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The New Rules of Customer Engagement: Data-Driven & Yet Human-Centric

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

We are living in an era of constant customer engagement. And customer engagement is more complex today with higher expectations from informed customers.

Customer engagement is more complex today than ever before, and yet, customer expectations from companies have never been higher. We are living in an era of constant engagement. Companies need to engage customers during the pre-sales, through the purchase process, and in post-purchase customer service and product support.

There is a constant need to engage with customers consistently throughout the customer lifecycle in order to keep the customers you’ve acquired.

The ‘push’ model of engaging customers no longer works effectively. The expectation is that customers can create their own engagement model with companies, based on their own needs and wants. Social media and smartphones have changed the customer engagement paradigm. customers are empowered with digital information and the ability to share negative or positive views about companies via social media.

Multi-channel customer engagement

Traditional and social channels have combined to create ‘multi-channel engagement.’ Customers want to engage 24/7/365 and ensure their choice of channel doesn’t disadvantage them, based on their preferences. If you want mobile shopping then you expect your favorite main street store to also offer their products via mobile. If you want to view handbags in-store and then purchase via your mobile, the retailer should cater for this.

Digital shopping and the growth of non-cash payments deliver a rich seam of customer data insights. Many companies are only just starting to learn to use data-driven insight in an appropriate way. This will lead on to a new customer profitability model.

Engaging customers via the right channel, with the right message and at the right time, requires operational agility to ensure measurably profitable outcomes. The new rules of customer engagement require that companies go beyond customer-centricity, and focus on human-centricity.

What does this jargon mean? In simple layman terms, it means that your customers are human and they engage with humans in your company. This enables human dialogue. ‘Pushing’ can be considered as a company monologue, which turns customers off and may result in a customer diatribe in social media.

Identifying profitable customer insights that drive human-centric customer engagement

Not all customers are [equally] profitable. Some customers do not have the potential to become your most profitable customers.

Companies are challenged to spend their budgets more effectively, whilst their market and their customers are becoming more diverse and sophisticated.

The answer is to develop personalized or segmented communications that can be behaviorally targeted to customers. Customer lifecycle stages can help to focus the delivery of key insights:

  • Acquisition, enhance targeting to reduce acquisition costs and increase likely lifetime value
  • Activation, ensure that acquisition leads on to effective early engagement
  • Engagement, understand customer preferences and interests
  • Satisfaction, servicing effectiveness and efficiency
  • Loyalty, build in-depth relationships, churn analysis to reduce attrition and focus acquisition activity
  • Advocacy, reduce marketing costs through using advocates to engage prospects and customers

Lifecycle velocity will vary by customer, and may not be sequential. Customers can skip one or multiple stages of the cycle at any point. If they are in a loyalty program and become dissatisfied, then they can skip forward straight to disengage. Customers may leave your brand forever when they disengage.

The new rules of customer engagement are data-driven, yet human-centric…

Article orginally posted on WinTheCustomer.com

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