Customer satisfaction isn’t the only useful metric anymore, and indeed, some companies don’t need strong satisfaction ratings to succeed. Some companies that have poor customer satisfaction metrics end up being top performers in their field, and are even world-changing organizations. Facebook, for example, held only a 66/100 satisfaction rating in a 2011 study, but its power over both its own market and modern culture is undeniable.
This shift is explained by customer engagement, which – while similar to customer satisfaction – isn’t quite the same concept. Unlike customer satisfaction, which measures how pleased customers are with a business, customer engagement refers to the extent the brand and its product affect the customer’s life. For a company like Facebook, this factor is tremendous: people schedule their lives, forge their relationships, and express themselves through Facebook, so even if they aren’t happy with the company they remain frequent users.
Measuring engagement can be tricky, but learning how to meet this essential customer need can drastically improve your ability to retain customers.
A user doesn’t have to be using a service for very long at a stretch to rack up a large total time if they’re using it constantly.
Microblogs like Twitter use this method of fostering engagement. Even if a user isn’t actively participating, the possibility of doing so remains at the top of that user’s mind and stays there, especially in cases wherein immediacy is important.
Look at how much time customers spend with your product or service when using it.
The amount of time customers spend on a product or service is one of the most essential measurements of engagement. It has to be voluntary time, of course — an obtuse product is likely to lead to frustration and irritation rather than sincere engagement. Those who only spend a few seconds at a time with a product are much less likely to be loyal users than those who use it for hours at a stretch. For instance, Tumblr users experience much higher engagement due to their extensive per-use use time.
Time adds up.
A user doesn’t have to be using a service for very long at a stretch to rack up a large total time if they’re using it constantly. Microblogs like Twitter use this method of fostering engagement. Even if a user isn’t actively participating, the possibility of doing so remains at the top of that user’s mind and stays there, especially in cases wherein immediacy is important.
Users who communicate with you are engaged.
One of the most common measurements of engagement with a brand in social media is replies, likes, or favorites. When users tell you their opinions, it’s because they expect those opinions to matter and care about the brand. If a company’s tweets receive a lot of retweets and favorites, that company’s reach is much higher and its customers are likewise more engaged.
Consider how often users look at your product in terms of the calendar as well.
Visitor recentness measures how recently customers have engaged with your product, such as visiting your website or calling for support. These metrics can easily be tracked with a combination of Web tools and CRM programs, and provide a clear picture of whether your users average out to occasional passersby or regular, frequent customers.
Sometimes, you can try just asking.
While people may not report the answers the other metrics imply, it can be worth it to just ask outright how your company is doing in the eyes of its customers. While surveys usually measure enjoyment rather than retention, asking customers how they perceive their engagement with a brand can sometimes lead to new angles of approach.
What do you think?
By measuring more than just satisfaction with products, any company gets a better sense of where it really stands in the eyes of its stakeholders. Have you started measuring engagement in addition to, or instead of, satisfaction? How has it turned out? Are there brands you feel get engagement right? Tell us about your customer engagement experiences in the comments.