What’s your favourite pancake filling?
Today is Pancake Day, the great British tradition of flipping batter in saucepans and trying to avoid sticking the contents to ceilings. The main discussion is always around what ingredients people prefer for their pancake fillings.
There’s also a lively discussion happening on what ingredients make successful customer engagement. As we wrote The Book on customer engagement, a 30 page report of primary research, here are our top 10 favourite ingredients to build effortless engagement for happier customers. Plus some pancake filling suggestions.
The Cherry On The [Pan]Cake: Customer Managed Journeys
The most important ingredient for effortless engagement and happier customers is to make sure it’s the customer’s journey, not yours. Think beyond marketing and your own internal processes. You’ve seen Tim Peake’s view of the world right now from the ISS. If you look at everything from an internal Marketing point of view then you miss the chance to see the world as it truly is, which is from your customer’s point of view. Enable the customer to interact with your brand on their terms, to their preferences, at their own pace.
The Classic Lemon & Sugar: Customer-Centred
The absolute classic French Crepe is the most traditional Pancake Day recipe. Customer-centricity is now also a classic business phrase. We felt we needed to say it again because without this ingredient you won’t achieve customer engagement and happier customers.
The American Blueberry and Ice-cream: The Journey View
Sound like a pancake classic? It depends where you’re from, where you’re at and where you want to go. You might be an American living in London on Pancake Day. Or maybe you’re an Englishman in New York who fancies a taste of home. If you don’t see the complete journey you’ll make assumptions based on individual interactions and experiences in isolation. With the Journey View you’ll get the personal bigger picture and what’s relevant to each person at that point in time.
Bananas with chocolate sauce and ice-cream: Value Win-Win
Everyone wins with this. If you understand the idea of value exchange, and build it into your customer engagement approach, all your efforts will be rewarded. What information are customers happy to give? What positive things do they seek in exchange? Where do you see the best return and lowest costs? The exchange of information and value in a way which creates advantage for both parties over time is the ultimate recipe for success.
Mascarpone cheese and lemon curd: Give Permission
Like giving yourself permission to try cheese on a sweet pancake, you need to give the leaders and management in your business the full scope, remit, authority and shared goal to drive engagement. You also need to empower business users who inform customer experiences rather than leaving responsibility only within the IT department. Customer engagement is a strategic priority and a cross-business team challenge. It’s empowerment for engagement.
Mango and Honey: Get connected
It’s an exotic ingredient which removes borders and walls to bring people together in one world. Those business departments, like Sales, Service and Marketing, on the other side of the corridor or down on a different floor, or in another building – all need to be brought together into one single, unified team. Then your business can unify customer experiences across the ever-expanding numbers of customer channels and touchpoints including digital (web, mobile and social networks), local (high street shops/ premises); print (direct mail) and call centres.
Melted Cadbury’s Crème Eggs – Check for Breaks
Ever had an accident trying to make something only to discover the by-product was much better than anything you’d originally intended? You have to smash some eggs to make some pancakes. You need to check to see where your customer engagement is breaking and customers are disengaging with your brand. If you have a complete journey view where you can see everyone, including anonymous visitors, across all touchpoints, you will get a very real view of where you have cracks leaking customers. In the process of fixing it you might also discover what you originally thought was a problem can be turned into something absolutely amazing for making your customers happier.
Cranberry sauce – ONE View
Sounds so simple you’ll wonder why you’ve never tried it before. To achieve effortless engagement for happier customers you will need to create a single view of the customer in real-time across all business areas and all customer journeys. This means allowing customer information to be visible in one place, removing fractured pictures of the customer and replacing them with a single view of a customer’s behaviour, details, history and preferences. This should eliminate technology silos and the resulting broken conversations.
Ice-cream, salted caramel, peanuts and pretzels – Journey Insights
If you don’t know about dietary requirements this could be a deadly pancake filling. To be certain you really understand your customers’ needs you need to capture and act on customer insights and behaviour across their entire journey. You can use real-time journey insights to see where customers are disengaging with you. Then you can start to build better journeys across those interaction points to keep more customers engaged.
Anything with everything? Get personal
You don’t need to follow generic recipes, you can personalise to every customer’s preference, context and what you know about them – including anonymous first-time visitors to you. Customers don’t need to feel like they’re being thrown same-size-fits-all junk. Now you can show them you really know them and value them for who they really are. Use customer context, personalisation and relevance to inform and improve every single customer interaction – and add value every time.
Happy Pancake Day! Read the customer engagement research report ‘Engagement 3.0’, The Book on Customer Engagement, download your copy now.