The digital space has transformed society and how we do business. So much has changed with the relationship between brands and consumers that we often struggle to make sense of the information we have. When evaluating customer engagement, what's the end goal? For example, if someone follows a brand on social media, does that mean they are loyal advocates?
Brands and consumers may have more connections than ever before, but how about the strength of those connections. We often use “engagement” for various digital campaigns, to measure success. This type of measurement may comprise click rates, depth of content reached, time spent on page and so on. However, the picture from these metrics is limited and can even send us in the wrong direction.
Think of it this way:
- Is more time spent on the page always good? What if someone was looking for content and couldn’t find it? Or couldn’t understand the content?
- Were people on the site and visiting multiple pages because of poor navigation or engagement with the content?
So then, perhaps digital engagement measures need some help.
When designing digital experiences, it is important to understand the psychology and behaviors of the consumer first. It becomes a matter of not only understanding what people do, but what they feel. Digital actions are now framed with a context that helps a brand make changes and repair issues. This opens the door to innovating, supported by a much better understanding of your customer.
We know that customers have higher expectations – we see that on Twitter every day. Brands are under a lot of scrutiny. Customers want not only a user-friendly brand experience; they want one that they can personally relate to.
But what is a positive experience for one user may not be for another. For example, consider the very tech savvy consumer that would like in-depth content, versus a tech-averse consumer that would prefer high level content that is easily understood. How can a brand handle different customer types?
Customer segmentation has long been a critical part of market research and the need for it has grown. User experience leaders can use the same principle to create ‘personas’ when mapping out the ideal interaction. It becomes a matter of understanding not only who your customers are, but their internal goals and motivations, their expectations - not all customers are created equal!
Mapping out the customer experience journey can be a powerful tool to help brands visualize how emotions and behaviors play a role in decision making. Journey analytics allow brands to combine multiple data points across platforms to track customer behaviors and emotions throughout their experience. When used well, it can quickly identify the critical pathways that are key to the experience & opportunities for brands to form a long lasting, emotional connection.