Customer engagement models: A detailed guide

Sanjana Rajpal

September 15, 20238 min read

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It’s no surprise that customers are at the heart of every business. And in today’s day and age, there are more brands than you can count, and these brands constantly bombard customers with a ton of information on the Web. So, it becomes all the more important for companies to prioritize connecting with customers if they want to stand out from the corporate crowd.  

That’s where a customer engagement model can be a game-changer that transforms how businesses interact with their clientele. Understanding customers’ preferences, pain points and expectations is crucial if you want to create personalized experiences that make a lasting impression. 

So, in this article, we’ll be giving you the lowdown on how you can truly engage your customers so that they stay hooked and keep coming back for more. 

But before we get into the specifics of the topic, let’s first cover the basics, starting with what a customer engagement model is exactly. 

Table of Contents

What is a customer engagement model? 

A customer engagement model outlines the way businesses engage and create connections with their customers. A good customer interaction model will significantly boost trial conversions, customer satisfaction, revenue per customer and customer retention. 

Just imagine your business, in today’s ever-expanding digital landscape, competing with countless others who are after your target audience's attention. How do you set yourself apart from the rest and forge meaningful connections with your customers?

Here, a customer engagement model can be the ultimate ally in navigating the complex world of customer interactions. It emphasizes the importance of ongoing interactions with your customers, ensuring they receive top-notch support and guidance whenever needed. This builds a sense of trust and reliability, turning one-time buyers into loyal advocates for your brand. 

The secret to success lies in being proactive rather than reactive. Regularly seeking feedback and leveraging data-driven insights allow you to make continuous improvements. These will help you in staying ahead of the curve and improving customer engagement, thereby increasing customer retention

Now that you have a fair idea of what a customer engagement model is about, let’s get into the details of why it’s oh-so-important for your business to have once in place. 

Why is a customer engagement model essential for businesses? 

For businesses, a customer engagement model is all about building customer trust and relationships. It begins with understanding the needs and preferences of the audience. With this valuable information, you can tailor your products, services and interactions to their specific requirements so they’re the happier for it and stick by your brand.  

Now, that’s a cursory idea of why it’s integral for your brand to use a customer engagement model, but let's take a closer look at its key elements and how it can help your business: 

  • Customer support: One of the pillars of a customer engagement model is proactive customer support. Customers are more likely to make repeat purchases with companies that offer excellent customer service. Resolving customer queries, providing comprehensive documentation and offering 24/7 support through various channels can significantly enhance engagement and satisfaction.   

    A virtual assistant providing product recommendations to a customer

  • Personalized customer experience: A customer engagement model emphasizes ongoing engagement throughout the customer lifecycle. This means leveraging data-driven insights to deliver targeted content, personalized recommendations and relevant updates. Consistently providing value to your customers will strengthen your relationship with them, ultimately turning them into your loyal users.  

  • Customer feedback: Customer feedback is another vital component. A customer's buying decision is influenced by the positive reviews that others have posted online. So, encourage your customers to share their experiences and use their feedback to improve your products and services constantly.  

A monitoring dashboard showing customer product reviews

Different stages of customer engagement 

  • Awareness stage: The awareness stage is the beginning of the customer journey. It's when potential customers first come across your business, whether through search engines, social media or word-of-mouth. Creating a strong first impression is essential. This is done by using engaging content, visuals and informative resources.  

  • Consideration stage: During this exploratory stage, you’ll need to showcase your expertise by providing detailed case studies, product information and comparison guides to help customers make well-informed decisions. 

  • Decision stage: Here is where a customer decides to buy from your brand. So, you’ll need to focus on making the buying experience as seamless and intuitive as possible. This is a crucial stage in converting customers into paid users. 

  • Loyalty stage: During this stage, the customer becomes a repeat purchaser and begins to build a relationship with your brand. It’s crucial to provide exceptional customer support and value to that customer at this point through personalized recommendations or exclusive discounts so the customer feels closer to your brand as part of its community.  

  • Advocacy stage: This final stage is when the customer has become a true and loyal fan of your brand who recommends your product(s) to others. At this point, you should encourage satisfied customers to share their positive experiences with your brand through reviews, referrals and social media. And fun fact: According to Nielsen, 92% of customers trust earned media, like recommendations from friends and family, over any other form of advertising. 

 Learn More: What is customer engagement? Services and benefits 

Key components of a successful customer engagement model 

Now that we’ve looked at the various stages of the customer engagement cycle, let’s focus in on the bases that you need to cover if you want your customer engagement model to shine:  

  • In-depth customer understanding: To build a successful customer engagement model, start by researching your target audience. Analyze customer feedback and monitor behavioral patterns to gain deeper insights. 

  • Personalization at its core: Personalization is the fuel that powers customer engagement. From personalized emails and recommendations to customized user interfaces, making the most of data-driven insights ensures that your customers feel valued and understood. 

  • Seamless omnichannel experience: In the digital era, businesses interact with customers across multiple channels. A successful customer engagement model seamlessly integrates these touchpoints to create a consistent and cohesive experience.

  • Proactive customer support: Take a proactive approach to exceptional customer support by promptly addressing customer inquiries, concerns and issues.  

  • Continuous feedback loops: Implementing a continuous feedback loop is crucial for improvement. Gather customer insights directly through surveys, net promoter score (NPS) assessments and regular check-ins. Show that you value your customers' opinions and use the information to refine your offerings.  

