Consumers across all generations want to feel like their favorite brands are their friends. However, some pitfalls can stand in the way. Thankfully, a customer engagement platform can help.
Spurred largely by the convergence of e-commerce and social media, consumer expectations for digital retail are on the rise.
Companies, such as Amazon, are offering free express shipping and free returns, while platforms like Facebook and Twitter have made it possible for consumers to personally connect with huge brands and share their experiences with their peers.
While it's not always easy for brands to contend with sky-high expectations, the best businesses are seeing this as an opportunity to earn a loyal, engaged customer base. However, for consumers to engage with a brand, the brand has to first engage with consumers. Deploying a customer engagement platform is a critical step in the right direction.
Ultimately, consumers across all generations want to feel like their favorite brands are their friends. They want to feel understood and appreciated, and they want to be able to trust brands. From a business standpoint, a customer engagement system can help bring your relationships into focus, allowing you to map out the best way to build up those relationships.
A customer engagement platform can transform how your business interacts with customers – and how they respond. Here are four signs your business could benefit from a customer engagement platform:
1. Your workforce is disconnected.
It doesn't matter how good the individuals in your sales and marketing departments are; if they aren't working with the same customer information, they aren't operating as effectively as possible. Imagine that a customer calls your contact center with a complaint, and then the next day, your sales team calls and asks that customer to renew his contract with your company. That happens when your teams aren't connected.
With a modern customer engagement system, sales might still opt to make that call, but the salesperson will do so knowing the details of the complaint. Ready with an explanation for the customer about how the company is going to address the complaint head-on, the salesperson will have much better results. And because a holistic customer engagement platform will allow everyone to see the issues customer support handles, marketing can also make any adjustments to messaging that the team deems necessary.
2. You don't know your customers.
Customers demand personalization, and businesses that deliver it have a huge advantage. Not only can personalization increase customer satisfaction, but it also contributes to higher purchase volume and, thus, increased revenue for the company. Personalization frequently starts with product recommendations, like when Amazon suggests products to go along with orders you've recently placed. However, product recommendation algorithms aren't a solution in and of themselves. To personalize effectively, you need to know what your customers are looking for.
Netflix uses a recommendation algorithm to suggest shows and movies based on a user’s viewing history, but the company actually goes a step further. Even the movie thumbnails and artwork changes based on user behavior. Netflix customizes its homepage for each individual customer.
Practically anyone can use personalization in their sales and marketing, but it's important for that personalization to be data-driven so it resonates with the audience. Research from Accenture suggests that 44 percent of consumers experience frustration when companies deliver irrelevant marketing content.
3. You only have one or two channels.
When a new technology emerges, your customers don't conduct a cost-benefit analysis to decide whether it's worth their time. They adopt it and move on, and they expect businesses to do the same. For example, nearly 90 percent of global customers want to interact with companies via messaging, but only 48 percent of businesses are equipped to meet that demand.
This disconnect also applies to other channels, including Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and many more, and it's costing you customers. However, it doesn't have to. A modern customer engagement platform will provide an omnichannel solution, allowing you to adopt communication channels as quickly and easily as your customers do.
4. You can’t keep up with the times.
More than half of customer contact center leaders worry that their systems will be unable to meet the demands of the future, according to a report by Dimension Data. For many companies, these fears are already being realized, and the time to act is now. Papa John's, for example, turned to a customer-centric approach to turn around sales numbers that had been declining for four consecutive quarters.
Current data indicates that the effort is worth it. Among businesses that have completed a digital transformation that emphasizes the customer experience, 77 percent enjoy cost savings and 74 percent report a boost in revenue, according to the Dimension Data report.
A customer engagement system is a good way to bring your business into the digital era, which can provide big benefits across all departments in your organization. According to research from Forrester, eliminating the cost of legacy platforms and processes in customer communication can contribute to an average savings of $1.1 million. By investing in a new customer engagement platform, you have little to lose but wasted time and unnecessary expenses.