By Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO
It’s impossible to have a comprehensive discussion about customer engagement without raising the topics of mobile and social. Customers are on the go and expect in-the-moment service, literally at their fingertips. They are increasingly taking to social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and community forums to seek support and air their complaints. Organisations that ignore these channels are missing out on prime opportunities to engage with customers and risk being branded as out-of-touch with consumer lifestyle.
During my recent presentation at Internet World, Creating a Mobile and Social Experience for Your Customer’s Lifestyle, I took on these two hot customer experience topics. As our lifestyles change as consumers, so do our preferred channels for communicating with companies. Traditional contact channels such as call centre and email are declining in popularity while Facebook, Twitter and mobile are all on the rise. And our expectations as customers continue to increase as we continue to be empowered by new technologies.
That leaves organisations the question of where to begin with social and mobile engagement. I recommend following these three steps:
- Get to know the mobile & social customer – Before you can successfully engage with your customers, you need to get to know them. Gartner predicts that by 2015, at least 60% of the Internet users will opt for mobile customer service as their first option, and CeBIT reports that 71% of consumers receiving a quick brand response on social media are likely to recommend that brand to others. Educate yourself on the research and studies out there and then determine how those statistics apply to your customer base.
- Create consistency across channels – To be in sync with current customer lifestyle takes more than just offering engagement options on mobile and social platforms. You must ensure that regardless of the channel the customer chose, they are receiving a consistent, accurate and personalised experience across the board. The key to doing this is knowledge management. Implement a knowledge management tool that will allow you to eliminate departmental and information silos and manage all content from one platform. Then you will be able to easily identify gaps in information and deliver consistent messaging across all channels.
- Offer a convenient customer experience – Intelligent virtual assistants are a great way to offer engagement options that are convenient for your customer’s lifestyle. With this technology you can be where your customers are, including mobile and social channels, with self-service choices that are available 24/7. Flexible integration options create a seamless experience across channels even when a customer must be escalated from virtual to live agent. And because virtual assistants can be deployed across channels via one knowledge management platform, you can ensure customers are always receiving accurate and consistent answers.
There are some great examples of companies already offering convenient and accurate support on mobile and social channels. During my presentation I was able to give live demonstrations of a couple of these implementations. You can check out National Rail Enquiries’ ‘Ask Lisa’ on their company Facebook page, the HTML5 virtual assistant template offered by RSPCA on a mobile device, and Autodesk’s use of their Virtual Agent to troubleshoot on Twitter. If you’d like to see more, please get in touch and a member of the Creative Virtual team will be happy to give you a personalised demo.
My thanks to the event organisers for inviting me back to speak for a second year at Internet World. It was another great experience, and I’m already looking forward to the 2015 event. If you missed my session, you can view my presentation on SlideShare.