Publication – BW Marketing World

Synopsis – We are seeing a data-driven ‘customer-centric’ transformation of brands which is changing how products are developed and services are tailored for the customer. Have a look at the same aspects –

Trends In Corporate Strategy For Customer Engagement & Experience

With increased digitisation in the customer engagement space, brands are now fully integrating their products, services, delivery and marketing in a manner that the individual customer’s choices are fully recognised and reciprocated. We are seeing a data-driven ‘customer-centric’ transformation of brands which is changing how products are developed and services are tailored for the customer. A fully coherent customer experience from start to end is what brands are looking for. Let’s look at some of its aspects:

Unified customer data across the customer journey

Businesses are looking for solutions that allow them to have unified customer data which provides a single source of truth for entire customer engagement. From the discovery of the customer’s needs, converting the customer, delivering the required product or service, providing post-sale service and maintaining the loyalty of the customer – businesses need a centralised understanding of the customer’s journey so that at every step of the engagement meets the right expectations. For instance, a customer should not have to provide the address to the delivery person when he or she has already entered the details while providing billing information. Unification of data from internal and external sources, across the customer journey is a must when it comes to creating a great customer experience.

Omnichannel presence and coherence

Customers expect their engagement with the brand to be seamless across platforms and mediums. Customer interaction may start at a physical store but might end on a mobile app or vice versa. Customers today expect that the brand recognises them in the same manner across any location, time, or situation. For instance, the customer might be interacting with an agent at a franchised medical facility but may walk into a company owned location somewhere else to avail the services or use the app to order services at home. The medical records and transaction data for the customer needs to be uniform across these facilities and the interactions with different agents or on different platforms should integrate to give a coherent brand experience to the customers without having them to give extra inputs or efforts.

Personalisation at scale

The idea of personalisation in communication and products at scale is that brands should offer the right options to all the customers at the right time, respect customer preferences across the entire journey, provide the right value and grow their revenue with increased consumption. This makes it essential that personalisation is taken care of from the product planning and design level which should be driven by the choices of the customer from the start.

Modern customer engagement tools enable businesses to better identify customer needs and deliver more personalisation. By mapping customer journeys, businesses can tailor their offerings for individual customer needs using integrated AI and ML solutions. Individualised products, messaging and offers, can be driven by insights based on individual customer profiles, purchase trends, service needs. Today, brands are letting customers ‘create’ their own products with the components and configurations they want. The best examples are the digital platforms that allow pick and choose features for high involvement and complex products like computers and even powered glasses.

Orientation toward field services and predictive servicing

Field services have emerged as a major aspect of customer engagement. From food delivery to machinery installations, servicing and repairs, the brands are taking their field service quality extremely seriously. Companies are rapidly adopting modern field services management solutions for their last mile customer engagement.

Those B2B businesses which typically didn’t invest in field services in the past are taking an interest now to meet the customer expectations to retain their trust and loyalty. New technologies have allowed us to reduce costs and reporting times on field service calls. Predictive maintenance and services are changing the whole way we look at field services.

Automation of customer relationship

One of the most significant evolving trends is the automation of customer relationship management (CRM). Automation of CRM can help companies reduce costs, improve efficiency, and free up staff to focus on more strategic tasks. It can also help companies provide a better customer experience by reducing errors and providing timely follow-up.

As customer data is moving to the cloud, it is becoming easy to create a seamless digitised customer experience across channels. Automation of notifications, renewal reminders, receipt and invoice, email campaigns, customer support and predictive services, etc. are all good use cases.

We are seeing more chatbot applications being used to address customer queries. Of course, we will have to take this with a pinch of salt because after all customers are real people. Businesses will need to very carefully calibrate the automation to manage relationships with customers in an integrated ‘Phygital’ environment where the utility and efficiency of digital technologies are complemented by the empathy and trustworthiness of real human interactions.

(The writer is, Founder & CEO at Advaiya)

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