What a fascinating time we live in. As customers we have so much influence and control over needs fulfilment it’s almost at a point where we can think up an idea, a need, a want and fundamentally get it in the color, shape, size, flavor that suits us. There are countless examples of business processes that support and encourage an on demand economy from 3D printing to JIT manufacturing, instant prototyping to low or no touch services, agile processes and mass social dialogue … the list goes on.
This powerful on demand wave has changed the way business is done and continues to do so – removing sales and support barriers, reducing inventory needs and eroding differentiation, so much so that by 2020, less than 10% of companies will be able to differentiate their products from the competition. This is a fascinating notion where the majority of companies will compete and position purely on the basis of customer experience. So are companies ready for the customer engagement age?
Over the next few months we’re going to explore a few primary steps businesses can take to embrace and leverage customer engagement for business success:
1) Customer engagement as a business-wide mandate
In a customer-driven, on-demand world the time of the marginalized contact center is over. Customer interactions captured or created by the business bring invaluable intelligence and opportunity to the organization. If driven by a truly customer centric approach the results can mean more meaningful relationships, facts that contribute to business decisions, and focus to improve performance.
2) A single customer truth
Customers have seemingly unlimited ways of interacting with companies, whether it be voice or email, chat or social media. With customers in the driver’s seat they should be able to engage on any channel they choose, and have those interactions woven together for a contextual, integrated, 360 degree view. An “omni-channel” approach means more relevant engagement for improved satisfaction and retention, and better business decisions.
3) Right-touch resolution
Customer engagement can range from zero-touch self-services to high touch customer conversations. Gone are the days of next in queue. Organizations need to combine their single customer truth with the right channel at the right time. By combining a 360 degree view of the customer with a rules based routing engine that matches customers to experts or sources of information and support, so you not only satisfy customer needs but you improve team confidence and satisfaction. This combination steps beyond availability routing – it means your organization has more relevant, valuable conversations with customers – that’s a true win-win.
We’ll take a deeper look at each key trend, share the opportunities and steps necessary toward a customer engagement strategy, and hopefully hear from you along the way. It’s a truly dynamic business environment so it benefits us all to keep the customer engagement conversation going.
Until next time!