It’s all about staying engaged
Success in today’s digitally-driven, hyper-connected marketplace is all about effective customer engagement. This means engaging effectively with customers today and learning from each interaction, to help you improve their experience of doing business with you and thereby engage with them more productively in the future. It’s a circular process – one that I call Closed-Loop Customer Engagement.
Effective customer engagement starts today
For any organization, the process begins wherever you are today. You already engage with customers through a variety of touchpoints. These may be digital (i.e., online) or non-digital (i.e., off-line) channels. They may be customer-driven – e.g., customers doing a Google search and coming to your store in person or visiting you online – or they can result from your outbound sales efforts, your marketing campaigns, or your customer-service operations. What’s important is to leverage each customer interaction, not just to sell your product or service. You need to listen carefully to the voice of the customer at each customer touchpoint to drive customer satisfaction and ultimately customer advocacy.
Think about each of these possible sources of data:
- Sales leads
- Customer-service incidents
- Responses to marketing campaigns
- Customer-driven ‘surfing’
- Back-office (transactional) data
- Third-party (credit bureau, demographic/psychographic overlays)
Each can provide not just valuable information but also insight into purchasing behavior, preferences, and where each customer is within their buying cycle. But for this information to be useful, it must be captured in such a way that it is accessible, relatable to other information pertaining to the same customer(s), and accessible to customer-facing employees throughout the organization.
A structured approach
This requires developing a structured approach for gathering and using the relevant customer data. At ISM, we see this as involving four steps:
- Gather digital/non-digital information about your customers
- Analyze it
- Derive actionable insights from it
- Deploy digital tools to customize and optimize each individual customer’s experience
The keys are to capture the data in a holistic customer profile within a robust CRM system, and to apply appropriate analytical tools to produce a more complete, focused picture of the customer. These are the next steps in Closed-Loop Customer Engagement, which will guide subsequent customer interactions with whatever part of the organization is involved. They will also be the topic of our next post.
Barton Goldenberg explains Closed-Loop CRM during his Keynote at CRM Evolution 2017.