Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Are you ready for Customer Engagement?

Nowadays the customer journey is becoming more complex. Customers are getting more control over information and contact channels and therefore the power of customer interaction is shifting from the seller to the buyer.

Over the past few years a lot of focus has been brought on customer experience. In each interaction the customer experience should be optimal and in line with the values and beliefs of the selling organization. Currently we see that the number of possible interactions is increasing. This is also referred to as the customer journey.

An example of a customer journey could be a customer looking at an online advertisement, browsing comparison websites, asking advice from friends, looking at tv commercials, browsing comparison websites again, visiting shops, buying online, complaining via twitter, calling customer service etc. All of which have to satisfy the customer's expectations. Integration of all of these different contact points is an important factor. It can be disturbing if the call center agent in the example is not able to see the previous discussion on twitter for instance. Integration and sharing information is key.


What we see is that the customer journey is different for each customer and can even be different for each product they buy. For organizations it becomes increasingly important to get control over all these different types of customer journeys and still deliver that right customer experience.

Customer Engagement has become a more important topic these days to both sales and marketing organizations. I think that Customer Engagement is the valuable combination of delivering high customer experience through the infinite number of possible customer journeys.

As a consumer we are often already aware of the numerous possible interactions with organizations and we also feel that in some cases organizations really deliver that “feel good” and “ease of buying” momentum, where others are not.

Acorel delivers services to both B2C as B2B organizations. In my opinion Customer Engagement will become more important to B2B organisations the next years as well. B2B organizations often have the benefit that their churn rate is often far lower than B2C organizations. Due to this B2C organizations felt they needed to embrace the customer engagement in a faster pace that B2B organizations. Nevertheless to make the difference in the next years B2B organizations will also need to deliver customer engagement.

We see that our customers are changing already and they need the proper advice and systems to support that. I am delighted that SAP has made great effort in delivering the tools to support this, for example with Customer Engagement Intelligence and Cloud for Customer solutions. 

Is your organization ready for the change?

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