your reputation, build trust, get insights and ultimately increase sales. Need more convincing? Check out these 5 reasons why you should respond to all customer reviews.
If you’d like to engage your consumers, leave us a message, and we’ll help you get started.