If you fail to meet these metrics, you will lose customers

by Ana Lopez

Opinions of contributing entrepreneurs are their own.

The word ‘engagement’ has caused quite a stir in recent years. It seems everyone is concerned about the level of engagement of their customers and what it takes to keep that level high, but what exactly is it and how best to measure it?

Simply put, customer engagement is the relationship you create that fosters brand loyalty and it does so by delivering connected, aligned experiences to your customers rather than one-time transactions. It is also usually a strong indication of how satisfied your customers are with your product or services and ultimately how likely they are to stay with you. On the other hand, disengaged customers probably won’t stick around for long. That’s why you need to be able to quickly and easily track customer engagement across a number of factors.

So what metrics can you use to accurately assess engagement? Based on my nearly 25-year career in B2B software sales and marketing, these are the top five factors and why they matter the most.

Related: 6 marketing metrics every business should be tracking

Engagement in the first week

A customer’s engagement with your company and brand will rarely be greater than at the beginning of their employment with you. The benefits of your product or service are fresh in the customer’s mind and it’s up to you to make the most of that enthusiasm. This is especially true if your product or service offering is less known; larger brands with established reputations benefit from legacy marketing efforts that make customers less likely to abandon them when frustrated. If you’re not a well-known brand, that first week is even more important.

Something that can help with first-week engagement is literally showing your clients their onboarding process: guiding, tracking, and displaying the progress they’re making to get them up and running. If they can visualize where they are on their own journey, they are more likely to stay engaged and thus more likely to stay with you.

While there may be bumps in the road during onboarding, it’s important to be ready to help with reliable customer support whenever they get in touch. Things like chatbots, onboarding “how-to” videos, and FAQs can be helpful here, but nothing will replace one-on-one interaction with a dedicated onboarding specialist or support team member. Instantly show your customer that they are valuable by providing dedicated support.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Are your customers happy enough to recommend you to their friends? If your customers are unlikely to recommend you, you have a big problem. That’s why measuring NPS is critical.

When your customers are surveyed, they will almost certainly be asked on a scale of 1 to 10 how likely they are to recommend your company/product – and the hope is that your most engaged, happiest customers will help spread the word about you . Those who score from 0 to 6 are called “detractors,” 7-8 are called “passives,” and 9-10 are engaged, happy customers — your “promoters.”

Your NPS = Promoter Rate – Critic Rate. Overall, NPS is a great way to track the health of your brand (and predict revenue).

Related: Redefining customer engagement in a world where data privacy reigns supreme

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

One step simpler than the NPS is a CSAT score, which is often measured in a quick 1 to 5 star rating or emojis, and it’s something all businesses can benefit from. These quick check-ins are easy for customers to perform quickly (they’re literally just one question) and help brands measure engagement. It may help to think of NPS as tracking customer loyalty, while CSAT is tracking customer satisfaction – and both are important.

Smaller companies and startups need to measure customer satisfaction because they want to know how well their new solutions work, while larger brands need the metrics as they roll out upgrades to their platforms.

User activity statistics

One of the most important metrics to keep an eye on is user activity metrics – daily and monthly active users (DAUs and MAUs) – because they show you how attractive your product is and how often customers use different aspects of your product. If customers aren’t using your product or key value-generating features, it’s not “sticky” and that’s a bad sign. The last thing you want is a wave of signups followed by an unused product; your customers won’t be your customers for long.

These metrics are important for all businesses, from small startups to tech giants. Small to medium businesses can benefit from this metric by recognizing marketing strategy milestones, and MAUs are important for large companies to maximize market share for ever-important profitability. But it doesn’t stop there: DAUs and MAUs don’t just indicate market share. MAUs are your benchmarks, DAUs are your indicators, and if you see a big difference between them, something could go wrong.

Related: Customer experience is gaining traction. But are we measuring it correctly?

“Stickiness”

We mentioned above that DAUs and MAUs can show how “sticky” your offering is – but what does this mean? This very important metric shows how engaged and satisfied your customers are with your product/service based on how often they come back to it. It’s an easy and effective way to see how likely they are to stay with you and all you need is a simple formula: DAU/ MAU = Stickiness.

You may see companies using churn as an alternative measure of stickiness, but once a customer is gone, they’re gone; using DAU and MAU allows for a more proactive approach to combating issues while your customers are still your customers.

Engagement is not just another industry buzzword that you can ignore. If you want to keep your customers, you care about engagement and you need to measure it. With the right metrics and tools, you can rest assured that your customers will stay with you for the long haul.

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