Article | 3 min read

Support falls flat without customer engagement

By Andrew Gori

Last updated June 2, 2017

Developing a customer engagement model goes far beyond pricing and offering a quality product or service—it’s about creating an emotional connection with customers. When implemented successfully, customer engagement models can transform customers into true believers who will not only stick with a company through thick and thin but also serve as invaluable evangelists who can help drive new business.

But what encompasses a customer engagement model? Simply put, it’s the totality of the customer’s experiences and how customers understand those interactions, both positive and negative. Over time, that can build both a relationship and an impression of a brand. By focusing on customer engagement, a company invests not only in its customers but its financial future.

Yet how should a company improve its customer engagement model so it results in strong, enthusiastic relationships with those who use its products and services? Here are some ways companies can improve customer engagement.

Seamless multi-channel experience

With so many different channels available to customers, it can be challenging to provide a unified experience that allows customers to move from self-service to a phone call with an agent without a loss of contextual data. Your customers need to know that they can turn to any one of your customer-service channels and receive the same level of empathy and care. This is no small task, so companies that look at their customer-service organizations holistically and focus on integrating systems put themselves on solid footing.

Put data to work

As the International Data Corporation stated in a report, “If an organization wants to understand the relationship [with the customer], it must bring all the known data together in a way that enhances the relationship.” Your customer-service agents need context for customer data to effectively solve problems, but it’s also helpful to use metrics to analyze customer satisfaction data (through ticket data, self-help metrics, and customer surveys) and to measure effort level. Keeping a close eye on those factors can help identify and address problems in your customer service organization.

It’s always personal

Self-service, devices connected to the Internet of Things, even latent one-on-one connections such as social media and emails need to have that personal touch. In-app messaging, invitations to test beta software, events, community blogs and forums—these are just some of the useful methods for letting customers know that you view them as partners, not just as a source of revenue. Reaching out to help them get more value from the products and services they already use—rather than just contacting them with another sales pitch—can drive product adoption, loyalty, and trust.

Employee buy-in

At the heart of that personal touch lies customer-service employees who have been trained well, who understand the company’s customer engagement model, and who have the tools and support to do their jobs well. Motivated, friendly, high-morale customer service agents play a huge role in making a customer engagement model successful—and when those employees demonstrate a deep understanding of a customer’s needs and historical engagement with your company, the dividends can be immense.