What drives one business to succeed over another? Some would say “sales” because financial success is often tied to business success. But, this overlooks one important piece: customer engagement. Customer service reps and marketing pros know the customer/business relationship well.

But what do you do when a boss or higher-up isn't convinced that customer engagement is important? How do you sell a skeptic to take customer reviews to heart when making business decisions? Here are 3 ways to convince any skeptic that customer engagement is important:

Point to the cultural shift that’s changing marketing

The best marketing approach is one that follows cultural trends and shifts. Word-of-mouth marketing can be a powerful way to get prospective customers onboard. But customers first have to believe in your products and services.

That’s why engagement marketing is replacing traditional models. Customers are more likely to become advocates when they can empower their values.

“Engagement marketing pulls people in by telling stories, driving conversations, and addressing customer needs and interests," explains freelance writer Drew Calvert for KelloggInsight. "The goal is to involve customers in a deeper, more sustained relationship with a given product or brand.”

Dove's "Real Beauty" campaign is one example. The campaign re-defined what true beauty means. And it even championed diversity in beauty marketing. To sell customer engagement to a skeptic, you must set the stage. Point to the shift in cultural norms and their effects on marketing.

Show how a culture of engagement helps your business gain valuable insight

Human connection touches every part of our lives. Everyone has experienced the importance of trust in relationships. Highlight how relationship building has been crucial to business success. Building a team, choosing an accountant, and finding customers all require trust.

Your boss wouldn’t hire someone if they didn’t think that person was trustworthy, would they? Customers feel the same way when buying.

“The successful brands who engage their customers understand that customers want to interact with their peers and learn something of value.”

Engagement marketing helps build trust in the customer relationship. Customers want to feel they can trust a company to deliver on their promise. Building that relationship makes customers more likely to share their insights. This can result in positive customer reviews or references. Instead of selling why customer engagement is important, sell the importance of trust. This will put a focus on building a relationship through sales and marketing.

Emphasize the connection between client success and business revenue

Keeping a customer can actually increase your revenue over time more so than trying to gain a new one. “Acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one,” the Harvard Business Review confirms.

Insight into what customers are and aren't satisfied with allows companies to improve. Apple, for example, has seen so much success from customer reviews. They're always improving and innovating as a result. And customers love seeing their new and improved products!

“In terms of how customers help maintain existing revenue, the answer is obvious: churn drastically reduces your bottom line. You need loyal, satisfied customers if you're going maintain (let alone increase) revenue.”

Drive home the connection between client success and business revenue. One great way to do this in your business is to find data and stories that have increased revenue. Sprinkle customer reviews in an email marketing campaign to see how they boost sales. Or emphasize a client success story that resulted in a referral. These could be what sparks a culture of customer engagement.

Get Customers to Engage With Your Brand

Overlooking the importance of customer engagement is not ideal. Even major brands like Dove, Nike, and Adidas are changing the way they advertise to customers.

Convincing a skeptic to engage customers might sound like an impossible feat. But with three simple steps, you can help anyone convert! First, you want to highlight the shift in today’s culture and how that’s made an impact on marketing strategies. This will show how engagement helps businesses gain valuable customer reviews. Then highlight how customer reviews impact revenue. Find success stories in your own business that sparked company improvements. Before you know it, customer engagement will be a leading focus of your business!