We like to know we are doing the best we possibly can to engage our customers. After all, Customer Engagement and Experience is now the differentiator. But while we might do just enough now and then, there are always new tools and technologies to which we can turn for help.
You can be forgiven for finding it hard to keep track of all these new developments (though your customers might not go so easy on you). We have seen rapid and momentous transformations in mobile technology, the internet and social media in recent years. They have granted customers unprecedented dexterity and awareness of choice, reshaping customers' expectations and interactions with organisations.
What's more, technology will continue to change how we communicate. Like it or not, we have to keep up. So how exactly do we 'keep up'? How do we engage customers in the best ways possible without overwhelming or bankrupting our organisations?
The Ten New Rules of Customer Engagement
1. Make contact easy: Here, easy means flexible. Enable customers to interact via any channel, on any device, at any time – from any place.
2. Be consistent: Make sure information and experience are comparable across all channels and that all your teams are on the same page, in style as well as content. How?
3. Integrate: Ensure consistency and accuracy by joining up disparate information systems (CRM, WFO, ERP or home-grown) and communications channels, seamlessly and securely.
4. Automate: Customers aren’t there for a chat. They want information and to transact. Automate the most popular searches and activities and free up staff for the tricky stuff.
5. Personalise: Digital technology has brought the wheel full-circle. Like an old-style village shopkeeper, but mass-scale, recognise your customers and their preferences on sight.
6. Contextualise: What does the customer usually do next? What is the best way to ask the question? Use integration to deliver contextualised customer engagement across all channels.
7. Listen to customers: It can be easy to focus on social media and neglect other channels of communication. Avoid this traditional pitfall and speak to your customers via every medium.
8. Make informed decisions: Incorporate Big Data from customer interactions as well as information systems to predict customer behaviour and direct your spend to best effect.
9. Become artificially intelligent: Climb the slope from flowcharted services to learning algorithms and machine learning. Become an algorithmic business, step by step.
10. Become future resistant: Future-proofing may never be possible, but at least design your systems architecture such that new technologies can be slotted in, and old ones cycled out.