Top Stories of the Week: Converting Disengaged to Engaged Customers and more


Let's take a look at some of the best customer service news and articles of the week:

Turning Customer Disengagement into Engagement.

Loyalty360 has a discussion with noted customer service author and expert Steven D. Goldstein, addressing the issue of disengagement – whatever its cause.

The system is “fundamentally broken,” Goldstein says, with leaders too remote, sitting in offices reviewing reports, instead of taking a live interest in what their employees and customers actually think and experience.

Those who are succeeding, Goldstein says, are inserting themselves “into live customer situations so they know what customers like and dislike, and what they expect from a company.”

It is difficult for some companies to build a culture that promotes employee (and hence customer) engagement, Goldstein says, because while companies may have lofty-sounding mission statements, feedback sessions reveal that “their leaders do not abide by these principles.” Companies that do succeed have high buy-in at all levels of the organization.

Four Ways Beacons Help (Mobile) Customer Loyalty.

In a recent article Business2Community highlights a new, mobile way to do customer loyalty programs.

Beacon-enabled loyalty programs automatically update as required, capturing lots of useful data for such key metrics as visit frequency, repeat visitors and cross-store visits.

Four ways to maximize their customer loyalty potential:

  • Send highly targeted promotions. The advantage of beacons is they can locate customers precisely in the store. Use that, and design more tailored, complex promotions around it.

  • Send reward points notifications to customers. Customers like being reminded about their accumulated reward points.

  • Gamify the loyalty program. In-store treasure hunts can be fun. In-store instant win contests are used by some companies to great advantage.

  • Gather important feedback. “Collecting and understanding preferences and opinions directly from customers can be an important source of information to retailers,” the article notes, adding that “surveys with regards to various aspects of the loyalty program can be directly collected through the app on customers smartphones.

Two Keys to Customer Experience.

The most recent Salesforce report, “2016 State of Marketing,” reported on NewsFactor, finds that “88 percent of marketing professionals believe that adopting a customer journey strategy is critical to success for today's businesses,” and that “sixty-five percent have already started to pursue such strategies.”

In fact, “Successful companies are those focused on multichannel and digital marketing and increasingly emphasize personalized, rather than mass market, customer relationships.”

The report discusses two major areas to focus on:

  • Speed Up Offers to Customers. The key takeaway from the report, one marketing expert noted, is that due to changing technology and customer expectations, marketers must "get the most compelling offers to the best customers fastest." The report said such high-performing marketers account for only 18 percent of the 4,000  marketers surveyed by Salesforce.

  • Focus on Value, not Volume. Nearly 65 percent of the marketers surveyed “are increasing budgets for advertising on social platforms in 2016, making it the third largest area for increased investment behind social media marketing and social media engagement,” the report found. Scott McCorkle, CEO of Salesforce Marketing Cloud, noted that "As this research shows, high-performing marketing teams have shifted their mindset and tactics from marketing at customers, to focusing on connecting every touchpoint into a cohesive customer journey.”

Why You Need to Be Mapping Customer Journeys.

Adam Richardson, Group Product Manager at Financial Engines, writes in the Harvard Business Review that mapping out the customer journey has many advantages, one being analyzing “microinteractions,” which may last only a few seconds, but which can delight or hinder the customer.

Example: The ATM wishing the customer a happy birthday. That kind of thing gets remembered.

Larger issues are identified via mapping as well. Do your customers resent having to receive your deliveries at work when they would much rather get them at home? Are there points along their customer experience that they wish you would change – and which your competition may change? Or which they aren’t changing, but you can?

The Customer Satisfaction Secret Weapon – Finance.

An article on Forbes notes that “meeting customer expectations is the top operational challenge for CFOs today,” according to the 2016 CFO Sentiment Study by the CFO Alliance.

Finance professionals need to understand how they fit into the overall customer experience, and may need to alter their business model to improve the CX.

“The finance organization’s unique cross-functional perspective can be key to developing strategies and performance metrics which increase that critical customer satisfaction score,” the author writes, adding that “Companies need that overarching perspective to ensure that no single area gets so focused on its own internal measures that the company loses its view of the customer’s experience.”

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