Engaging Customer Relationships & Experiences in the Digital Age
9th June, 2016
Today, ‘Customer Engagement’ has become a common ‘buzz-term’ which all businesses are striving to prove that they epitomise. However, what does it actually mean to strike a strategy that has customer engagement at the forefront at all times?
It is true that the continuous growth of the digital age brings customer empowerment, and therefore engagement, through multiple channels to a heightened level, as has never been experienced before. Organisations are adapting to make the actual customer the strategy, rather than just the target market. But what is meant by this?
Technology research and advisory firm, Gartner, havMe proposed that in order to compete and remain relevant, companies will need to adopt a bimodal CRM strategy, whereby they manage two separate but coherent modes of IT delivery. The first of these modes would focus on the stability of the business; this strategy would focus on keeping the things that are working stable and reliable so that the company can continue to fund maintenance. The focus of the second mode would be agility; allowing the company to explore and experiment with new and innovative methods that are designed to attract new business from ever changing markets.
This dual strategy can be seen to be exercised by many larger companies, as they often have the resources to branch out a little more than the smaller ones. However, IFS-mplsystems believe that, regardless of size, it is the ability to differentiate yourself as a business within your market, that creates talkability and therefore strengthened engagement amongst your customers. It is the seamless Omni-channel experience that is expected by the average modern consumer, that will lead to distinguished customer service.
With increasing channels to read and share content on, customers are empowered to conduct their own research before deciding which organisations they will deal with. This content consists of published material from companies carrying out inbound marketing, but also reviews from their peers, who are empowered and experienced themselves. In fact, Invesp Consulting carried out a report that showed that 90% of customers read reviews before contacting the company. This means that customer, loyalty, company reputation and lead generation are now in the hands of the existing clients; thus engagement with them at all stages is paramount.
In order to ensure the best levels of engagement, it is key to create a consistent experience for the customer throughout their time dealing with the company. For this to be possible, agents within the contact centres will need a single customer view which delivers the optimum end-to-end service, while supporting both the company and the client. This view provides the agent with all relevant information regarding the customer, thus equipping them with the knowledge-base that allows them to have a more meaningful conversation and therefore fully engage them in the service that they are providing.
Accepting and acting on the fact that the experience is now just as, if not more important than the product itself, companies can focus on building the experience around their customers’ needs. By looking for convenient and personalised traits to add to their service, they will be able to meet ever raising expectations and differentiate themselves from competitors.
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