Brands are being forced to reconsider how they strategise for customer engagement, as four trends drive major changes in consumer behaviour.
According to a survey conducted by Yankee Group and Genesys, preferences for traditional channels of engagement are on the decline, and as a result, businesses are having to completely reimagine their previous interactions with customers.
Stats derived from the study show that the use of the home telephone is down 34% while email is down 25%. In contrast, mobile web browsing up 10%, as is mobile text, and mobile self service, which has the highest growth, up 12%.
Jay Reilly, managing director and VP of International at Genesys, says there are four trends driving this change, and forcing brands into investing in both technology and strategy in order to continue interacting with customers:
New consumers – “Yankee Group found 64% of consumers said they needed to be connected to the Internet at all times, a number that is rapidly increasing as more devices are appearing. Customers are now in the driver's seat and their use of web and social media tools creates lots of information for businesses to use to increase engagement.”
New experiences – “Yankee Group estimated 60% of interactions across the customer journey are interrelated. That means personalised cross-channel interactions are key to a quality customer experience. Interactions must be relevant to customers in order to gain their trust and encourage them to opt in to conversations.”
New opportunities – “63% of businesses are prioritising mobile in order to create a relevant customer dialogue to nurture loyalty and increase sales.”
New technologies – “New technologies are enabling businesses to deliver a hugely personalised service throughout the customer journey, by using mobile for everything from reminders and surveys to notifications of discounts and service delivery problems – all helping a business develop customer engagement and loyalty.”
Reilly also suggests too many businesses remain reactive rather than proactive when it comes to engaging with customers: “By using data held in customer service departments, businesses can start to build relevant cross-channel personal relationships with customers and prospects based on individual behaviours and preferences.”
As a result of the survey, Yankee Group identified four key ways in which business can create opportunities to acquire, serve, nurture and grow customers:
Acquire – Mobile marketing is a great way to acquire customers – a massive 91% of respondents to Yankee Group's survey showed an interest in mobile coupons.
Serve – Once customers have been acquired, businesses can engage them by communicating via preferred channels to strengthen relationships and increase loyalty.
Nurture – Today's consumer belongs to a number of loyalty programmes, so businesses need to differentiate theirs. It is no use sending standard offers via text that customers can just opt-out from. Make sure you are sending personalised, context-relevant offers that your customers will want.
Grow – In order to grow, you need to stand out. Personalised, timely offers can increase purchase frequency, grow basket size and help to differentiate your company from your competitors.
Chris is Editor of MyCustomer. He is a practiced editor, having worked as a copywriter for creative agency, Stranger Collective from 2009 to 2011 and subsequently as a journalist covering technology, marketing and customer service from 2011-2014 as editor of Business Cloud News. He joined MyCustomer in 2014.