Marketing plans today more often than not include objectives for better customer engagement. Everyone’s beginning to wake up to the fact it’s the way to build happier customers. And we all know happier customers will spend more for longer and become advocates for your brand.
Recent research shows however that for most of you improving customer engagement feels like it’s a huge effort. The good news is it doesn’t have to be; effortless engagement is possible for marketers today. Marketers can engage with their customers more easily, in such a way which solves all of the usual challenges.
Improving customer engagement might not feel easy
The CMO Council’s Report shows customer engagement today seems to be no walk in the park for most marketers. A lot of marketing heads are being scratched, and it would seem rivers of marketing blood, sweat and tears are being shed trying to create engaged, loyal customers who keep coming back.
The main challenge facing marketers today seems to be how to have happier customers. This is underpinned by several tricky issues, all which feel like heavy weather for the already busy marketer working under pressure. Customer engagement challenges which marketers say in this report feel like they require effort include how to:
- Aggregate and align data, technology and insights to create a 360-degree view of your customers.
- Predict and adapt to every customer journey and deliver relevant conversations, in real-time and across every channel.
- Connect fragmented marketing campaigns into a complete customer journey across the entire organisation.
- Become champions for the customer and avoid working in Marketing, Sales or Service Department silos.
- Deliver really robust, content-rich, data-driven, personalised, relevant experiences for customers.
- See a complete and clear view of the customer’s intentions.
- Find predictive intelligence around broad customer trends which also scale down to the micro individual, personal level.
- Predict the next best conversation for customers – and be able to act on that in real-time.
- Move away from past performance campaign metrics towards actionable journey insights.
- Have excellent levels of understanding and predictive knowledge around how customers will react to engaging with your brand in the future.
- See well into the customer’s future and respond in relevant ways and to their changing needs, in real-time.
The answers to most of these questions all appear to require a lot of effort to solve. However it doesn’t have to be that way…
Making customer engagement easier
The good news is effortless engagement really can be a cinch. It’s not a pipe dream. Marketers can build better relationships with their customers without all of the head-scratching and pain they appear to feel they have today. Effortless engagement is the easiest route to happier customers.
The key ingredients to effortless engagement:
- Build a hub across customer experience, CRM and communications technologies.
- Enable the customer-managed journey where your customers feel they have the freedom to interact with your brand on their own terms. You need to ensure that every interaction your customer makes with your brand should be based on a choice they make rather than your desire that they follow a pre-prescribed process.
- Listen – identify anonymous and known customer needs and preferences across channels and devices.
- Deliver customer journey information to customer database systems so that Sales, Service and Marketing can seamlessly continue the conversation with customers.
- Personalise customer journeys as they happen in real-time with an adaptive self-learning engine.
- Offer relevant, personalised conversations based on your customers’ lifecycle stage, needs and changing preferences – and adapt accordingly, in real-time.
If marketers use clever technology to do this it needs to be automated and integrate with existing technology, work across all channels and devices, and can be used by anyone in the business – then a lot of the challenges marketers face with customer engagement fall away. All effort by marketers can be focused on positively driving extra value for the customer. A more engaged customer, experiencing easier and better customer journeys is a happier customer.
Effortless engagement from your customer’s point of view
Customer managed journeys mean that your customers will always feel that they are dealing with you on their terms, that they are recognised, are being listened to, they are getting improved experiences every time they interact with you, and their preferences are being respected. They will see the value of every engagement. Ultimately they will feel happier about your brand. By making it effortless for your customers and adding value with every interaction, you will help them to keep coming back for more.