When I speak to prospective clients I find that many are not quite sure what is meant by customer engagement and how they can incorporate this into their business. A little history first. Customer Engagement is not Customer Service. This evolution has occurred primarily because of Social Media. Wikipedia defines CE this way:
Customer engagement (CE) is the engagement of customers with one another, with a company or a brand. The initiative for engagement can be either consumer- or company-led and the medium of engagement can be on or offline.
Customer Engagement marries marketing and customer service together with the purpose of building the brand and creating loyal customers in a new and exciting way. When visiting Myrtle Beach recently, I had a fantastic experience at a local restaurant/market called, “The Flying Fish.” When my guest and I walked in, we were immediately greeted and asked if we wanted to sit outside or inside. Pretty normal so far. Next the server got our drinks and brought us out a complimentary fish dip with crackers. Nice and unexpected. The experience was great- overlooking the bay while dining outside on a warm summer evening. Everything was timed perfectly and the food was prepared as the menu described and came out the perfect temperature.
The surprise came after dinner. After we paid our bill and began to walk out of the restaurant. We stopped to glance at the fresh fish in the case. After about 90 seconds an employee approached from behind and asked if we had any questions about the fish. We began a conversation and asked her some questions. She then asked what we had for dinner and we told her. She “engaged” with us for another 5 minutes – not selling us, just having a nice conversation. It was one of the very best experiences I have had in a restaurant in quite some time. I will always remember the experience and visit again anytime I am back in town.
How about you? Can you remember the last time an employee actually engaged with you?