We’ve all heard that it’s easier and less expensive to sell to an existing customer than it is to develop a new one. And yet, many companies are taking very few steps to evaluate their customers’ loyalty.

Don’t wait for the “we need to talk” phone call to find out what your customers think about your company. By understanding the characteristics of an engaged customer, you can determine:

  • Which customers are primed to do more business with you
  • Which customers you need to re-engage to retain them

Engaged customers are: 

  • Responsive. Engaged clients or customers are as busy as everyone else, but they generally will take – or quickly return – your phone calls and reply to your emails. They won’t ignore you or put off meetings for long periods of time, at least without keeping you in the loop.
  • Highly involved. People who are engaged with your business don’t sit on the sidelines of your relationship. They visit your website and interact with your social media. They comment on your posts and share, retweet or otherwise reply to your digital communications. Even if your customers don’t always agree with your viewpoints, they want to be part of the conversation.
  • Not price-driven. Loyal clients and customers like what you sell and, more important, trust and depend on your company to deliver excellence. Sure, they look at the price tag, but that’s not the lone deciding factor. Price is important, but your customers are not engaged if they only respond when you post a coupon or drop your fees dramatically. In fact, these are the customers that would go to your competitor if that company offered a lower price.
  • Brutally honest (when they need to be). It might sound counterintuitive, but disinterest is the worst enemy of customer engagement – even more so than occasional negative feedback. It’s like a marriage. If a couple is arguing, it shows they care about improving the relationship. When long periods of silence replace debate, you’ve got bigger problems. So make sure you value and address negative feedback — and quickly resolve the issues.

You’ll only find these customer engagement attributes if you’re looking for them. So if you aren’t formally measuring engagement, survey your customers to find out how they feel about you. Create comment cards and other feedback loops to proactively gauge satisfaction. And most of all, never be afraid to ask a customer what he or she is thinking. The answer could benefit you in more ways than one.