MANAGING in the

NEW WORLD

Customer Engagement

In spite of the exponential growth of Artificial Intelligence (AI), there exist several limitations in that that can only be met by traditional means such as phone calls. Business research conducted by Google showed that more than three-fifths of respondents use the medium of phone calls to finalize their purchase. Reasons for this are plenty, but most commonly were due to quick response time and their desire to speak to a real person. The rise of the “conversation economy” can best be summarized by a statistic provided by BIA/Kelsey that states that phone calls to businesses will rise by one hundred and sixty-nine million in just a few years by 2020. For high-value purchases such as for automobiles, travel or insurance, people wanted to speak to real human experts and not machines. Alexa, Siri ad Google Assistant can now even do Voice recognized payments so eventually their role could rise. Smartphones are also increasingly being used to operate social media channels. Photography has also become a common use point.

Source:https://hbr.org/2017/07/your-customers-still-want-to-talk-to-a-human-being?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+harvardbusiness+%28HBR.org%29

Uploaded Date:31 July 2017

Online communities or digital forums offer a new business stream like none before. Social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter not only allow digital marketing for the brands, but also enable social interaction among fans of particular products, services or brands. Some ways have been identified by which these communities enhance customer engagement and enable value delivery. First of all, they provide a new service team away from the usual known ones. Digital service agents perform a lot of tasks traditional customer care professionals did not. Newer topics can now be used for customer engagement. Companies often keep a track of these innovative conversations to gauge what their new idea or product launch must be about and what the market is really looking for. These communities also provide brands with a channel to track market business intelligence by listening to and even responding to customer conversations in real time. Just like the city of Rome, these online communities cannot be built over a single day, but require constant nurturing over a period of time.

Source:https://customerthink.com/three-ways-communities-change-customer-engagement-and-deliver-value/

Uploaded Date: 28 July 2017

Five technologies have been identified that enable easy connect to be forged between customers and the brand. The first one such is App Store Optimization. On the respective stores, the app must be easily discoverable. This is influenced by app title, keywords, download numbers and user ratings. Push notifications are another ideal method for digital marketing. They especially help in directing traffic back to an app after it has been used but some transaction not completed or regular use not being made of. Personalized marketing allows segmented targeting by using funnels for grouping entire data under demographic, location, purchase history, gender or life-cycle stage heads. Notifications may also be made use of within apps when in use. This leverages the power of analytics by improving user engagement while using app. Similarly, real time business intelligence may be extracted out of the app using freebies, promo codes, cash back offers and suggestions. This provides engagement analytics.

Source:http://www.dqindia.com/5-technologies-to-drive-easy-customer-connect/

Uploaded Date:27/06/2017

While there are en number of ways discovered to upgrade customer service interactions, there is one method that is evergreen. This is not a one-step solution but one that covers five different, inter-connected stages. The first stage involves understanding what extra specifics will be added to improve the position. After this, a complete evaluation must be made of available inventory as well as what can be feasibly added. Specifics must now be defined. This includes the time value to customers, the information provided to them purposefully, a sense of connect with them and a differentiation with others providing similar services. Now specific metrics must be measured. Massive chunks of data must be analyzed to procure authentic business intelligence. Crucially, before launching any innovation to the final customers, it is necessary to display examples of success to business associates. This will provide enough backing to allow the project to take off.

Source:https://customerthink.com/one-concept-that-improves-all-your-customer-service-interactions/

Uploaded Date:19/06/2017

Customer engagement has moved beyond the ‘aha’ moments that used to delight them earlier. Now they want brands to understand even before they have made the first purchase or even before they themselves understood their requirements. Big Data and technology have proven to be enablers but also burdened companies with expectations which may not always be achievable. Thus some guidelines have been identified which can usually enable customer or even employee engagement. First of all, touch-points must be developed so that key moments can be leveraged. As the customer is not controlled by anyone, at least such moments must be seized and the customer be empowered. An equilibrium needs to be reached between customer experience and the brand’s servicing. However, all work needs to be forged within the natural cycle of the organization. But because things constantly change due to cloud based technologies, so a fluid system needs to be put in place. To execute customer engagement, first of all, the employees need to be engaged to the brim. The company must stay vigilant against competition, a lot of which lurks in the shadows. This includes technology that can rapidly change but also imperil.

Source:http://www.computerworld.com/article/3198066/crm/the-rules-of-engagement-for-customer-obsessed-organizations.html

Uploaded Dare:19/06/2017

Russell Findlay is an experience Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) who recently took up the post at insurance company Hiscox. He has set up a totally innovative approach to selling insurance packages than used elsewhere. A more customer oriented approach is used. Instead of the fear based selling methodology adopted elsewhere, at Hiscox, opportunities for risk taking are highlighted to small businesses. Findlay feels that fear is not a long term inducer or motivator. Relevant customer background checks are done to curate personalized services. This business intelligence is crafted using enormous data generated and is used to create powerful stories for the media. In addition another innovation adopted is recruitment of customers as they are the ones who will best understand pain points and ways to improve final service.

