MANAGING in the

NEW WORLD

Customer Engagement

Digital transformation is often just a buzzword, especially if it is not targeted towards smoothening the customer experience. Just because people are increasingly spending greater time online, companies are striving hard to position themselves as ‘digital first’. Several business models have failed as they rushed towards new digital gadgets. Simply possessing AR, VR, IOT, AI, 3-D Printing, or using social media for digital marketing is not going to solve the problems if the entire ecosystem has not been thought out critically. The ones most successful in the digital age have been the ones who have strategized over time and created a holistic experience to benefit the customers. Examples of this includes Netflix, GE, Disney, Amazon and Starbucks. One needs to act on strategic insights and seize the right moments as done by Dunkin’ Donuts. There are three main criteria for knowing when to enter- novelty, credibility and the insight being actionable in real time.

Source:https://knowledge.insead.edu/blog/insead-blog/leveraging-digital-to-optimise-the-customer-experience-7431

Uploaded Date:16 March 2018

A school of thought has existed long in Europe, but now spreading out known as service design. This challenges the notion that product design needs greater care, insisting that so do services. Three key philosophies are embedded into this idea, beginning with what the seller wants in accordance with the company’s core philosophy and subsequent corporate strategy. It is a proactive, not reactive strategy involving choices, actions and subsequent consequences. The overall aim is to ensure consistency in delivery. Experiences shape the way the companies involved take the decisions. Some elements have been identified that help in ensuring customer delight. They involve an empathy towards the customer, understanding their emotions, matching their expectations, elegance in offering and constant customer engagement. The execution needs to be neat, must make economic sense for all concerned, the service must be engineered to meet solutions, with constant experimentation at the heart of all decisions. Service design does not consider surprise as a great strategy, instead just wants to delight the customers. An important tenet is that the service design and its delivery must be consistent across all the platforms. The chain must involve anticipation, creation, innovation and finally iteration.

Source:https://www.strategy-business.com/article/The-Art-of-Customer-Delight?gko=e9da8

Uploaded Date:14 February 2018

Online shopping has changed the world of business for ever as now competitors face-off across clicks, swipes or taps away. That is why consulting firm McKinsey thought of and developed the consumer decision journey to map the shifting consumer behaviour. It is divided into four stages, beginning with the initial consideration set that is the trigger. Then there is the active evaluation of all brands for consideration followed by the moment of purchase, culminating in fulfilling loyalty by being again. Sadly, for most brands the research conducted clearly gives that ninety percent of categories lacked customer loyalty. Social media has become a very powerful tool for digital marketing with potential customers getting highly influenced by influencers. The study also found out that more than half of customers shift brands at the next purchase cycle. Also, seventy percent of brand choices are made at the beginning of the journey. Thus, McKinsey has now curated the customer growth indicator to gauge business intelligence post study of the huge chunks of data now generated.

Source:https://www.mckinsey.com/about-us/new-at-mckinsey-blog/ten-years-on-the-consumer-decision-journey-where-are-we-today?cid=other-soc-twi-mip-mck-oth-1711&kui=oREs47JTH9TaSTzSdwUlpg

Uploaded Date:28 November 2017

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

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