30 Jun

Customer Engagement: Emerging Trends and Forecast

Customer Engagement: Emerging Trends and Forecast

This is well and truly the Age of the Customer, for it is the customer who drives businesses and therefore, sets priorities that organizations need to follow and try to fulfill. Technology in its various forms has come to constitute an agent of change, never witnessed before. Against this backdrop, connectivity and a new digital orientation offer the best possible avenues for companies to thrive.

This welcome convergence has transformed the manner in which businesses connect to and interact with their customers. The ultimate objective is, of course, an enhanced level of customer engagement that can enable companies to build loyalty, coupled with satisfaction.

Given the mass of technologies and solutions that abound today, it is critical for organizations to tap into the right resources to cater to the new breed of empowered customers. Leveraging these components is an important tool in engaging productively with employees and partners as well. All these facets are the ingredients for a robust, customer-centric company.

Emergence of Customer Centricity.

Customers are always seeking a seamless, satisfying, integrated and effortless experience across all touchpoints, interactions, and devices, especially in self-service and mobile support channels. This is where the role of customer engagement processes comes into focus; which enterprises should streamline in order to meet customer needs.

A company can kick-start the process of brand building and customer acquisition and retention if it delivers accurate answers to queries and provides quality support, at the exact moment of the requirement in the journey of the customer.

In a recent report published by the prominent technology and market research company Forrester, a gamut of amazing insights was revealed on the methods to increase customer engagement levels and current trends in the discipline. The need of the hour is to proactively interact with customers through their preferred channels, with relevant and timely information, as it forms a vital part of customer-centricity.

Multi-Channel Approach

Customer support channels have never had it so good in a long time. Thanks to the ubiquity of mobile, web self-service, and video chat, the Forrester study states that growth will be fired by the intrinsic desire of customer’s to interact with companies when and how they wish to.

There no negative signs to suggest that mobile will cease its phenomenal growth trajectory. Consequently, we are aware that desktops are on the wane. This should naturally encourage organizations to go mobile to reach out to a larger audience, which entails tailoring experiences specifically for mobile devices.

According to Javelin Strategy and Research , a company that provides strategic insights into customer transactions, among other aspects, income figures among the Millennials (also known as Generation Y) will outstrip that of previous generations. This could well be called the “more” generation, as a result. And it will be no mean task to keep pace with, and successfully meet their expectations. Therefore, a formidable multi-channel customer engagement process is a fundamental requisite in this scenario.

With a multi-channel approach that can provide heightened levels of experiences on a range of devices, customer support organizations should invest in offering more personalized and guided customer service. This is a great way to deliver the best customer experience and engagement and connect to the right support agent. To achieve this, companies must leverage the power of customer and support data, past interactions, and lifetime value. More importantly, all this data should be analyzed in real-time for better outcomes.

Leveraging Newer Technologies

It is only by getting acquainted with prevalent trends and examining them for what they’re worth by using the right techniques and tools, can companies aim to provide exceptional customer-centric support.

There is already a buzz in the market about using cognitive engagement techniques to influence customers. For the uninitiated: These are computer programs that use artificial intelligence to obtain customer information and communicate with them based on this information. They also empower agents with hyper-contextual customer information so they can be more effective at meeting the customer’s needs.

Big Data Quickens the Pace

Today, service leaders have more customer data than ever before. Among other tools; surveys, social media, and speech analytics have aided in the collection of enormous amounts of information, resulting in less clarity in what the data actually says. Increasingly, companies are trying to understand a 360-degree view of the customer by combining together customer feedback data with their existing CRM systems.

The key to revealing new insights that would have otherwise been hidden is by truly understanding what you’re looking to achieve first, without being overwhelmed with the analysis.

The American market research, analysis and advisory firm, International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that the market for Big Data will reach $16.1 billion in 2014, growing 6 times faster than the overall IT market. With that in mind, Data Scientists have become more desirable since it’s the management and use of all this data that will be the key differentiator. Ultimately, businesses need to find more ways to connect the mix of structured and unstructured data, helping them to better address the needs of their customers.