Magazine article CRM Magazine

Connecting for Convenience: Four Best Practices for Customer Engagement

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Connecting for Convenience: Four Best Practices for Customer Engagement

Article excerpt

What do customers really want when they engage with your business? Recent research suggests they want to resolve their issues quickly, and place more value on the speed and convenience of their interactions. It's not surprising that more and more customers are leaning toward self-service through apps and websites, which can be more convenient than a live interaction by phone or chat.

There are still times, however, in which customers hit a self-service roadblock and need to interact with someone to resolve an issue or get a question answered. At that point, it's critical for organizations to have empowered staff members who are informed and able to resolve issues quickly and efficiently. Customers expect a company's employees to have immediate access to information about them, such as order history, transactional data and more.

This raises the question--with a mix of self-service and assisted service, how can you optimize customer engagement in a cohesive manner? Below are four best practices that speak to this very question.

1. CONNECT ON A DEEPER LEVEL USING CUSTOMER ANALYTICS.

With so many devices, channels and a plethora of data available, it can be difficult to gather and correlate customer interactions and behaviors. What do they say? What do they type? What do they click? And what are they looking to achieve? Most organizations can get to the "what" of customer behavior through transactional data, but it's harder to get to the "why."

Speech, text, and customer journey analytics can help by surfacing themes and trends that your organization might otherwise be unaware of or unable to recognize in large volumes of data. In short, you can "know" your customers better. With this intelligence, you can spot emerging patterns and customer issues and offer proactive assistance. Over time, you might even be able to predict outcomes based on certain trends or customer behaviors and take pre-emptive action. This can be especially helpful for reducing customer churn and developing customers for life.

2. BE READY WHEN CUSTOMERS CONTACT YOU FOR SUPPORT.

Self-service channels have helped reduce agent-assisted interaction volume for routine tasks and issues. However, now, with so many channels of interaction, agents are increasingly involved in complex inquiries and more apt to interact with frustrated customers who have tried unsuccessfully to resolve their issues through other channels. …

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