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How to improve customer engagement in a mobile world

Posted by Renee Goble on Nov 14, 2017 7:00:00 AM
Renee Goble

Customer satisfaction and engagement are two different but related elements that are important for improving your business. Just because a customer is satisfied with your business though, doesn't mean they are necessarily engaged with it. After all, you can be satisfied with a ham and cheese sandwich, but that doesn't necessarily mean you'll continue to go to a sandwich shop on a regular basis. 

So often it's easy to focus on satisfaction and forget about engagement.  While satisfaction helps measure the temperature of your business, it's not necessarily helping you retain customers. 

We've said it before but availability and accuracy are never going to build you loyal, engaged customers – because it's the bare minimum amount of effort expected from a business.  In short, you need consistent satisfaction and engagement to successfully continue to grow. 

While we live in a world that is increasingly technologically savvy, there is still – perhaps more than ever – a desire to connect with others on an emotional level. 

In a recent study by the Harvard Business Review, researchers found customers become more valuable at each step of a predictable “emotional connection pathway” as they move from being unconnected to being fully connected. Not only that, but they also noted that fully connected customers were 52% more valuable, on average, than those who are just highly satisfied.


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Take someone who has never had an iPhone and finally decides to purchase one. They become highly satisfied with the product due to its quality and customer service and this satisfaction begins to influence the way they view other electronic brands. As Apple continues to engage with this customer, by listening to their needs and giving them excellent products and services, that customer will move from being satisfied to being fully connected. In other words, they'll stand in line for hours for a new product, rave about Apple's customer care, and maybe only buy from Apple. What started as a smart-phone purchase evolved into an emotional connection, and this emotional connection has led to an engaged customer who will spend more at Apple (and probably spend more on Apple) because they are completely invested in the company. 

If you want to build a loyal customer base and make better business decisions, you need to be actively engaged with them – and that's where mobile surveys come in.

You may be thinking: "What? Surveys? But I thought surveys were just for gauging satisfaction and asking generic demographic questions." 

Well, young Padawan, come closer because we are here to tell you that you can actually boost your customer engagement while monitoring guest satisfaction through doing a survey. 

What? I know, we're pretty excited about this too.

But how do you do this? Here are a few suggestions:

  • First, you need to identify what motivates your key customers. What are they interested in? What do they get excited about? You can use mobile surveys to ask these questions and then use the raw data to create questions that your guests will find engaging.  Partner those engagement question with a
net promoter score question and you'll start to get a good idea about what not only incentivizes your guest, but about how well your company is doing at keeping them engaged. 
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One of SurveyMe's clients recently conducted a survey at their cinema where they interspersed light-hearted movie trivia questions with customer satisfaction questions. After running this for a while, they found that their response rate had doubled from what it was previously.  What we discovered is that even surveys need a hook, but if it's a good hook – you'll start bringing in significant results.

  • Be strategic on when and how you send out your survey.  When time is limited and precious, people need a reason to choose to engage with you over something else. So instead of constantly bombarding people with feedback, plan when you send out surveys – or, even better, use a mobile survey app that allows guests to give you real-time feedback and check back for more rewards when they feel like it (I know of a great one if you're interested). Have a big event coming up? About to make some major structural changes? Now would be a good time to get guest feedback while conversations about the change are fresh. 
  • Ask your customers what matters to them – and then implement it. Something we firmly believe is that information is useless unless you choose to do something about it. Relationships with consumers are a give and take, but when it comes to surveys customers can sometimes feel that they are giving too much without a suitable return on investment. If this isn't addressed, it will negatively impact the level of engagement you have with your customer. 

Whether it's a fun trivia survey or a more 'serious' one, once you've gathered information from your customers, you need to use it. Otherwise you've missed an amazing opportunity to show your guests that you're engaged with them. 

  • Share your survey results on social media. Recent research suggests that an average person will spend roughly 5 years and 4 months on social media in a lifetime. Not only that, but the number of people using social media is quickly increasing. Since social media exists to virtually engage its users -- why not make the most of it? 


Advertise your mobile surveys on your media accounts and then share some of the results you've found with your followers. It's a great way to get guests involved, keep them engaged and show them that you care. It makes those 'fun' surveys useful too! You're not only giving customers a place to share their thoughts, you're now showing them that you hear what they have to say. 

  • Brand your surveys. Branding on surveys might seem a bit strange but it's an additional touch that reminds your user of the face behind the questions being asked. It doesn't even have to be super obvious – a small, added touch like your company's logo or colors will make your presence known but remain unobtrusive to anyone giving feedback. Maybe your company has a quality or catch-phrase that you are known for: ask a question that pertains to this and -- poof! -- you've branded your survey without any hassle. 
  • Reward them for their time. If someone has taken the time to give you feedback don't just send out a polite "thanks for your time" pop-up notification. Show them that they are valued by offering them something for their time. This could be anything from a $1 off coupon, free popcorn, a gift-card, or money donated to charity. On the SurveyMe app there is actually a "Rewards Wallet" that allows users to instantly receive a reward and redeem it on their time. Not only are they giving feedback, but they are recognized for doing so and more likely to come back and continue to engage.

These are just a few ideas to get you started, but remember – keep it short and simple and update your surveys often. When you choose to actively engage with your guests, you improve their overall level of satisfaction – and thanks to mobile survey apps, it's possible to easily do both. 


Want to find out more? Download our eBook on how to create an effective customer survey.

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Topics: Customer Engagement

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