When businesses and even for-profits, outside associations, grapple with the topic of engagement, they are not weighed down by the same age-old assumptions that prevent association professionals from expanding their definitions of engagement beyond getting their members to buy their products or offering them volunteer leadership opportunities. This is why it is especially helpful to look at engagement in other industries for inspiration. Take a look at 6 Strategies to Drive Customer Engagement in 2015, posted by Forbes.
The article looks at customers in terms of the context that shapes their perceptions and expectations rather than the products they need:
With the rise of mobile and social technologies, customers are now more powerful than ever. Their always-connected status and ability to find information in seconds puts them in control of their own experience, and this trend has forced marketers to rethink how they engage and connect with their customers.
Their conclusion is that businesses have to target, not simply on the basis of demographics and product needs, but on the basis of deep understanding of customer behavior and the way these customers experience the world--through speed, multi-dimensional connections and open sources for information and knowledge:
In order to survive today’s ever-changing landscape, businesses need to provide real-time, personalized experiences that reach customers just as they need them.
The article cites a number of successful examples of engagement on these terms.
One of the most interesting points it makes is the need to embrace negative customer feedback. While this is not a new idea, it is unusual to find it as a key element of engagement. It makes sense though. Engagement involves an authentic two-way relationship. You cannot truly listen, understand and engage when you look at the world defensively and your focus is on justifying rather than constantly re-examining your practices and assumptions.
See what you think of these 6 strategies.