Consumer Engagement: Building a Strategy
Every business engages with clients, but now we are finding that we need to start engaging with clients beyond voice. Before exploring alternative communication paths, we need to understand that customers are looking for 4 basic things: empathy, reliability and dependability, assurance, and responsiveness. Then we can form a foundation of consumer interaction using email, chat, SMS or even social.
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Consumer Engagement Transcript
Aaron: Consumer engagement, it doesn’t matter what your businesses or your business model is that we all engage with customers, with consumers. And we don’t have to be a contact center to start thinking about what our consumer engagement strategies are. And so, for a long time, voice has been King. I would say that it’s still King, but now more than ever, I think we’re starting to see that we have to find more ways to engage with clients beyond just voice. Even before we get there, to define what those different channels or communication paths are, we need to start by understanding now more than ever, when customers contact a business, they’re really looking for four basic things. And one of those is reliability. So when somebody engages with a business, they want to know that that business is dependable. They also are looking for assurance, so they want to make sure that they’ve made the right decision and we can do that. And we can help with that by being helpful when we engage with them and meeting expectations during those different interactions. And then the third one, which I actually probably would put at the top of the list, is empathy. People want to feel understood and they’re looking for personalized attention. And so we’ve all been in that situation where we, we call into customer support and we sit on hold forever. Maybe we get asked a couple of automated questions about our phone number, account number, whatever it is, what we’re calling about. And then we finally get to a point, where somebody picks up and they asked us all those same questions again. Can you imagine that experience now being where you call in and the agent picks up, they already know who you are, they already know what you’re calling about, and they already have all of your contact information about whatever it is your calling in about right there in front of them. And then responsiveness would be the fourth thing, customers don’t want to wait. It doesn’t matter if they’re walking into a store, which we can’t do right now. It doesn’t matter if they’re calling in, doesn’t matter if they’re coming in through an email or a web chat or something like that, they just don’t want to wait. And so with those things in mind, I think now we can form this foundation for any consumer interaction discussion. Where we can start looking at technologies like the use of web chat or SMS or email, or even social media, or all the advancements that companies like Google are doing with artificial intelligence for self-service. So I think what we’re going to start to see is that small businesses in particular will start to invest in not only those products, but start having those discussions. Something else I think we’re going to start to see is that small businesses will begin to invest in more open and flexible communication platforms to bring disparate interactions together into more of a single pane of glass. So we simplify that technology stack that end users are using, especially now as they’re working from home. So rather than having to jump into all these different applications, we can have everything all in one simple pane of glass and be interacting with our customers in different ways.