You’ve heard it time and time again. Increase traffic, see more customer engagement. But what happens when your site traffic goes crazy, and your engagement skyrockets? What comes next? You need to focus on tracking customer engagement.
Once you attract traffic and readership, you need to keep it. And to learn how to keep it, you have to analyze different aspects of how your customers are engaging with you.
Tracking customer engagement metrics is quite simple and there are plenty of tools to help you along the way.
In this post, we’ll take you through exactly how you can track customer engagement. But before we do that, let’s first understand what customer engagement really is and why it’s essential to track it.
What is customer engagement?
Customer engagement is essentially the different ways customers choose to interact with your business or brand. This might be online or offline. Online, engagement can happen through many of your business’s platforms and channels such as your website, social media handles, chat, blogs, and third-party websites. Engagement on these platforms can take place in the form of customers liking your content, sharing it with others, commenting on your posts, writing reviews about you, etc.
Customers might engage with you for several reasons. They could pop in to ask a question of your live-chat representative, look for help regarding a problem, or compliment you on something you’re doing well.
It is great to have customers engage with you, because those are the ones interested in your content and your products/services, and those customers are critical to your business. We’ll talk about why this is so, and why tracking customer engagement matters.
Why keeping tabs on your customer engagement is important
The most important reason you want to keep tabs on your customer engagement is this: these customers can prove to be loyal advocates of your brand.
Engaged customers are proven to be more open to your opinion, marketing, communication, and products.
Most importantly, because they have so much faith in you, these customers spend more money on you than they do on your competitors.
For instance, in the banking industry, engaged customers brought an average of 37% more revenue into their primary bank than those who weren’t.
Same with electronics. Engaged shoppers were known to visit their favored retailer 44% more frequently than those who were disengaged. Plus, the engaged shoppers spent an average of $84 more.
This is why engaged customers matter. Because engaged customers equal loyal ones.
If you keep tabs on your customer engagement, you can uncover things like what’s keeping your customers interested in you, what content or topics appeal to them and what’s keeping them with you versus with your competitors. Leveraging this knowledge, you can ensure you continue focusing on the right factors to keep customers loyal to you.
Once you start keeping track of your customer engagement metrics, you’ll easily be able to take measures to maintain or improve upon them. The trick, then, is to track the right components of your engagement.
Here are a few of the most important ones.
Return users: Whether your visitors ever come back to you or not matters. For instance, once a user subscribes or creates an account with you, do they keep coming back, or do they disappear into thin air?
If the latter is true, your efforts have been in vain. It costs businesses up to 25 times more to keep creating accounts for users who won’t ever return.
Apart from the financial angle, how often these visitors or customers return to you is also significant because it tells you how valuable they find your brand, company, content, or offerings
The bottom line is this: your goal shouldn’t be to get customers in the door. Your goal should be to get customers in the door and keep them coming back. Because retention is key.
Your customer churn rate is a metric that indicates what percentage of your customers are cutting ties from you—the lower your churn rate, the better.
What users are doing: You should try to understand how users are engaging with you. You can use tools, widgets, and apps, like heat maps, your CRM dashboard, and Google Analytics to see where visitors are most focused on your page, which pages and content are most viewed, and which of your content is most popularly shared.
Also, keeping a close eye on user actions can help you narrow down any problematic spots or points of frustration on your site. Is the user repeatedly clicking on something that’s not interactive? Are they scrolling aimlessly on a page in search for particular information?
These insights can help you determine what is and isn’t working well for your customers and what content they’re interested in. In turn, this can lend way to significant improvements for your site.
Essentially, knowing what your users are doing on your site will help you learn how best to continue keeping them engaged with your company, brand, or content.
Social media reactions: Social media is an excellent tool for companies. You might already have a team that handles your social media. Or maybe it is just a one-man show now. In either case, social media is one of the most, if not the most, popular way for customers to interact with businesses. It’s also an easy platform through which you can measure engagement.
For instance, your likes, comments or shares on popular platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Instagram can say a lot about public opinion on your posts, tweets, or pictures.
On Twitter, people may retweet your tweet if it resonates with them enough. On other platforms, they may reshare your posts.
All of these are forms of engagement, making social media reactions a great way to read your customers’ likes and dislikes as far as information and content are concerned. You can then use this knowledge to plan your future efforts as you continue to develop new content.
Comments and feedback: It is important to track and monitor the reviews and comments—positive and negative—your organization receives online.
When individuals take time to provide feedback, you should be appreciative of it, because this lends the most significant insight into your customers’ mindset. Be thankful for compliments but more grateful for criticisms.
What tools to use to track
Now that you know what to track, you might be wondering how you can go about tracking it.
After all, you can’t do anything with data if you’re not able to gather it. Fortunately, there are many tools that have proven to be extremely effective in tracking customer engagement.
Customer engagement platform: This can be thought of as your all-in-one tool. Customer engagement platforms let you centralize all your interactions with clients from your chat, CRM social media, website, and more.
These platforms also let you collect data, such as from customer behaviors and marketing campaigns to understand your customers’ likes and dislikes so that you can better respond to each.
Google Analytics: One of the best tools of all, Google Analytics makes it easy and effective to track all the important data of your website, including traffic, keyword referrals, third-party referrals, and conversion rates. It’s a powerful tool proven to be effective and is popularly used by many to help achieve website and customer engagement goals.
Twitter Analytics: Twitter has a native analytics tool which makes life so much easier for those trying to monitor data on this platform. You can access Twitter Analytics via analytics.twitter.com. You can turn on the analytics function and view account activity and data for the last 28 days.
Facebook Insights: Facebook makes tracking easy through its own tool called Facebook Insights. The overview panel gives you data on likes, post reach, and engagement such as comments, clicks, and likes. You can also click on the charts within this tool for more detailed information.
SumoMe: If you’re interested in heat maps, this is the tool for you. Heatmaps denote the “hot areas” of your site, or the places people most frequently view. When you know exactly where people are clicking and what they’re seeing/reading, you’ll know what interests them and what you should publish more of.
It’s important to understand what customer engagement is and how it can be beneficial to your business. It can tell you how customers are interacting with your company, what they like and what they don’t.
Ideally, you want your customers to have high engagement levels with you because the more engaged a customer is, the more loyal they are, and the more they are likely to spend with you.
When you’re tracking engagement, you should focus on looking at key factors: return users, what users are doing, social media reactions, and comments and feedback.
There are several tools that help you track engagement, and they can point you to the most important aspects of user engagement, such as which content was most well received, what’s drawing your target audience to your site and where they’re coming from.