When a company launches a product and someone purchases it, a relationship is formed between them. Due to this engagement that happens regularly, people, more precisely known as ‘customers’ are connected to the company. Undoubtedly the businesses solely depend on these customers as they become a very important part for the company’s existence. Any company’s success depends on their relationship duration with their customers; the longer the better and much desirable is a lifetime relation. This interpersonal relation between the customer and the business is the most important marketing strategy for a company. Through various channels, the company makes the engagement with the customers last long which also helps them be aware about the customer and their overall experience with products.
Why is Customer Engagement Needed?
Companies these days have increased their stability and growth through their customers. Through them businesses satisfy the engagement of the customer services that it provides. Engaging with customers through various methods is crucial yet difficult to understand. With priorities and wants that change every day, it is necessary for the company to stay in touch with customers. From the first step of the customer buying the product till the end result, the emphasis on the customer has to be well maintained.
- Excellent service
- Strong customer relationship
- Set behavioural triggers
- Better communication
- Customer specific needs
- Future model planning
- Enhanced customer experience
How does one understand what customers need?
Any business has to keep their primary focus on customer satisfaction andalso know and understand their needs. No business can survive long if it fails to engage its customers directly with the company. Customer needs is quite a point of focus as Apala Lahiri Chavan states, anything that is deisigned is based on some hypothesis about human behaviour. A company cannot have any other alternative apart from researching deeply about its customers. Doing a thorough research, knowing and understanding customer needs is quite crucial for a business’s survival.
An understanding of customers is rigorously data-driven for which the companies should be prepared much in advance. Also, valuable feedback and informationis what the company would require to maintain customer engagement and loyalty for years to come.
Given that there are so many channels for customer engagement, how does one decide which channels to use?
Customers these days prefer to stay in direct contact with the company; this makes it difficult for the company to choose channels and methods to keep the engagement ongoing for long. From acquiring feedback on the latest purchase and informing the customers about the new best products, the company has to first focuson understanding their customers. It’s as though where customers go companies follow. Apala says that in the customer ecosystem, the omni-channel strategy is the only way to maintain customerrelationship. Through this strategy, the company will be able to provide consistent experience across channels and will be able to race the strengths of each channel since each channel is relevant for solving a specific set of customer needs.
Certain points companies need to keep in mind while deciding the multi or omni-channel strategy:
- To know from where the maximum number of customers are being engaged.
- Understanding customer mental model, usage and preferences.
- Tracking customer traffic on the various media channels.
- Depending on the brand, product or service the business deals with.
- Creatingan effective marketing strategy.
Is it necessary to model the future of customer experience and engagement?
With the internal and external changes that businesses exeprince every day, business models also shift and morph frequently. Technology brings much change to how customers interact with digital channels.Therefore, organisations should be prepared for changes that will help them keep pace with customer expectations and even perhaps be the pioneers to spot a trend and act on it early.
How can customer engagements strategies help in creating an easy buying experience?
There are various customer engagement strategies depending on the desired customer sector and the company itself. Since customers are no longer just using brick and mortar stores, online platforms have more advantage than offline stores. To create and attract more customers towards the product and service, the design of it should be the main focus of the company. Apala is of the opinion that using cognitive and behavioural psychology to deeply understand customer needs can be very effective. By using persuasion engineering, a company can design and deliver the most appropriate and delightful customer experience.
What should be an entrepreneur’s priority - to engage customers or create better product experience?
Behind every successful company is their customer whoenables the business to thrive. Customers know that there are many options outside but it is the company that keeps the customer engaged with its brand.Customer engagement is necessary for the company’s stability in the long run. It’s the company’s priority to create a product and service to engage customers with better product experience. It is a blend of art and science mentions Apala. Therefore, considering engagement as a priority, the company should focus on designing, engaging and thereby providing better experience with every product.
NASSCOM got in touch with Apala Lahiri Chavan, President of Human Factors International (Middle East, Asia and Australia) to have a discussion on “effective customer engagement strategies” which “is the need of the day to build a sustainable business model.” An expert in the customer engagement sector who has a passion to study the changes of users across time, Apala shared her profound knowledge on the subject with NASSCOM.