The 5 Most Common Mistakes That Get in the Way of Successful Customer Engagement Strategies
Customer engagement strategies have a major impact on business success. A recent PwC survey found that when shoppers feel recognized and appreciated, they are willing to pay up to 16 percent more for products and services, and are more likely to remain loyal to a brand. The survey also asked consumers around the world whether bad experiences would drive them to do business elsewhere. Almost half said they’d stop purchasing from a company after several bad experiences and, for about 30 percent, it would only take one bad experience before they stop interacting with a brand.
As important as a solid customer engagement strategy is, businesses make some all-too-common mistakes that make it impossible to execute it successfully. Avoid these missteps when collecting and managing customer data so you can effectively build accurate customer profiles, a single source of truth, and, ultimately, customer satisfaction.
Customer Engagement Strategy Mistakes
Data silos between departments and systems
Enterprises digitally transforming their operations deploy new systems and applications, but they don’t always ensure that software shares data seamlessly with other solutions. In some cases, businesses rely on manual uploads for data sharing, routinely creating a lag between customer activity and related data in the system. As a result, there can be gaps in service and, unfortunately, poor customer experiences. Furthermore, the larger the company, the more serious the problem. For example, if a leading retailer’s loyalty program is offline for a week, 10,000 people may not receive their rewards or have access to an accurate point total when they log into their accounts.
The solution is to create a fully integrated IT ecosystem that automatically shares data in real time, meeting consumers’ expectations for up-to-date information.
Lack of responsiveness of marketing initiatives
Enterprises also need real-time data to increase marketing effectiveness and ROI. Businesses need the ability to respond to inquiries before prospective customers’ interest cools off. The information that a marketing or customer service team needs to engage customers effectively is somewhere in the enterprise’s system, but it may not be synchronized in a way that supports optimal customer engagement and experiences.
Enterprises will be most successful if they build a system that enables near-real-time responses to marketing initiatives.
Discord between the reality of data and operations
Another mistake that enterprises make that can stand in the way of a successful customer engagement strategy is not basing decisions on data or putting information to its best use. Data that’s not accessible to customers can lead to frustration, long wait times on hold, and the inability to provide customers with the information when they connect. The dissonance between customer behaviors and requests, and sales associate, customer service, and marketing team activity can also result in wasted time and effort on unnecessary or irrelevant emails. Moreover, the confusion resulting from this may lead to higher costs to field a large volume of customer service calls to straighten out discrepancies.
If you are collecting data, find ways to organize, analyze, and extract value from it.
Gaps in quality assurance processes
Even the most proactive enterprises with the most sophisticated IT systems can overlook one thing: what to do when someone makes a mistake. Businesses need to implement quality assurance processes that test end-to-end customer journeys to ensure that customers have positive experiences, i.e., take a “happy path” vs. an “unhappy path” to purchase.
Quickly addressing issues is key. A small matter today can lead to a significant data gap over months or years. Businesses need effective quality assurance processes to keep data clean, processes running seamlessly—and customers happy.
Not giving consent and confidentiality the attention they deserve
Customer data is essential to an effective customer engagement strategy. However, not complying with regulations that govern how to manage information and protect consumers’ privacy can put an enterprise at risk.
A glitch that accidentally reveals one loyalty member’s name and address to another is now more than a public relations issue. It’s a legal one that can be accompanied by stiff fines and penalties.
Additionally, data privacy regulations typically include provisions that allow consumers to request that all of their information be removed or “forgotten.” A leading customer data platform (CDP) enables enterprises to comply with these mandates and requests efficiently and accurately while giving them the ability to federate data and gain the insights they need for successful customer engagement.
Evaluate Your Organization’s Customer Engagement Capabilities
If you recognize that one or more of these challenges is holding your business back from executing your customer engagement strategy, ask yourself these questions:
How are our communications and data orchestrated?
If they aren’t managed effectively, it’s time to put systems in place to ensure that information flows where and when it’s needed. Start by looking at customer support cases to understand how processes work now and what you need to do to improve them.
What are the benefits of our current strategy?
If the processes that you now use don’t result in the ability to control costs while still optimizing customer engagements and your brand reputation, you need to update them.
Who is responsible for data orchestration?
With regard to any policy or process, success depends on making an employee or team accountable to ensure it runs smoothly. Determine who owns data orchestration related to your customer engagement strategy and build this responsibility into their schedule and workflows.
What are the best practices?
Educate yourself on how best to optimize data acquisition, consent and opt-ins, and the ability to identify all data that pertains to individual customers. Also, focus on refining your internal processes to enhance customer engagement and experiences.
Which data platform serves as our single source of truth?
One system with master data management capabilities can increase efficiency throughout your organization, including accounting, inventory, and marketing, as well as customer service.
After evaluating your current customer engagement strategy, you may need answers to even more questions. Contact us to learn how a CDP can help you effectively manage and leverage customer data and improve customer experiences.