Ross Haskell, Digital Engagement Strategist, Bold360 by LogMeIn, offered details about a customer service continuum in his presentation to Argyle's CX membership at the 2018 Customer Experience Leadership Forum in San Francisco on March 22. In his presentation, Haskell provided tips to help CX professionals seamlessly engage with consumers and discover the best ways to foster meaningful customer partnerships.
According to Haskell, how companies and consumers engage with one another has dramatically changed over the past few years.
Businesses previously controlled all aspects of customer interactions. However, today's consumers are empowered like never before. As a result, consumers now dictate how companies must interact with them, and businesses that fail to keep pace with consumer expectations risk falling behind the competition.
"When you wanted service from a company, that company dictated the rules of engagement – literally," Haskell noted. "Now, with the ubiquity of mobile devices and the always-on customer … that is just not the way that it is anymore."
CX professionals must understand customer expectations and plan accordingly. That way, CX professionals can find ways to satisfy customer requests and ensure customers are fully supported at each stage of the buyer's journey.
In addition, CX professionals cannot rest on their laurels. They must prioritize ongoing CX innovation and improvement to ensure customers can get the support they need, precisely when they need it.
"In this world of customer engagement, our job is to meet or exceed customer expectations," Haskell pointed out. "The gap between what the expectation is and whether we're able to meet or exceed it determines whether we've delivered good, satisfactory service or we've been able to delight."
Although many businesses recognize the importance of providing positive customer experiences, few dedicate the necessary time and resources to successfully engage consumers at all times. As such, some companies are still developing or modifying their initial customer engagement strategies.
"When it comes to customer engagement and what's happening now … there are many people who are still in the experimentation phase or their evolving [their customer experiences]," Haskell indicated.
Meanwhile, becoming a CX expert can deliver long-lasting benefits for a business and its customers.
"In this world of customer engagement, our job is to meet or exceed customer expectations."
CX experts are willing to do whatever they can to engage consumers and fulfill their requests. Perhaps most important, these experts will identify a company's customer engagement weak points and work to transform any weaknesses into strengths.
"It's the experts who know where they are weak and know where they can do better," Haskell said. "It's the experts who understand the value of the purchases, processes and technology inside of customer engagement."
How a business engages with its target audience can have a major impact on a company's revenues.
If a business tracks customer engagement, it may be better equipped than others to find unique ways to connect with customers. Then, this business can foster positive customer experiences that lead to increased revenues and customer satisfaction.
"Customer engagement is not about cost savings anymore," Haskell stated. "Customer engagement now adds top-line results to a business."
Furthermore, it is important for CX professionals to understand the importance of technology to engage customers.
Technology often helps CX professionals bridge the gap with customers, but it is not an all-in-one CX solution. Conversely, CX professionals must find the right technologies so they can build relationships with customers over time.
"Customer engagement now adds top-line results to a business."
CX professionals should leverage technology that makes it easy to adapt to a rapidly evolving global marketplace. This technology allows CX professionals to analyze the customer journey and ensure a company can connect with its target audience across this journey.
"Understand your customer journey so you know where to make technology improvements," Haskell stated. "There are certain areas in a customer journey where technology is going to do relatively better or worse to enhance the journey."
How a company personalizes its customer experiences may dictate a business' immediate or long-term success as well.
If CX professionals learn about a company's target audience, they can tailor experiences to meet or exceed consumers' expectations. Plus, CX professionals who emphasize personalization can build customer trust – something that could help a business accelerate its revenue growth.
"Personalize your engagement," Haskell recommended. "You need to think about if personalization is a strategic imperative ... and if it is, understand that a [personalization] decision will have effects across different areas of your business."
Delivering positive customer experiences is rarely simple, and CX professionals must focus on finding ways to innovate and improve. CX professionals who collaborate with consumers can learn from a company's target audience. Then, CX professionals can incorporate customer data into their everyday efforts and find the best ways to consistently engage consumers.
Ross is the Digital Engagement Strategist for Bold360 by LogMeIn. Ross leads the product go-to-market strategy and sales enablement efforts for the customer engagement and support line of business at LogMeIn. With a digital-first approach to customer engagement and support, Ross is focused on pushing customer care teams towards a future of enterprise-class features, mobile dominance and unparalleled efficiency across the support function.