Let’s get serious about engagement

Organisations have to fight hard to retain existing customers and attract new ones. With more choice available and the emergence of the switching economy, it is more important than ever to find ways to engage with customers and give them a reason to choose your products or services above others.  

It is reassuring to hear, therefore, that the importance of customer engagement is recognised by leaders. A study from research firm Vanson Bourne, commissioned by Aspect Software, found that the C-suite regards customer engagement as more important than increasing profit (75 per cent), customer retention (72 per cent), new customer on-boarding (71 per cent) and business growth (66 per cent).

It also found that while many other subjects fail to become a board-level issue, customer engagement has established itself as an important topic in most of the respondents’ organisations. The subject is discussed at board meetings at least once a month for three fifths of those surveyed.

While it is highly rated as a way to gain competitive edge (83 per cent), the study revealed that only one third (32 per cent) agree with the statement that their customer service is ‘great’ and that their customers are ‘very happy’. Two-thirds (65 per cent) see areas for improvement within their current system.

Steve Ball, senior vice president Europe & Africa at Aspect Software, commented that the results underline that the C-suite places a high importance on customer engagement, with a solid understanding of the benefits that an effective strategy supported by the right technology can bring.

“This is a positive and significant revelation as customer engagement is facing a number of consumer and market-driven pressures to fit a new mould,” he says. 

Digital Transformation Consultation

“However, a large portion of respondents recognise that their customer engagement operations do have room for improvement. Customer service is the ultimate competitive differentiator (particularly if the market is price inelastic, such as energy), and they are still aware of the flaws that the system holds if it is not optimised.”

The study also found that adding further complexity is the fact that there is confusion as to who is ultimately responsible for the strategy. “And in any customer-driven enterprise I’d question why that is,” he continues, suggesting the reason could be that discussion is not as in-depth as it could be and that customer engagement may “lack a champion”.

In Rialto’s experience, customer engagement will neither be the first nor last topic to experience a disconnect between espoused importance and execution but it is one that business leaders cannot afford to allow to grow. They need to ensure that all managers take responsibility for it so that day-to-day processes and practices become embedded in the culture of the company.

We advise clients to map all points of the customer journey to pinpoint weaknesses but also to identify opportunities to engage with the customer throughout it. It isn’t necessarily enough for customers to like or love your products or services any more, they also have to love you too.


Arrange a Conversation 


Article by channel:

Read more articles tagged: Customer Experience, Featured