2018 CMO / CX Virtual Event:
The Future of Digital Customer Engagement
This blog post is an excerpt from our recent webinar in partnership with Argyle Executive Forum titled, The Future of Digital Customer Engagement. During this session, Terrence Fox, Director of Strategy, facilitates a highly informative dialog with senior executives from Ethan Allan Global, Crayola and The Hain Celestial Group. To view the on-demand webinar click here.
Innovating to Enhance the Customer Journey
As we have seen modern approaches to customer engagement strategies become effective across all industries, it is apparent that traditional solutions are no longer adequate for organizations to stay afloat. New customer centric strategies, such as conversational marketing, provide a fresh approach to enable sales, improve customer acquisition, and enhance customer lifetime value. Digital transformation offers advanced tools to empower brands to strategically to enhance the customer journey. However, it’s not just about the technology, but how brands respond to customers’ needs.
Marketing, e-Commerce, and customer experience (CX) executives must now incorporate cutting edge technology to transform customer engagement practices. The imperative is to enhance the buyer’s (or shoppers) journey with emotions and experiences. The moment the customer has a need for information, the brand has an opportunity to make an emotion-rich, authentic connection with the consumer.
During our recent webinar, Terrence Fox, Director of Strategy engages in a highly informative dialog with senior executives, including:
- Ellen Deutsch, SVP Marketing, CMO, The Hain Celestial Group
- Chuck Linden, EVP, Digital Strategy and Global Business Development, Crayola
- Robin Van Puyenbroeck, Vice President, Business Development, Ethan Allen Global
The key topics of discussion, inclue:
• Digital Transformation’s impact across marketing, ecommerce, and CX strategies
• The evolution of customer engagement – 24/7 real-time, personalized interaction, shifting to messaging capabilities
• Developing conversational marketing strategies – creating engagement and utilizing brand ambassadors as the voice of the customer
• What’s expected – the evolving roles of marketing and CX executives
• Remaining relevant in the age of disruption
Messaging Revolution Sets New Standards
A majority, 54%, of the world population is connected1 representing more than 4.1 billion people. Among them, 2.5 billion people now use a messaging app2. This major trend reveals two things: we are always searching for the most conversational experience. Second, this experience is now possible and accessible to all with the evolution of interfaces and technologies.
Brands are facing a major challenge, that of ubiquity. The customer expects to be able to interact with brands everywhere, at any time and in real-time. This implies a double challenge for brands. They have to be available simultaneously on all contact points and access to resources to provide answers to the questions asked continuously.
CX Becomes A Competitive Advantage
Competition is fierce for brands. It’s never been easier for consumers to switch from one brand to another. Many of iAdvize’s conversations with enterprises focuses on the key question, ‘How can I keep visitors from leaving my website for a competitor?’ CX has been identified by industry leaders as an effective way to re-enforce the brand and cultivate customer loyalty. CX isn’t just about the post-sale customer support. It’s about the CX throughout the customer journey with emphasis on creating differentiation in the early stages of discovery.
Emotions: A key differentiator for CX
Buyers consistently behave in ways that defy economic theory. In fact, Richard Thaler received an economic noble prize in 2017 for demonstrating that consumers are irrational when making purchase decisions. It’s the positive emotions that consumers remember about a brand. In the advertising world, emotions have been identified as an essential element of branding. In order to be effective, new research shows they must be delivered at all stages along the customer journey.
3 Key Elements of a Successful CX
• Effectiveness – Customers gain value from the experience
• Ease – Customers get value without experiencing any difficulty
• Emotion – Customers feel engaged by the experience
Explore the powerful combination of emotions and conversation by viewing our webinar featuring Forrester Research titled, ‘Why Conversations Are Shaping The Future of Online Shopping’. View the on-demand webinar by clicking here.
Personalization and Real-Time Engagement
In today’s digital world, consumers’ expectations have reached new heights. The expectation is for personalization and real-time responses. For personalization to be effective, consumers want to feel special by receiving tailored and authentic experiences. Response rate must be in real-time. Why? Time has become incredibility valuable. We are all running after time and the consumers’ attention span is declining. Forrester Research has noted people check their phones 150 to 200 times per day.3 When a consumer has a question about a brand’s product or service, they have become conditioned to expect an immediate answer. Brands that are able to give customers back time by providing real-time responses will be rewarded by the customer. It’s in the brands’ best interest to take advantage of consumers’ impulses to buy as these impulses usually don’t last long.
Conversation is the New Engagement
The shift to messaging is sweeping the world. A Facebook survey shows 80% of adults message every day and 91% of teens message every day4. We use messaging for everything making it a multi-faceted experience. With businesses just getting on board with messaging, it’s an opportune time for brands to rethink their conversational customer engagement strategies.
Why do digital conversations matter? Conversational strategies have expanded well beyond customer support. Marketers and e-commerce professionals are now using conversations throughout the customer journey to increase sales and reinforce their brand. How do you get started? Simply start by asking your team, ‘how well does our current conversational strategy engage prospective buyers at the top, middle and bottom funnel site visitors?’
Key Ingredients For A Conversational Strategy
Brands delivering an integrated CX go beyond providing basic product advice. It’s about the experience which is where the emotion starts to happen. Experiences bring brands into a new dimension with the consumer. An example is Nike’s on-demand experts. They provide real-time advice to consumers. If a runner is looking for shoes to race in an upcoming marathon, then it’s no longer simply about the product transaction. The Nike expert takes the opportunity to advise the consumer about relevant topics including how to train for the marathon, tips about diet, sleep and more. It’s about the brand providing a complete customer experience to meet the consumers’ needs.
1 Internet World Stats, 2018, World Internet Users Statistics and 2017 World Population Stats. Numbers based on data from the United Nations Population Division, Nielsen Online International Telecommunications Union, GfK, local ICT Regulators and other reliable sources. Read more, https://bit.ly/2CEWi66
2 Josh Constine for Tech Crunch, 2.5 billion people use at least one of Facebook’s apps, Data released by Facebook. Read more, https://tcrn.ch/2PEXw8v
3 Forrester Research quote – ‘2016 Predictions: Key Trends Will Transform Mobile Engagement’ by Julie Ask, VP, Principal Analyst
4 Facebook, ‘Messages Matter: Exploring the Evolution of Conversation’, November 16, 2017