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Client engagement is an essential part of any successful client retention strategy. The concept of engagement can be applied to consumer brands, but it is even more crucial in business relationships for long-term success.

Then why is customer engagement so difficult to plan and execute?

In a surprising number of cases, client engagement isn't rational nor is it just about the physical product or tangible aspect of the service. Client engagement is emotional, intangible, and very personal. It is just as much an art as it is a science.

Moreover, there are many ways to understand, measure, and manage the motivational aspects of thousands (or even millions) of client interactions.

The more emotional and personal the bond between provider and client, the greater the potential engagement. However, establishing and maintaining such personal connections depends on the people who interact with clients. When engagement comes down to so many, managing it gets messy.

That's where good leadership comes in. Here's a look at what leaders who inspire customer engagement across their organizations regularly do.

1. They foster a positive relationship climate

After six years of cross-industry research, we've found that the motivation of clients is determined by the "relationship climate" they experience.

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image of Tom Cates

Tom Cates is founder, CEO, and Chief Storyteller of salesEQUITY, a SaaS-based client engagement platform that uses a proven quantitative methodology to measure and assess the health of individual client relationships.

LinkedIn: Thomas Cates