  • Rewarding loyalty: Implementing loyalty programs is integral for businesses. These programs not only encourage repeat purchases but also enhance the emotional bond between customers and the brand.  

  • Constant innovation: To stay ahead in the competitive space, continually innovate your customer engagement model. Regularly update and improve your products, services and customer experiences to ensure success.  

5 models to increase customer engagement 

While talking about customer engagement, various models are at play — each tailored to different business needs and customer profiles. So, let's analyze these models with practical examples and look at the ways to enhance their effectiveness. 

1. High-touch model 

In this model, customers have direct access to dedicated account managers who have personalized, one-on-one interactions with them. 
Example: John, a high-net-worth investor, partners with a private wealth management firm. He has a dedicated financial advisor who meets with him regularly to discuss his investments, goals and financial plans. The advisor offers personalized advice and updates on John's portfolio. 
Suitable for: Choose this model if your business has complex, high-value offerings with a small number of key clients. 
Pro tip: Enhance training and knowledge-sharing among account managers to ensure they provide expert-level guidance. 

2. Low-touch model  

This model automates processes and minimizes manual intervention with the use of self-service options. 
Example: Sarah frequently shops online for clothing. She visits an e-commerce website, chooses items and completes transactions independently. The website offers a user-friendly interface, self-service returns and a chatbot for basic inquiries. 
Suitable for: This model is ideal for businesses that need to scale and have a large customer base. 
Pro tip: Continually update self-service resources and offer chatbots for immediate assistance. 

3. Retention model 

This model focuses on engaging and satisfying existing customers to reduce churn rates. 
Example: A streaming service called “StreamZone” offers a special loyalty program to long-term subscribers. They provide exclusive content, early access to shows and discounts to retain subscribers and reduce churn rates. 
Suitable for: This model is ideal for businesses that offer subscription-based products or services. 
Pro tip: Implement data analytics to identify customers who may be at risk of unsubscribing and tailor retention efforts based on their needs. 

4. Customer success manager (CSM) touch model  

A CSM manages client portfolios and offers guidance and support as required. 
Example: XYZ Software, a SaaS company, provides a customer success manager to XYZ Corp, a major client. The CSM regularly checks in with the company to ensure they’re getting the most out of the software, provides training sessions and assists with any technical issues. 
Suitable for: This model is suitable for SaaS and subscription-based services. 
Pro tip: Implement predictive analytics to help the CSM in addressing potential customer issues ahead of time. 

5. Hybrid model 

This model blends personal support for high-value customers with automation for others to create an effective customer service model. 
Example: ABC Bank offers different levels of service. High-value clients have access to personal bankers who provide customized financial advice. Regular banking services, such as account management and transactions, are available online for other customers. 
Suitable for: This model helps you in finding the right balance between personalized services and scalability. 
Pro tip: Segment your customers effectively to deliver personalized support to the right people. 

Success stories and examples 

From startups to multinational corporations, companies must explore innovative models to deepen connections with their audience. Let's delve into a few real-life success stories and examples of how certain businesses made magic happen through customer engagement. 

1. boAt's customer experience 

Customers are always at the center of everything boAt does. The brand's main objective is to enrich people's lifestyles by offering luxury audio and entertainment equipment at competitive costs. To accomplish this efficiently, the team launched a digital transformation journey in 2021, implementing Sprinklr to build a strong foundation based on data-driven insights, supporting growth and success. 

Sprinklr Service empowered boAt to promptly handle customer inquiries and feedback, demonstrating their commitment to exceptional customer service. boAt swiftly addressed complaints, resolved issues and thanked customers for their positive feedback. This level of responsiveness enhanced trust and cultivated stronger relationships with their audience. 

2. Sephora's community building 

Sephora's Beauty Insider Community is a vibrant online space for beauty enthusiasts to connect, share tips and discover new products. Through its engaging approach, the community has fostered strong customer loyalty, resulting in members spending 2.5 times more than non-members. 

3. Netflix's personalized recommendations 

Netflix's recommendation engine analyzes viewing habits to suggest personalized content, keeping users engaged and increasing the viewing hours.  

4. GoPro's user-generated content (UGC) 

GoPro's marketing strategy revolves around UGC. Their customers share stunning videos and images taken with their GoPro cameras, highlighting the brand's capabilities. This approach has led to a robust online community and increased brand loyalty. 

5. Zappos's multichannel engagement 

Zappos, the online shoe retailer, excels in multichannel engagement. They offer prompt support through phone, email and live chat, providing swift and efficient assistance. Zappos' commitment to customer satisfaction has garnered them a reputation for outstanding service.  

Zappos responding quickly to a customer concern on Twitter


Wrapping it up 

Crafting an effective customer engagement model is essential for creating lasting connections with customers. To achieve success, businesses must understand the stages of customer engagement, embrace personalization, support proactively, innovation continuously and explore real-life success stories of engagement models. 

As you embark on your journey to elevate customer engagement, consider the power of Sprinklr Social, a robust social media management tool that empowers businesses to streamline their social media efforts, personalize interactions and respond in real time. With Sprinklr Social at the helm of your customer engagement strategy, you can navigate social media with agility, capture trends and strengthen your brand presence. 

So, take it for a spin and see how it can help transform your customer engagement by building meaningful connections with your customers. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Businesses can measure customer engagement through various metrics, such as customer satisfaction, NPS, customer retention rate, repeat purchase rate and social media engagement metrics. 

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