Return on Behavior Magazine
Home for marketing and customer service professionals


September 9th, 2010

Building lasting and profitable customer dynamic engagements

The Internet is changing the way businesses engage with their customers. No longer is the front desk or the telephone the only means of interacting with customers.

Today, the Web has become an important, and transformational platform, upon which customer engagements define the success or failure of a business.

Media like Web chat, video, self-service, the back office, SMS text messaging, and many other communication channels are alternative the dynamics of customer engagements. In this period of intense competition and fleeting customer loyalty, the ownership of the relationship is now with the customer. The business is no longer in control of its customer relationships. What’s worst, the Web has made examples of other businesses that suffer financial loses as a result of dissatisfied and disengaged customers.

How do you take back control of the customer relationship? How do you win back, and keep, customer loyalty? The first step is recognizing that the measures of success have changed. While cost reduction was the top goal of 2009, customer retention and revenue generation have become equally important. A key to success in 2010 and beyond is ensuring your business has a holistic view of the customer.

Successful companies are using Dynamic Customer Engagement to win back their customers. Dynamic Customer Engagement is about strengthening customer relationships and optimizing business outcomes by proactively engaging customers with the ideal customer service through whatever channel the customer favors.

The secret to achieving a Dynamic Customer Engagement is deep understanding of the five customer-engagement ingredients: Interaction, Resources, Infrastructure, Processes and Performance.

  1. Interactions: Every interaction with a company creates a lasting impression on the customer. Social media is providing an empowering platform for customers to very publicly discuss a company’s product and brand — for better or worse.
  2. Resources: A company’s brand connects with customers through a plethora of resources including agents, outsourcers, knowledge workers, at-home agents, back-office, and automated systems. Optimize your resources to achieve business goals.
  3. Infrastructure: Legacy infrastructure and disparate hardware and application systems must be integrated to create a powerful customer engagement machine. Only when integrated can these resources empower every employee responsible for customer service, sales, and support.
  4. Processes: Every customer interaction incorporates an underlying customer process. Unfortunately, many BackOffice systems lack the visibility into resource availability and business priority to meet service level requirements. The challenge is how to ensure that the back office achieves similar efficiencies as its front-office/contact center counterparts.
  5. Performance: Since customer engagement is driving growth objectives, senior executives and business managers are scrutinizing customer service operations. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and reports don’t provide the visibility into how the customer experience and engagement impact business outcomes. Performance Management and analytics will increasingly play an important role in helping business executives gauge customer engagement effectiveness and guide the decision-making process.

A few best practices are emerging that can help you achieve lasting customer relationships:

  • An enterprise needs to deliver ease of contact and short wait times, through any channel the customer prefers.
  • Humans or self-service tools need to have fingertip access to all necessary information and be consistent across all channels
  • Companies or Web sites need to recognize and remember the customer and use existing information about them appropriately.
  • A company must proactively reach out to customers — whether by phone, text message, or other channel — to inform them about relevant products and services (while still respecting the need for permission and being mindful of customer preferences).

Best-in-class companies are implementing the key Dynamic Customer Engagement ingredients with the aim of ensuring a holistic view of customers across all critical points of contact, and harmonizing customer care goals with business goals.

Dynamic Customer Engagement strengthens customer relationships and optimizes business outcomes by proactively engaging customers with the ideal customer service experience through any channel.

The advantage of employing this strategy is clear: those companies that rise to the challenge of revamping their approach to customer engagement will be the winners in today’s competitive marketplace.

Download the free Dummies Guide to Dynamic Customer Engagement. The free book reveals:

  • Eleven steps that put the customer at the center of every action you take
  • What characterizes a “best friend” customer relationship—and how it can drive long-term growth
  • Four critical concepts that strengthen relationships and maximize customer lifetime value

About the Author

Allan Tan

As content director for Enterprise, Allan is responsible for the design, creation, on-going development, content and expansion for the portal. In addition, he contributes content to sister publications Enterprise Innovation and Enterprise Networks Asia. He also provides strategy and guidance in how the Web can be used to drive interaction with various parties in the IT delivery ecosystem.

Allan has more than 20 years experience in IT. Most recently he was Marketing Director for Asia at Hitachi Data Systems. For a brief period of 18 months, he was also country manager for HDS Philippines establishing channel partners and helping secure named accounts. Prior to HDS, he was an Account Director at Euan Barty Associates (renamed to EBAcomms), managing the public relations needs of clients from various industries including semiconductor, software, data storage and consumer electronics.  Earlier, he served as a Senior Industry Analyst at Gartner Group responsible for starting the IT services research in the Asia Pacific region. Other roles prior to joining Gartner included sales and marketing roles at Encore Computers and First International Computers. He started his career in Hong Kong as a network specialist and eventually moved into the internal IT role as MIS manager for Tech Pacific (now called Ingram Micro).

A frequent speaker at events on storage, CRM and call center events, he also blogs on a wide range of topics.




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