Rosetta hosted both a webinar and a live event last Thursday, featuring speakers from Forrester Research, Hewlett Packard, Skype and Rosetta who focused on ways to drive greater customer engagement. We are seeing tons of interest in this topic as brands realize the necessity of creating customer experiences that can captivate their customers, who are increasingly in control of the channels they want to engage with and the ones they want to ignore.
We addressed everything from organizational design to ways to leverage intelligence in order to make product and marketing experiences more compelling.
Here are 10 tips we heard for marketers looking to drive greater engagement.
1. Deal with “big data” by focusing on “right data.”
A lack of focus is a major barrier to taking action, and with the reams of customer data that most brands have, it’s often difficult to identify and leverage the data that matters. Pinpoint the “right data” by including the marketers who are executing programs in early discussions with Customer Intelligence, Data Management and Technology teams. As you talk through the data available, the light should turn on when you uncover insights that could be really powerful in increasing engagement.
2. Deliver on your promises.
In many cases, customers are more than willing to provide information to brands that will make their present or future brand experiences better. It’s why people willingly opt-in to emails, loyalty programs, etc. Once a consumer has done so, the worst thing a brand can do is not leverage that customer knowledge to deliver a personalized experience. So, if you ask for information about customers, make sure you actually use it to enhance their experience.
3. Make “customer-centricity” a business mandate.
The vast majority of businesses would, of course, believe they are customer-centric. Who wouldn’t want to be? The problem is, a desire to be customer-centric is often diluted by organizational complexities. Evolving customer-centricity from a desire to a business mandate requires doing things like tying compensation to customer satisfaction or organizing your business units around customer segments.
4. Aggregate and share customer intelligence.
Disparate teams and business units need to be aware of and aligned around the needs of their customer segments. Getting a clear view often requires having a team or individual who works across groups to collect data, then share customer intelligence across the organization. This role could be a “Customer Strategist,” or something similar. Roberto Lino, our speaker from Skype, started his brand experience framework with understanding where the greatest opportunities to improve exist. These areas were identified by aggregating data from the web, Net Promoter Scores, social, focus groups, and more to create overarching satisfaction scores, which were then mapped to each brand touch point. The data could next be shown to each group that manages the product or marketing experience and ways for improvement could be discussed.
5. Build technical systems that enable cross-channel and real-time deployment.
Context is incredibly important in an era when consumers have access to the web at all times (via smartphones, etc.). Technologies that measure activities happening across channels and devices, then enable marketers to deploy relevant, real-time messages, are critical to engaging customers how, when and where they want to engage with us.
6. Work with an agency partner that combines the capabilities needed to design and deploy engaging experiences.
A new breed of agency partners, deemed Customer Engagement Agencies by Forrester, is evolving to meet the demands of today’s marketers. These partners combine business consulting, customer intelligence, data management, technical expertise, journey mapping, experience design, analytics and a focus on innovation. Having all these capabilities allows a single agency to manage customer intelligence, then leverage those insights to deploy programs across channels. Rosetta was named a Strong Performer by Forrester in their recent Customer Engagement Agencies Wave, with very few other interactive agencies included in the report.
7. Get the intelligence right first, then focus on deployment.
Figuring out the channels and messages that will be most effective in achieving a business outcome shouldn’t be a guessing game. Don’t attempt to build a customer journey or execute an integrated program before you have a solid understanding of customers from segmentation data, or even quick-hit research methods. Develop a scorecard and use the available data to prioritize focus areas that will drive the greatest improvement in your experience.
8. Tackle innovation and engagement from multiple levels in your organization.
Customer-obsessed organizations are often driven from the top down. That being said, every individual in every role should be on the lookout for ways to improve programs or interactions with customers. One great example we heard about was from Kara Jariwala at Hewlett Packard, who has a dedicated Innovation group funded by the C-level to engage employees across the business to identify solutions to customer challenges.
9. Reward customer advocates to create a culture of “customer-obsession.”
A great way to create employees, as well as a culture, that will constantly look for ways to enhance the customer experience is by formally rewarding those that go above and beyond in support of customer goals. Start looking for those employees that don’t just take the easy way out and are instead constantly considering “how will this decision impact our customers?”
10. Always be thinking about retention.
Engagement isn’t a one-time thing. We engage audiences so that they will continue to interact and buy more from us over time. Brands that retain customers do so by constantly leveraging the details they know (including transaction data) and using them to uncover ways to improve future experiences. Always be thinking about “what’s next?” that will excite and engage customers in new and different ways, to keep them continually engaged.
Thanks to all our speakers and attendees last week for the great dialogue.
Now it’s your turn. How is your company discovering unique insights about your customers? How are you thinking about engagement at every touch point? We’d love to hear from you and add to our collective knowledge.