Survey Shows that Organizations are Embracing Customer Engagement Optimization
On a recent flight, I passed the time by reading this year’s thinkJar Channel Adoption and Usage Study in Customer Service report carried out on behalf of KANA® Software, part of Verint. And, it was quite thought-provoking.
A key finding for me was the continuing shift of customer experience initiatives from the realm of marketing to an operational home within service organizations. This is very heartening for those of us in the business of improving the customer experience. Organizations are recognizing the critical influence that service has on organizational success. But critically, as the survey results indicate, they are also recognizing the need to remove silo, department and life-stage boundaries to help become more customer-centric.
The key to this successful transition is the ability to map the customer journey, not only as an exercise in efficiency, but also to be able to translate that into the customer’s perception – expectation, experience and value judgment. Listening to the voice of the customer and acting on what you learn are critical business practices that need to be holistic and relentless.
The report also found that customers continue to shift from channel to channel, favoring choice and convenience. The survey highlights two key aspects to this trend.
The first is the rise of mobile, which seems to have responded fast to demand and the possibilities that the hype reflects. We all use mobile devices more and more in our daily lives. The expectation of using mobile and having “an app for that” has soaked into our collective psyche. The challenge for the enterprise is establishing what that convenience and flexibility looks like for their customers. But, perhaps they should simply ask?
Also interesting is the demand that mobile puts on the rest of the enterprise. Building an app — even a good one — is no longer a time-consuming process, as plenty of design and development agencies do exactly that. The challenge is in identifying and gathering the processes and data within the organization in a more dynamic, transparent and accessible manner.
Mobile support within an app is now a necessary step for organizations. Adding communication (such as chat, messaging and notifications), content (such as knowledge and offers) and the ability to escalate to a human support channel will open the door to greater adoption of mobile—as well as provide more real and live context in every journey that further optimizes the customer experience.
The second highlight was the rise of chat. This is not a surprise to us as it is a channel that blends the immediacy of digital with the confidence of assisted service. Chat opens up the modes, starting in an app or browser and adding text, questions and context. Adding other modes — voice, video, co-browsing — is all easy, seamless and part of the management of digital interactions and journeys.
The challenge for the organization is to move chat from merely a prospecting tool to increase conversion into a holistic customer engagement model, connected into the knowledge, process and wider communication ecosystem.
The trends that thinkJar has highlighted show the evolution of the consumer-controlled relationship – being easy to do business with and reflecting the context of the customer journey. Those developments, and others still to come, should make 2015 an exciting year in the world of customer engagement!
To learn more on this topic, register for our Webinar on March 5th and put your questions live to Founder and Principal of thinkJar Research, Esteban Kolsky, Register here.
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