Customer engagement is a key area of differentiation for many large enterprises. As communication technology becomes increasingly complex however, and the number of communication channels grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to provide consistent and personalised customer service across all platforms.
By implementing strategies that optimise the workforce and improve internal processes, companies can optimise customer engagement and enrich consumer interactions. This can result in increased customer loyalty, and enhanced performance and revenue.
Listening to Customers
There are many ways that customers can communicate with or about a company, from social media, to email, call centres, in store or in person, on online discussion boards or through online reviews.
This communication can be an extremely powerful source of untapped data. It is essential that companies are listening to these channels and responding accordingly.
On the one hand companies should be listening for complaints and issues. These types of messages should immediately be flagged and forwarded to customer support to be dealt with in a meaningful and efficient manner.
On the other hand companies should be listening to their customer channels for ideas. Channels such as social media can be a vast source of information on what the customer wants and needs out of a product. This information can then be funnelled to the research and development departments, and can be used to generate new product ideas, and find out the best ways to improve existing products and services.
Optimising Customer Engagement
Although there are many ways to engage with consumers, many companies struggle to develop and implement a solid customer engagement initiative. Customers expect a consistent, personalised, and seamless experience, regardless of the number interactions they have with a business; and companies must ensure that they can engage with the customer across all of these channels.
Companies need to ensure that their customer service employees are not overwhelmed by the systems and data that are being fed to them, and that they have a clear understanding of how to respond to, and escalate queries appropriately.
Three of the key rules for optimising customer engagement are:
Consistency – all of the communication channels that an organisation supports should be consistent in appearance, style, messaging and experience. While the channels do not have to be identical, they should provide a consistent level of responsiveness and knowledge, drawing on the same knowledge base and customer profiles.
Continuity – customers should be able to continue an interaction seamlessly across all channels and devices.
Customisation – organisations need to understand their customers’ needs and personalise their interactions and services accordingly.
Ultimately, customer engagement is about giving the customer the information and service they need through the channel they prefer, delivering it to the customer when and where they need it.