Source:https://www.forbes.com/sites/blakemorgan/2017/05/03/customer-experience-transformation-one-cmos-powerful-story/#5678ddcc1a8e

Uploaded Date: 02/06/2017

At the recent annual conference of IBM called Amplify held at Las Vegas, company members as well as external stakeholders poke about several upcoming innovations. A lot of them for obvious reasons centred around AI. But the GM of IBM’s Watson IoT tells us that AI for her organization does not stand for artificial intelligence as it normally does, but for augmented intelligence. While in the former case, machines or robots replace humans, in the latter, they augment human intelligence with machine computing power. Data is getting so important and widespread that marketers should be able to pinpoint customers’ next moves. The data warehousing being done can enable marketers to get a grip on style preferences, hobbies, past interactions, purchase history and marketing campaigns’ success. But detailed analysis is necessary so that the numbers can be broken down into meaningful information by blending past with future requirements. Traditional “mom and pop” stores excelled at meaningful interactions because they had a cohort of exclusive loyal customers. This will get replicated for larger stores using AI.

Source:https://www.forbes.com/sites/kimberlywhitler/2017/03/19/building-customer-engagement-in-the-cognitive-era-insight-from-ibms-amplify-conference/#371298a3ccd7

Uploaded Date: 22nd May 2017

The case of United Airlines with Dr. David Dao became infamous due to the video evidence of the elderly man being dragged out forcibly. This proved to be a PR disaster but it amplified following United’s CEOs blatant attempt at shifting the blame entirely to the customer. Later the CEO Oscar Munoz did communicate regret but the damage was done by then. Airlines are known for taking overselling of tickets to reduce risk of flying below capacity, with the assumption that some passengers would not turn up, but when this calculated risk doesn’t work off, it leads to disastrous results. Something similar happened to the writer during her recent flight from Holland to the UK. Thus some observations have come out on such PR disasters. First of all, during times of crisis, any organization having a disconnected CEO can led to such disasters. Corporate training programmes must take into account such scenarios to test policies or procedures to be adopted at such times. The staff need to be given that kind of training along with the pertinent information. Most importantly, any company must practice what is preached, so if any airliner has asked for volunteers to give up seats, it mustn’t force on the issue to anyone unwilling.

Source:https://www.forbes.com/sites/adrianswinscoe/2017/04/30/some-customer-experience-lessons-from-uniteds-and-my-own-experience-of-denied-boarding/#690da34da3ea

Uploaded Date: 22nd May 2017

A recent study was conducted to gauge the steps towards customer engagement. Seven rules in particular have been observed which are a must in customer engagement. First of all, the brand must not appear remote, but instead have a human feel. Customers must be treated well and made happy at all costs. First impressions really matter a lot so marketers need to be on their best footing when meeting new customers. Social media must be made extensive use of for digital marketing purposes. For this, an email engagement strategy must also be thought of and executed. Rewards and incentives must be allotted for loyal and repeat customers. The concept of in-product content dissemination must be used up where once a product has been purchased, the users must be alerted about other products or new product launches. This will be an organic marketing but also customer engagement mechanism.

Source:http://customerthink.com/must-read-7-rules-of-customer-engagement-you-must-abide-to/

Uploaded Date: 20th May 2017

Customer relationships are important for the brand due to several reasons. One such reason is the ROI as it’s less expensive to keep getting business from existing customers than acquiring newer ones. Another is that marketers do not need to overtly promote new products to loyal customers, they buy them anyway as they have experienced the service before. They will even agree to pay a higher price as they have experienced the quality in the past and so do not need carrots to get convinced. Older customers are also aware of way things work so they need limited hand holding. The biggest advantage of them if they are nurtured properly gets reflected in conventional and digital marketing. They can turn brand advocates and bring referral business.

Source: http://www.josic.com/why-are-customers-important-5-sources-of-value-from-customer-relationships

Uploaded Date: 20th May 2017

We are living in an age of forever connectedness. Smartphones are running our lives and customers are managing their entire shopping journey using them. That is why they expect companies to be connected to them forever but not be intrusive. Customers expect that due to the enormous data warehousing operations now done by companies, they will provide better products as they have real time feedback from a vast pool. They also want customized marketing content depending on what individual customer groups want. While millennials are expected a lot from marketers, this expectation will rise to a crescendo when the Generation Z takes over. This generation has been using smartphones since their toddler age. Marketing research firm Forrester claims through a study that the B2B segment will rise to over a trillion dollars by the year 2020. Out of this nearly a third of the customer base will do part of their research using smartphones. Thus brands will need to find ways to be attractive to fellow businesses.

Source:https://www.forbes.com/sites/blakemorgan/2017/04/12/how-the-connected-customer-will-impact-your-business/#757f03c87705

Uploaded Date: 20th May 2017

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