Customer Engagement provides crucial information to the management that influences important business decisions such as pricing and marketing strategies.Customer engagement is vital to the business’success as every business thrives on customer satisfaction. Businesses that succeed in exceeding customer’s expectations sustain longer in the market. Since globalization has increased the market competition for most of the businesses, they have to improve the level of customer satisfaction considerably to exceed their expectations profitably for long-term sustenance. Better customer engagement helps businesses to ensure better customer relations by which they gain vital insights into the customer’s expectations. This helps them in changing their strategies within short intervals based on real-time information and evaluations.
Significant technologies adopted in 2016
The year 2016 saw a considerable increase in customer engagement through a wide range of methods and technologies such as mobile apps, customer reviews, online surveys, social media and chatbots. These strategies were deployed by various industries including retail, travel and services sectors that showed considerable improvements in their customer satisfaction level.
Mobile Apps: Mobile apps brought convenience to the fingertips of customers. This in turn, let them explore the possibilities it offered on the go. A considerable proportion of the customers seem to be using the apps to make purchase decisions now. The businesses can also easily and effectively engage with the customer, on the go, which can be crucial in certain cases. Immediate response helps, especially when the customer gets disgusted with the speed of the app or when a payment fails which need to be addressed in the earlier stages. When asked for an on the spot review, the customer may provide immediate feedback which the business can monitor, and take remedial actions when required within a short span. Similarly, reviews, surveys, and social media have considerably been providing valuable inputs to business and also managed to convey some important responses businesses must consider too. The most revolutionary of all these methods are the chatbots.
Chatbots:Chatbots are adding more sense to the time-critical engagement methods by providing 24-hour chatting service to the users, across the industries. Prior to the chatbots, the organization had a lot of difficulties engaging with customers except on social media or through surveys.
All these will continue in 2017 too as they have significantly helped the businesses successfully engage with their customers. But the technologies and methods will improve considerably which will help achieve customer delight that will help the businesses sustain longer in a highly competitive market.
Foolproof strategies for 2017
One of the strategies that will continue stronger in 2017 is the use of chat-bots. The chatbots need to be stepped up with AI or artificial intelligence. AI will make the man-machine engagement more realistic by making the chatbots virtual assistants that are more intelligent and engaging. They function based on the information gathered about the customer’s behavior and these technologies help them gain their weight based on actual information.
Data-driven approaches will reign contact centers in 2017
Though social media engagement is one of the quickest and effective ways of interacting with the customers directly, more data-driven approaches and technologies will thrive in future. Personalized information will provide more opportunities for every business to promote specific products or brands that the customer seems to like more. For example, based on the customers’ previous purchases and cache information, the business may be able to promote an upgrade for a product or service already purchased. While this personalization is already provided, engaging with the customer directly to influence such a decision will be path-breaking. It can be considered as providing customer service before the purchase itself.
Businesses can also leverage the Internet of Things to engage more effectively with the customers. The IoT brings with it a lot of crucial customer information such as their usage patterns which can be helpful in making the products more user-friendly. This can be leveraged fruitfully to engage more efficiently with the customers, which will delight them.
Businesses use their social media profiles to interact more often with the customer by including interesting campaigns and posts that resonate well with the target audience. Though this trend is already catching up with many large organizations, smaller brands will also follow the suit and leverage from social media interactions with their customers. This will be a great boost to their customer relationships which,otherwise,is quite challenging for smaller organizations. More companies can leverage from messaging services or apps like the Facebook messenger to reach out to the customer. Direct interactions with the customer can help improve customer relations. One-on-one interactions with the customers will help the businesses become enriched and empowered with crucial information. Quality customer engagement to attract the attentive customers must be given more importance than just being in the social media networks all the time.
The power of voice searches and multimedia in contact centers
Another huge change that can improve customer engagement in 2017 is the use of voice searches and multimedia for customer engagement. Big data is already in use for various purposes and by 2017, it must be consistently used for better customer experiences. Speech analytics and text analytics will pave way for better understanding of customers’ needs, which the businesses will have to include in their customer engagement strategies.
We can expect to see many smaller brands emerge and succeed considerably by using the latest technologies such as 3D printing and customized production that are only getting popular at the industrial level. As the cost of 3D printing is getting reduced, due to the emerging technologies, manufacturers will be able to produce different types of products in the same batch which can be path-breaking as far as personalization is concerned.
The Future of Customer Engagement
With more small and big brands getting into the global market with stronger customer engagement programs, with ample information available from the social media and behavior, customer engagement programs will get a major makeover in the coming years.Businesses must provide pre-purchase customer engagement, using the available information, to reduce post-purchase customer engagement. This will be a major step towards achieving customer delight.