Digital Engagement Through A New Lens: How To Keep Pace With Connected Customers

Digital Selfie Series
Posted by
Valerie-Ann Leary
LivePerson Contributor
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 12:08

How many selfies have you taken this week? If you’re not a selfie-snapper, think about how many selfies you’ve seen pop up across your social feeds this week.

Now let me ask you this: If you were to snap a selfie of your business, would others “like” it? Would customers recognize and share the picture, or would they be unable to discern your brand among others in a crowded market?

This summer, LivePerson wanted to figure out just what a brand’s selfie would look like. So, we created a selfie assessment and asked marketing, sales, and customer service executives to share insights around their current strategies. More than 220 executives gave us a snapshot of their digital engagement. We categorized respondents into four categories, and grabbed insights from each (see below).

Last week, LivePerson’s CMO, Anurag Wadehra (@awadehra), spoke with Retail TouchPoint’s Alicia Fiorletta (@AliciaFiorletta) and Extraco Banks & Consulting’s Lindsay Green (@aggiegal19), about survey findings, insights, and tips or best practices for digital engagement—and viewing your company from the customer perspective.

Expert Insight and Highlights

Check out the on-demand webinar for expert tips in regard to your business’ digital engagement strategy. I’ve called out key points from Anurag and Lindsay’s Q&A session below (paraphrased for the blog).

On Omnichannel Excellence

Q: Brands seek to deliver on customer expectations for a truly seamless, omnichannel experience. How are brands delivering, and what are the challenges along the way?

Anurag Wadehra: There’s a new social contract when it comes to how consumers engage brands. Social, mobile, and messaging have created an asymmetrical relationship, and consumers are in control.

One of the most common “problems” in a brand or retail view is that consumers are blind to the notion of a marketing channel. They don’t think in terms of chat, voice or in-person engagements. To customers, it’s all part of the same behavior. For brands, the first step is breaking down silos across the customer journey. Each team—from sales and marketing, through service—owns part of that omnichannel experience. When organizations bring an approach that’s cross-channel and cross-department, they’re seeing progress toward a more omnichannel approach and experience.

Lindsay Green: Extraco does, and continues to do, a lot of external research around the omnichannel customer experience. Although they’re banking customers to us, these are the same people making purchases from Amazon, sending service questions via social, and tracking finances via mobile. For our company, it’s helped to emulate experiences in financial services as well as retail.

In terms of in-person and digital, while lobby traffic continues to decline at approximately 10% from year to year, overall traffic is increasing. When you look holistically, you see trends of digital adoption, proving the need for a consistent experience across digital.

 

On Self Service vs. Real-Time Engagement

Q: With digital, there’s growing focus on self-service. What are businesses doing to balance self-service and real-time engagement, while connecting with customers in the way that’s best for the individual?

AW: Self-service has exploded, but one of the myths that still exists is that self-service can deliver the entire experience. In fact, research shows that consumers want help throughout the journey.

Digital engagement has to be tech-powered, in-channel, and led by humans. For a brand to succeed, digital properties can understand customer intent, identify the most critical buyers, and recommend how to engage with them in high-touch formants.

LG: For Extraco, I’ll reframe this response in terms of mobile.

Customer behavior and preference is now shaped around conveniences, or “convenience banking.” We need to be all things to all customers across all channels. So while the physical bank is not open 24/7, customers do have 24/7 access to self service options.

In terms of real-time customer engagements, the priority for us is our team of consultants. We’ve worked to train full-service employees. These employees break down silos, and show consultative value to the customer with a breadth of capabilities (on top of what a customer may have originally asked about).  

On Using Data to Understand Customers

Q: Where do we start when sifting through what seems like endless customer data?

AW: When you move to digital strategies there’s no shortage of data. What the real challenge is lies in turning data into INSIGHT. Think of it not as “data” but as “digital conversations.”

Customers are trying to have conversations with you … for example, I have a down service, need to make a return, need help on the site, need help checking out, etc. Whatever these conversations are, really understanding the conversations requires us to think about data differently.

LG: In regard to customer preferences, we try to use as much data that’s available to track customer traffic and make predictive recommendations. For example, staffing up after a holiday or payday. Another example: we’ve seen more and more customers moving to mobile chat (about 10%). Since, we monitor customer satisfaction—and have seen 90%+ on live chat, with 20% referral rate.

Download the eBook: A New Perspective on Customer Experience

 

Want more insights from Anurag, Lindsay and Alicia? Check out the on-demand webinar for additional survey findings, insights, and lessons learned from the experts.

Related Reading: Learn more about Extraco Bank’s digital strategy in LivePerson’s Q&A podcast with Lindsay Green.

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