What is customer engagement?


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Customer engagement is a relatively new term in the Customer Experience world, but unlike survey metrics like NPS (Net Promoter Score), ACSI (American Customer Satisfaction Index), and the latest trend, CES (Customer Effort Score), customer engagement doesn't have a common and consistent definition.

In Walker's report titled, Customers 2020: The Future of B-to-B Customer Experience, engagement is defined as a tailored metric consisting of four elements:

  1. Product Usage - the breadth and depth of product penetration (e.g., purchase patterns, product usage metrics, etc.)
  2. Sentiment - the frequency and magnitude of customer thoughts and feelings (e.g., NPS, customer loyalty, sentiment on social media, etc.)
  3. Involvement - the ways in which customers interact with the business (e.g., do customers attend events, are they willing to be a reference, will they share a case study, do they engage via social media, do they co-create, etc.)
  4. Competitive Status - how engaged is the customer with the competition (e.g., share of wallet)

For B-to-B companies, customer engagement can be assigned to each customer and reported at various levels of the customer hierarchy, including the customer level, the relationship manager level, and the corporate level.

It is an excellent approach that is used to create a holistic view of the customer.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Leslie Pagel
Leslie is responsible for incorporating the voice of Walker's customers into the solutions development process. To do this, Leslie spends the majority of her time interacting with Walker account teams, clients, and prospective clients to understand their business challenges. She coordinates several listening posts that are used to drive strong client relationships and enhance our consulting and technology capabilities.


  1. As you’ve defined engagement, it appears to have potential value and application as a metric. Question: How well does it monetize, i.e. cause and correlate with documented downstream customer behavior in b2b and b2c product and service sectors, relative to the metrics you’ve identified? Frameworks focused on customer advocacy and bonding have been extensively proven to be advanced, real-world, and granular in this regard: http://customerthink.com/is-there-a-single-most-actionable-contemporary-and-real-world-metric-for-managing-optimizing-and-leveraging-customer-experience-and-behavior/

  2. Finally, there’s an article that clearly defines customer engagement. I happen to like the term very much because it does make sense for organizations to ‘engage’ their customers in many ways in order to grow (and not be left behind by those who understand it). We all need to establish genuine interaction with customers. Customer engagement is definitely about understanding what is valuable to them, and what makes them happy. How do we do that? By establishing channels or as the article put it, ways to get involved. Whether we’re a large airline company or an internet retailer, we should offer something valuable to provide the best customer experience every day.


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