Taking your first steps in becoming a Customer Engagement Manager

customer engagement manager

There are over 7000 Customer Engagement Manager jobs in the US alone posted on LinkedIn at the time of this writing and that should come as no surprise: customer engagement is a really hot topic these days!

To be successful, you will require strong project management and communication skills. Take the first steps by learning the what, why and how of the job:

What does a Customer Engagement Manager do?

Customer Engagement Managers are responsible for developing strategies that cultivate deep customer relationships. The end goal is to increase the retention of profitable customers and provide strategic recommendations for growing the business.

Your job starts with understanding who your customers are. For example, you can decide that 20 to 30 years old customers in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia are one distinct type of customer while 30 to 50 years old in the same areas is another. This process is called customer segmentation and results in one or more personas. Personas are important because they will drive your outbound contact strategy. You will create campaigns, execute them, and measure engagement based on these personas.

Note however that customer engagement is not only an outbound effort. An integral part of the job will be managing customer experiences, that is, inbound activities in which customers interact with your company. Many organizations still rely on phone or in-person interactions with their customers, however delivering great digital experiences have started to become key in providing customers with the next level of engagement.

Why is customer engagement important?

Businesses no longer compete on product quality alone. Take for example Apple and Samsung. Their products are fairly similar; however, they are quite different in how they differentiate themselves in the eyes of their customers. Apple is careful to engage customers with a polished image that spells design, luxury and exclusivity starting with the product itself, all the way down to accessories and packaging. Everybody agrees that Apple has a rabid fan base, however, don’t be too quick to judge them: they are customers just like you and me, that like to be treated like they are special.

Engaged customers spend more and are excellent brand advocates. They are more likely to recommend your company to their friends and are more loyal to that brand that they perceive provides more value.

How will you be evaluated for success?

Automation is a key component of successful engagement. It only makes sense as you will have to communicate with thousands of customers, in real time, as they go through their customer journeys. Remember that engagement goes both ways: you have to tell your customers what you are doing for them, and at the same time you have to help them interact with your organization through better experiences.

While you can do customer engagement with a spreadsheet, a website and an email client, you will probably need to implement a customer engagement platform that will help you examine multiple KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), measure how effective you are and adjust accordingly. In the end, you will report regularly on customer trends and provide strategic recommendations to management.

Ever since NY Times reported in 2016 on the value of keeping customers engaged, organizations have started to pursue better connections with their customers.

Note however that being a Customer Engagement Manager is a fairly new position for many organizations. You will get the chance to think creatively and influence how your company engages customers. If you can make the process better for everybody involved, well, that is nothing short of saving the world!

Article originally published on LinkedIn on September 15, 2019