Topic: Customer Experience
Looking forward to next year, any serious conversation about consumer engagement in the digital age must begin with the acknowledgement that the one-way, interruption-based model of the past is gone forever. Technological advances have opened doors that cannot be shut, regardless of a company’s strategy, thought process or level of preparedness.
Simply put, it means that interaction is inevitable but engagement is optional. Consumers are talking to businesses (and to each other about businesses) without the need for anyone’s permission or invitation. They have unique preferences and are attempting to make the businesses they interact with aware of them. The only question for modern marketers is whether or not they have the ability to listen to consumers, remember their likes and dislikes, respond accordingly and in doing so, earn loyalty and engagement.
The key to driving engagement in the modern era is letting the consumers themselves share ownership of the conversation based on their interests and preferences.
Obviously, this is easier said than done. But preference management is a tangible project that any organization can address under the broader umbrella of customer experience. It’s a critical but achievable first step, a do-able initiative that often galvanizes support for broader efforts down the road.
In order to compete, brands must consolidate the collection, management and reporting of consumer preferences from across the enterprise into a central system. This system should integrate with marketing databases and CRM systems in order to provide organizations with their customers’ and prospects’ legal contact status and marketing and account servicing preferences. Empowered by preference data, companies can improve campaign results, increase sales revenue and improve customer loyalty while satisfying privacy requirements at the same time.
Make no mistake — the conversation is taking place regardless.
The only question is how businesses will react. Some are already embracing the new engagement paradigm and setting a new standard for customer service. It begins with preference management – the latest chapter in the story of engagement and the
necessary foundation for listening to and learning from consumers.