Customer Engagement

A key feature of the ongoing sales revolution is the rise of subscriptions. This emerged as a response to increasingly fickle customers and low costs of brand switching. Internet-based services led on this front, with Amazon Prime a clear leader having crossed a hundred million subscriptions globally. Across industries such as retail, insurance, telecom and automotive, sales personnel are relishing this opportunity. Marketers Though need to take care to not go all out for this model without rethinking strategy. Business model changes need to be incorporated alongside these marketing innovations. Unilever for instance went the merger path, by incorporating Dollar Shave Club’s mechanism back in 2016. Businesses are realizing the importance of retention, so focusing on that using the metric CLV (Customer Lifetime Value). This retention is best tracked using tools such as NPS (Net Promoter Score) or CSAT (Customer Satisfaction). Once data warehousing has been done, it is used to predict the amount a customer will spend on during the lifetime. Customer retention can best be choreographed keeping in mind the ease, cost and experience.


Uploaded Date:20 July 2018

Sales representatives are often over-burdened leading to reduced interaction with customers. Their seniors often heckle them to convert more accounts and generate increased business from existing ones. There is a need for separating the service staff from the sales. Need also exists to understand which all customers or segments are truly worth the time, so as not to be overwhelmed by queries or complaints. Data warehousing needs to be done on customer responses to separate the high-quality customers from the chaff. A study by Bain and Company revealed that only about a fifth of the respondents had any such data-driven approach to quantifying this. Data sciences and business analytics need to be applied to gauge the key pockets of potential growth. Marketers will also need to understand ways to increase the share of the customers’ wallet. A clear-cut strategy needs to be put in place on customer interaction.Source

Uploaded Date:18 July  2018

Marketer across the board are grappling with ways to understand the customer journey better. This will help optimize the touchpoints in the journey. Designing such a journey is getting more realistic now with the availability of granular bits of data. The engagement channels provide enormous amounts of intelligence across the journey but optimizing all of it into a coherent picture is the challenge. A lot of this information resides in disparate groups such as with sales, marketing, customer care or product development. The traditional approach has been to perform as much of data warehousing as possible so that meaningful insights may be gleaned. But it is also important to have the right kind of data and appropriate analytics tools being used. To ensure the optimum results in the company’s digital marketing efforts, customer care has to take the lead. Within the omnichannel approach, it is this department that can extract the essential information from social media, chat data, self-service channels and service data. All forms of obstacles which impinge collaboration or information sharing need to be muted out.


Uploaded Date:10 July 2018

Great customer experience can have multiple positive ripple effects. While every company desires it, not all get it right, letting many customers feel disappointed. Since very few get it right, the price premium is extremely high. Management consulting giant PwC has undergone a complete study to assess this. Coffee for example has a price premium of merely sixteen percent, but winter coats have even less at seven percent only, implying lower rates of satisfaction. Most US consumers are loathe to sharing their personal data, but the proportion rises significantly when it is for receiving more curated personal experiences. Poor customer experiences on the other hand are driving them away in large numbers, this being especially high in the US and Latin America. People most value efficiency, personal service, unique experience, human interaction and convenience. The need for personal interaction is highest in Germany, while companies in Japan can get away most without the same. But for all this to succeed, companies need to have more proactive talent management practices in place. This is because companies with superior employee experience invariably end up having the best of customer experiences.


Uploaded Date:04 July 2018

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Uploaded Date:19/06/2017

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