What makes a business successful? We’ve all seen it happen – a business sprouts up, draws huge crowds, then sees its sales taper off after a month or two, only to eventually close down after its revenue dries up.
To keep revenue coming in, businesses need to ensure that there is a steady stream of customers, especially returning customers and new referrals. This means that customers have to keep buying, and customer engagement plays a key role in making this happen.
Only with constant customer engagement and rapport can one-time purchasers become loyal customers. With the right approach, a small sale today can turn into a steady stream of revenue in the future.
To better understand how to grow customer engagement, we spoke to some small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore to find out their strategy.
Know your audience first
Every successful customer engagement strategy has to answer the following question: “who is your audience?”. Businesses need to keep customers engaged to keep them buying, but this can be a difficult task if you don’t have a clear view of your audience and their specific preferences
Rewards Bunny, a local cryptocurrency cashback platform, found that it was difficult to know every individual customer’s preferences, in part because its audience is located everywhere around the world.
60 per cent of their customers hail from the US, UK, and EU countries, as well as the Asia Pacific region. As such, crafting a singular policy for everyone was extremely difficult.
“We would need to know what brands they frequently shop with and their shopping behaviour. Only with an in-depth understanding of our customers will we be able to engage them better and understand their needs accurately,” said Jacky Goh, co-founder and CEO of Rewards Bunny.
This challenge isn’t unique to companies like Rewards Bunny that have a wide range of customers; even companies that are focused within a small geographical area often see a diverse group of customers.
Ernee Ong, co-founder of co-living startup Bespoke Habitat, noted that it was difficult for the business to grow and learn more about individual customers’ habits and behaviours given the fast-growing size of their customer base.
As such, they decided to develop their own application to provide customer support and communicate with tenants.
Through this organised, one-on-one customer engagement, Bespoke Habitat can better understand what customers want, and provide suggestions and solutions to them for both current stays and future trips.
The strategy of acquiring and retaining customers
Getting customers is only half the picture. A business must also successfully retain customers in order for them to do well, and it’s important to note that what works for attracting customers does not necessarily work for keeping customers.
Jacky from Rewards Bunny said that his business is often concerned that some customers drop off after initial engagement. However, since focusing on their strategy of personalised engagement and community building, they have seen higher app downloads and usage, as well as higher customer referrals.
Meanwhile, Bespoke Habitat’s Ernee said that they were concerned that their organisational skills were not up to par because they relied mainly on messaging app WhatsApp. Since then, they have created their own Tenant Management Team in order to respond to the varied queries that tenants have.
According to a research conducted by Braze, customer engagement is rarely so simple. To rely on only a single channel for customer engagement often means limited success.
Their research suggests that what works best is to take a cross-channel approach: that is, create a cohesive customer experience through a targeted mix of different channels such as Content Cards, email, in-app messages, and push notifications on mobile phones.
These strategies result in 30 per cent longer average user lifetimes, and 3.1 times longer average user lifetimes for businesses when compared to those who only take a multi-channel approach (that is, using any two channels), and more than double the user lifetime of businesses who only use one channel for customer engagement.
Clearly, as seen from both SMEs, mastering customer engagement is no mean feat. The more successful a business is, the more it needs to pay attention to customer engagement in order to keep attracting new customers and retaining old ones.
But what if there is a service solution that could help you with customer engagement? What if, as a company grew, it could access scalable solutions that would be more effective with time?
Braze offers such solutions for SMEs to tackle this need. It helps companies better engage clients through tech-inspired solutions, as well as their own tech.
Instead of painstakingly having to gather all the data and analyse it themselves, Braze provides clients a ready-to-use solution that helps them save money from employing tech talents to create customer engagement tools.
Essentially, Braze enables SMEs to better understand their existing customers, reach new customers, and build relationships to turn buyers into loyal customers.
How Braze helps SMEs “level up” with their data
For starters, as companies grow, they need more data and feedback. Braze can aid these companies by helping with data analytics and optimisation to better engage customers.
Take travel platform GetYourGuide for example. When the pandemic hit and countries started going into lockdown, many travel brands struggled. The starting period of the pandemic saw bookings on GetYourGuide drastically drop by 99 per cent.
With Braze, GetYourGuide was able to reimagine their customer engagement strategy by personalising emails, notifications and in-app messages. GetYourGuide saw its email unique click rates more than double during the first few months of the pandemic, while many other travel services saw a steep drop in numbers.
This successful case study by Braze shows the effectiveness of knowing your customer. By gathering and analysing data from users, GetYourGuide was able to use Braze to execute a messaging strategy that kept travellers engaged despite the exceptional challenges presented by COVID-19.
Braze also offers an artificial intelligence (AI) solution that will be able to assist firms in finding out which customers are at risk of becoming disengaged.
Known as the Braze Predictive Churn, it uses machine learning to allow brands to define for themselves what disengagement looks like, and provides a score of each customer to see which are at risk of becoming disengaged.
Brands can then take necessary actions to boost customer retention, reduce customer disengagement, and rebuild relationships with customers, supporting stronger customer relationships and better retention going forward.
Helping successful businesses do even better
For Braze customer and event ticketing firm Ticketek, success meant ensuring that their customers had a good time and would return for more events.
While the company was already doing well by collecting and storing customer data, they realised that there was more that they could do with it. With no tech to properly utilise the data, they turned to Braze.
The data insights gathered by Braze allowed Ticketek to personalise offerings for customers, helping to meet their marketing goals while sending fewer messages. This meant that customers were not bothered by notifications of irrelevant offers, but instead received messages that featured events that were curated to their tastes.
The results spoke for themselves – Ticketek saw a 250 per cent increase in their conversion rate.
Braze is also able to craft region-specific customer engagement strategies.
For instance, Sephora SEA noted that Malaysians celebrate the Lunar New Year by giving and receiving red packets, so it planned a promotional campaign that mimicked the tradition with the help of Braze, giving their customers rewards through an in-app message that looks like a red packet.
By using Braze to delight recipients with memorable, regionally relevant messages, the campaign was able to increase purchases by 132 per cent.
Notably, Braze has supported many firms with tech-enabled solutions backed by strong data analytics, and is seen to offer value to companies far more than what would be possible if a company did everything themself.
As a testament to their success, Braze has even been listed in the Forbes Cloud 100 list four times in a row.
Customer engagement is crucial for business, and Braze has cracked the code to ensure longevity in customer engagement that turns one-time buyers into long-term customers.
If you are looking to boost your business’ customer engagement strategy, Braze is definitely well-positioned to help your business grow. It helps brands see an ROI of 840 per cent increase, reduce churn rates by 50 per cent, and save over US$150,000 in point solutions costs.
This article was written in collaboration with Braze.
Featured Image Credit: Bespoke Habitat / Braze / Rewards Bunny