Create Lasting Online Relationships – Part 2

In the first article of this series, we introduced the Customer Engagement Model (Reach, Acquire, Convert & Retain) and offered several strategies for improving your effectiveness at each of the Stages of Customer Engagement.

More importantly, knowing which strategies to apply, and when to apply them, is most effective when you're able to measure the outcome of specific campaigns. (You can't improve what you don't measure.)

In this article, we examine the three places that you will lose customers - unless you engage them appropriately. We see many online businesses either not engaging at all or engaging everywhere. The right level of engagement at the right time is what's needed and that's what we're talking about.

Disengaging from the Engagement Model

Just to recap, we're working with four stages as covered in the article about Customer Engagement Models. These stages are Reach, Acquire, Convert and Retain.

All visitors arrive via the Reach stage so the effectiveness of this stage will dictate the website's overall potential. If you're not getting many visits to your website, you will want to review how you're going about attracting visitors.

A successful outcome of the Reach stage is that members of your target audience visit the website. Once potential customers visit your site, they enter the Acquire stage. In other words; these are all the people who have come to your website based on a promise you have made. In essence, these people are giving you the chance to deliver on that promise.

The Acquire stage is the first of three places that you will lose potential customers. We refer to this stage of disengagement as Leakage and find that it happens before any serious engagement with potential customers takes place. Its a situation that is analogous to window shopping.

Leakage represents the customers whom you were able to Acquire but whom you were not able to Convert. The ratio of Leakage to Acquisition represents the effectiveness of your Reach techniques in bringing the right audience to your website and illustrates how well your value proposition appeals to the needs of customers attracted by your Reach technique.

Abandonment describes the next type of disengagement that your customers can potentially exhibit. A common form of Abandonment occurs when a customer fills their shopping cart but do not commit to the final purchase.

By definition, Abandonment can only occur when the customer has commenced the Convert stage of your Engagement Model. Knowing "how many" and "why" people are choosing to disengage as a result of Abandonment is really important to know.

Disengagement at the final stage of the Engagement Model (Retain) is called Attrition. This occurs when a customer has had a successful engagement with the website and has been in the Convert stage at least once, but has chosen to go somewhere else.

To put the possible stages of disengagement into perspective, consider the following fictitious website (Make Millions In Days).

Make Millions In Days

Make Millions In Days offers customers a 12-month program of tips, tricks and techniques (in the form of a continuity program) for achieving one's dreams of becoming financially independent.

For this website;

1. Leakage
Leakage equates to potential buyers and sellers coming to the website, gathering information about how it works and what it has to offer to them but never signing up.

2. Abandonment
Abandonment is represented by someone filling up a shopping cart but exiting before completing the transaction.

3. Attrition
Attrition occurs when someone who has bought into the continuity program suddenly stops returning.

Knowing the factors influencing disengagement and measuring them consistently and continuously is the only surefire way of attaining predicable results. In our next and final article in this series, we highlight the 3 Major Factors leading to customer disengagement and the steps you can take to keep your visitors hanging around longer.


Create Lasting Online Relationships - Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

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