(and 8 tips to help you be a better Marketer)
You, me and everyone around us, we all have our own ‘Too Difficult Pile’ – the place where we push things that feel too hard to do right now. For you to be a successful Marketer in the long-term you need to focus on Customer Engagement today, not tomorrow. Everything else is a distraction from your personal success. True customer engagement is about building meaningful customer relationships, the life-blood of your brand, your business and your career. Customer Engagement should never be on your too difficult pile.
There are many excuses some marketers give for not tackling Customer Engagement straightaway. The fact is that these beliefs are misplaced, and are distracting you from your own true potential as a Marketer. Stop kidding yourself, and question anyone you hear come up with any of these. Your customers don’t deserve a place on your Too Difficult Pile, nor does your career. Give your career a long-term boost: Listen out for these customer engagement excuses and challenge them.
1. A single customer view is a hard nut to crack
There are countless ways customers can interact with your brand, and every interaction point comes with a set of data for every customer. The complexity of data and interaction points means getting a single customer view feels like it’s nigh-on impossible.
Tip 1: This might have been the case, once-upon-a-time. Technology has evolved. You can now have your customer data in a single customer view. Anyone who tells you otherwise needs some catching-up to do. Do your research and challenge this perception amongst your colleagues.
2. True customer engagement is too complicated
Not sure where to start? You might be worried about the effort of trying to get colleagues from different departments together? Maybe you believe you’ll need a lot of IT investment to integrate loads of complicated tech systems? And of course, you want to avoid career-suicide with a big white-elephant project which becomes so hugely complex it never delivers.
There are a lot of Bandwagon-riders out there talking about customer engagement. They’re bamboozling Marketers with what seems like very clever stuff, but appears hugely complicated. There’s a lot of smoke and mirrors, jargon and frankly guff. It takes real experts to make the complex simple.
Tip 2: The fact is you can get started with customer engagement quickly and easily. You just need to be talking to the right people. When you hear something which sounds like BS, it probably is. Don’t be afraid of making people properly explain themselves, in non-technical, layman’s lingo. When it comes to trying to build more meaningful relationships with your customers no question is a daft question. If people can simply explain Customer Engagement to you without tying you up in knots, and then they can help you to explain it to your colleagues in a straightforward way, you’re on the right track.
3. No one person holds the customer reigns
Any attempt to create an ‘ultimate customer champion’ is hard as everyone needs to be involved. Everyone in your business owns the customer relationship in some way.
Tip 3: Carpe diem. When it comes to Customer Engagement there’s no time like the present. Seize the day. As someone must become the customer champion, it’s time you stepped up and led the other stakeholders forward. Why wait for someone else to seize this opportunity?
4. There are more important priorities
There’s always a pile of stuff which needs to be done yesterday. But if you’re putting off customer engagement you’re putting off having better customer relationships, which means you’re putting off future revenue and growth, which is, well, pointless. What’s the point of a business after all?
Tip 4: Stop fussing over your website or CRM system and listen to your customers first and then build the relevant infrastructure and experiences around them. And as much as you love your customers, put yourself first, put your career first. If you make Customer Engagement your No.1 priority, you’ll discover that X Factor which makes you stand out ahead of your peers and become that Torch-Bearing Marketer.
5. Joining up siloes is a pipe dream
Tech like CRM systems, analytics platforms, automation systems, campaign management, social listening tools; the Martech list is endless. However, no one designed these to speak to each other, so we’ve ended up with a channelled and fragmented view of the customer, contained within each separate system. The idea of joining up these tech silos does sound far-fetched… but there is a way.
Tip 5: The fact is that it is now possible to have a layer which easily integrates with your existing systems, processes and data records, not replacing them, but extending them to meet the needs of the omnichannel world today. We suggest you walk before you run so you’ll see value very fast. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is true Customer Engagement. Start small, start by listening to journeys in a couple of channels, and start to see the value you get from that. Aim to deliver a pilot in a few weeks which proves the case for customer engagement. In terms of the value you’ll gain from Customer Engagement it’ll just be the tip of the ice-berg, but it will be enough for you to prove to yourself and your business stakeholders that this isn’t more than you can chew, and it tastes great.
6. Our business struggles to put the customer first
It’s so easy to lose focus on the customer and get distracted by balance sheets, revenue forecasts, sales targets, and cost reduction targets. There’s no escaping the simple truth: (happy) customers are the lifeblood to your brand, business and career success. As a customer-first marketer you’ll see more success than if you focus on your website traffic and conversions. As a customer-first business you’ll out-last your competition. A strong customer-first culture is essential in achieving long-term relationships.
Tip 6: As a marketer you’re in a strong position to pull your customers into focus and drive fast results to demonstrate the value of doing so. When the value of true Customer Engagement is seen, other company stakeholders will open their eyes to its potential and take inspiration, from which point a customer culture will flourish, as will the business – and your next promotion.
7. We don’t have the technical expertise to get started
If you don’t have in-house IT, data, digital and customer journey knowledge you probably think you’ll need all of these skills to start tackling customer engagement. You might even think you need people who can write code.
Tip 7: The fact is tech exists which has been built for the end user, a Marketer who hasn’t got a clue about code. Marketer-friendly customer engagement technology is available now. They will be your B.F.F. who sticks with you for the rest of your career, and when it comes to those award ceremonies they’ll be on of the first you’ll want to thank.
8. “We’re already doing a great job”
OK, so you’re brilliant. You’ve already got fantastic tools and have loads of insights into your customers. Those tools were not designed to provide a single, all-channel view of your customers. They also don’t help you to personalise every interaction throughout your customers’ journey with you (online, on mobile apps, offline, or a call-centre).
Tip 8: So, if you’re telling yourself you’re already a top performer you’re missing a trick. Which isn’t something top performers do. Show some hustle. You can do this by introducing customer journey analytics which places the customer at the very heart of what it’s listening to. You can also show your business how you can understand the context of every customer interaction in a way that’s shared across your existing technologies and silos. Your board of directors will be impressed when you show them you can understand the entire customer journey. And when you show them you don’t need to replace your existing systems to do this, instead you can just have an insight layer on top that recognises customer intent, desire and need, you’ll be very popular indeed. And then when you go on to show how you can use these insights to deliver relevant and personalised experiences to your customers in real-time, well, we hope you invite us to your promotion party.
STOP IT! NO MORE EXCUSES.
Truly understanding your customers is easier than you’d think. There can’t be any excuses for not building meaningful relationships with your customers. Your customers are worth it. You’re worth it. Make Customer Engagement your Wing Man right now. To get started download our practical 4-step guide: