By Michael Snow on Oct 23, 2012
Engaging Customers is Critical for Business Growth
This week we'll be spending some time looking at Customer Engagement. We all have stories about how we try to engage our customers better than ever before. We all know that successfully engaging customers is critical to an organization’s business success. We also know that engaging our customers is more challenging today than ever before. There is so much noise to compete with for getting anyone's attention. Over the last decade and a half we’ve watched as the online channel became a primary one for conducting our business and even managing our lives. And during this whole process or evolution, the customer journey has grown increasingly complex. Customers themselves have assumed increasing power and influence over the purchase process and for setting the tone and pace of the relationships they have with brands and you see the evidence of this in the really high expectations that customers have today. They expect brand experiences that are personalized and relevant -- In other words they want experiences that demonstrate that the brand understands their interests, preferences and past interactions with them. They also expect their experience with a brand and the community surrounding it to be social and interactive – it’s no longer acceptable to have a static, one-way dialogue with your customer base or to fail to connect your customers with fellow customers, or with your employees and partners. And on top of all this, customers expect us to deliver this rich and engaging, personalized and interactive experience, in a consistent way across a variety of channels including web, mobile and social channels or even offline venues such as in-store or via a call center. And as a result, we see that delivery on these expectations and successfully engaging your customers is a great challenge today.
Customers expect a personal, engaging and consistent online customer experience. Today’s consumer expects to engage with your brand and the community surrounding it in an interactive and social way. Customers have come to expect a lot for the online customer experience.
· They expect it to be personal:
o Accessible: - Regardless of my device Via my existing online identities
o Relevant: Content that interests me
o Customized: To be able to tailor my online experience
· They expect it to be engaging:
o Social: So I can share content with my social networks
o Intuitive: To easily find what I need
o Interactive: So I can interact with online communities
These expectations are not only limited to your
customers by any means. Your employees (and partners) are also expecting
to be empowered
with engagement tools across their internal and external communications and
interactions with customers, partners and other employees. We had a great conversation with Ted Schadler from Forrester Research entitled: "Mobile is the New Face of Engagement" that is now available On-Demand. Take a look at all the webcasts available to watch from our Social Business Thought Leader Series.
Social capabilities have become so pervasive and changed customers’ expectations for their online experiences. The days of one-direction communication with customers are at an end. Today’s customers expect to engage in a dialogue with your brand and the community surrounding it in an interactive and social way. You have at a very short window of opportunity to engage a customer before they go to another site in their pursuit of information, product, or services. In fact, customers who engage with brands via social media tend to spend more that customers who don’t, between 20% and 40% more. And your customers are also increasingly influenced by their social networks too – 40% of consumers say they factor in Facebook recommendations when making purchasing decisions. This means a few different things for today’s businesses. Incorporating forms of social interaction such as commenting or reviews as well as tightly integrating your online experience with your customers’ social networking experiences into the online customer experience are crucial for maintaining the eyeballs on your desired pages.
93% - Cone Finds that Americans Expect Companies to Have a Presence in Social Media - http://www.coneinc.com/content1182
40% of consumers factor in Facebook recommendations when making decisions about purchasing (Increasing Campaign Effectiveness with Social Media, Syncapse, March 2011)20%-40% - Customers who engage with a company via social media spend this percentage more with that company than other customers (Source: Bain & Company Report – Putting Social Media to Work)