Heightened demand for more personalised, streamlined customer experiences combined with the cost-of-living crisis has created a challenge for organisations in how they engage with customers and successfully deliver the best experience. How can organisations keep abreast of their customers circumstances, demands and experiences effectively without the right engagement?
The current state of play
One in four UK adults are now in financial difficulty, with a total of 7.8 million people finding it a heavy burden to keep up with their bills – an increase of around 2.5 million people since 2020. But how do these figures relate to customer engagement?
Recent research shows that customer vulnerability has been one of the top challenges organisations have faced in the past year in delivering customer experience, alongside the rapidly changing consumer behaviour and demands. On top of this, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has recently updated its rules for fair treatment of vulnerable customers, prioritising new consumer protections as vulnerability factors rise – emphasising the need for better communication and engagement from organisations.
These statistics and new legislation clearly highlight the importance of delivering the best experience possible to support customers through difficult times, and this experience is influenced by how an organisation engages with its customers and employees.
Engaging with customers in the right way, at the right time
Today’s customers are inundated with methods of communication; online, SMS, email, phone, chatbots. Engaging with customers on their channel of choice enables organisations to add much needed value to the customer journey, providing them with a more personalised experience. But how can these lines of communication ensure effective engagement and how can organisations engage with their customers on the right channel, in the right way, at the right time?
Addressing every channel
With a plethora of channels now available for customers to seek help or advice, organisations will need to be present on every channel. Organisations who limit themselves to one single stream run the risk of lower engagement and often negative experiences. If organisations push customers, for example, who are not digitally savvy to online chat, they will miss out on valuable insights and lose sight of customers that may slip through the net.
That’s why it is so important for organisations to seek an omnichannel approach – to access every form of customer communication and gain a holistic view of what their customers are talking about, having problems with and more importantly their demands and preferences. It’s important to note, that delivering this type of omnichannel engagement requires exploring potential technology gaps and ensuring even agent distribution across channels to avoid inconsistent engagement or duplication of messages through the customer journey. Delivering a streamline journey to customers and communicating on the right channels will improve satisfaction and overall engagement.
Feedback is the most valuable asset
Since the pandemic, more and more customers are seeking organisations that offer empathy and communication that resonates with them. However, this is only possible if the customer experience is the best it can be, and the way to deliver this is by learning about what customers really want, through feedback. It’s simply not the case anymore that organisations can send out an annual NPS or CSAT survey and have a full picture of their customer base. However, currently 79% of organisations are still doing this, and the majority are only collecting feedback that is solicited, such as surveys. Data from a multitude of sources, including analysing 100% of conversations on and offline will be able to help build a bigger, better picture of customer demands, expectations, and issues.
By drawing knowledge from all possible sources – solicited and unsolicited – organisations can better engage with and understand their customers to improve outcomes and experiences.
Start from the inside out
Customer service representatives play a vital role in enhancing customer engagement and can provide further insights into customer expectations and emerging trends. If organisations want to better engage with their customers, they need to start with engaging with their frontline staff and enhance employee experience and satisfaction first – be it through better technology and tools, real-time feedback and personalised coaching. When employees have better job satisfaction, motivation and engagement, it will create enhanced performance and delivery of services and experiences to the customer.
To learn more, join me at Credit Connect’s Technology Think Tank on 17th November 2022 at 11:30am for a session on Customer Engagement. What is the best customer approach? How has economic change impacted customer engagement?
Register your place today: https://thinktank.credit-connect.co.uk/book/