MANAGING in the

NEW WORLD

Customer Engagement

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

VoC (Voice of Customer) is the new rage in customer experience mapping. However, businesses need to track its ROI to truly make a difference. For that to happen VoC increasingly needs to be mapped as a value chain. It moves from customer inputs, to an action plan to deriving business intelligence on the inputs received to incorporating them in the next phase of product launched. Less than a sixth of VoCs end up successful. Each action in this VoC process needs to an upgrade in the value chain. Proper context needs to be gauged out of such studies. What metrics to use at what stage also needs to be carefully analyzed. The metrics could be either in customer domain, or in financials or for team management. Each stage must also look into the resources utilized, skills in possession, the stakeholders involved and the existing company culture.

Source:http://customerthink.com/value-chain-solution-to-voc-roi/

Uploaded Date: 19th May 2017

Beauty company Elizabeth Arden takes particular care to streamline its customer feedback mechanism. It has created a platform called Arden Insiders where its female customers can provide feedback on product innovation, servicing and design recommendations. There is complete freedom in customer sentiment declaration. This provides perfect tool to capture business intelligence on its own customers. This started as a year-long experiment but has now been formally incorporated. This method is called VoC (Voice of Customer) Research. Even Wharton states that such massive customer forums provide ideal platform for conducting data warehousing operations so companies can make informed decisions before product launches. Such VoC methodology goes beyond traditional surveys as it reaches out to larger audiences and no limits are enforced nor are questions controlled. There could be attributes of the product beyond the imagination of the marketer which come out through such studies.

Source:https://customerthink.com/does-your-brand-experience-align-with-customers-voices-elizabeth-arden-shows-how/

Uploaded Date: 19th May 2017

Customer experience is the feedback that can in many cases be applied as the barometer of any sales facing organization. Customers value organizations which not only serve them but enhance their overall experience. An example of this would be Amazon. The goal of delivering customer experience can be rounded off by an acronym – DOMORE. Here D stands for Designs something special. O stands for Offers a strong employee experience. Mo stands for Modernizes with technology while the second O goes for Obsesses over the customer. The R stands for Rewards responsibility and accountability. The final E goes for Embraces disruption and innovation. If this acronym is applied then the customer experience can truly be enhanced. A unique experience may be curated, employee feel motivated to go the extra step and technology changes are embraced, not feared. Business innovation and disruption are similarly encouraged. The customer is the king and queen of the entire process. The most deserving of employees get rewarded.

Source:https://www.forbes.com/sites/blakemorgan/2017/05/09/when-it-comes-to-customer-experience-more-is-more/#6e4d13847f8c

Uploaded Date: 19th May 2017

Listening is a very important component within customer experience. It helps in getting authentic feedback and data which can be analyzed using sophisticated business analytics tools. It also brings to marketers the stories that they would want to share at a later date. This could include tales of excellent trouble shooting, repeat customers or excellent feedback. Customers feel a sense of importance when their views are heard and acted upon, thus improving their retention levels. It eventually impacts customer spending as listening will lead to specific marketing campaigns run for customer sub-groups. Some of the most satisfied customers could later be leveraged to become brand ambassadors. This also impacts talent management as employees relay feedback to their superiors, who if they act accordingly increases employees’ connect with the customer base to further improve retention.

Source:https://www.forbes.com/sites/shephyken/2017/04/29/six-ways-listening-improves-the-customer-experience/#64b4f26272da

Uplaoded Date: 18th May 2017

Customer experience is always double sided. On the one hand, it can lead to great traction for an organization, but if not executed well could end up eroding the brand. With technology disrupting every stage of life and work now, five investments have been identified which if applied now, will lead to multiple benefits in the coming times. First one of them is the Internet of Things (IoT) to connect everything. Business consulting leaders McKinsey and Bain both have extremely positive predictions towards growth of this industry. At this point most of IoT usage is at households or offices with routers or door locks, but soon it will revolutionize the software services. The next investment would be in Chatbots, already being used optimally by the likes of Trip Advisor, Sephora, Nordstrom, Cover Girl and Charity Water. They are more reliable than people. Another innovation would be Voice Activated Everything as implemented by Whirlpool to assist people using voice technology. Then there is Concierge Customer Service which is an automated network that allows which as the name suggests is an application to streamline all customer issues and relay them to concerned persons for trouble resolution. Companies must increasingly start making use of unstructured data as it analysis will provide them with authentic business intelligence on marketer and competitors.

Source:https://www.forbes.com/sites/blakemorgan/2017/03/27/customer-experience-spring-cleaning-your-5-best-investments/#6d18d5431dec

Uploaded Date: 18th May 2017

There are some clients who respond better to certain delivery practices than others. Thus a common average satisfaction level is rarely possible. Some service professionals feel that quality is of utmost importance while others feel that clients feel the ‘wow’ factor when things get executed at speed. For companies growing fast, or scaling up such as startups it is the latter approach which is better as even funds are strained. The former approach works for larger corporations more concerned with upholding quality and their brand image. There are certain instances where both speed and quality have been made possible. Macros must be seen as positives to imbibe rather than negative. For optimal usage, a brand voice needs to be established. Investment in content writers works well for digital marketing these days as the content gets routed to company website, landing page or social media handles. Emails must also be curated with a view on customer base available. Instead of viewing technology as a threat it must be embraced to improve operations as AI has done for Digital Genius or Wise.io. The agent experience may also likewise be eased up using tools from Salesforce, Zen desk or Talk desk.

Source:https://customerthink.com/in-customer-service-you-must-choose-between-speed-and-wow-or-do-you/

Uploaded Date: 17th May 2017

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