Currently Trending: Customer Engagement
With customers’ needs and expectations rising, businesses have become ever-attentive so that they can continue engaging the customers with different technologies. In the world today, it’s not easy to keep up with the new generation of buyers who are forever experimenting; a group that isn’t easily satisfied and for whom the options are diversified.
Consumer technology has reshaped today’s customers’ expectations. Brands, if not competitive enough, can drive away customers directly to their nearest competitors.
Online customer engagement is qualitatively different from offline engagement as the nature of the customer’s interactions with a brand, company and other customers differ on the internet. Discussion forums or blogs, for example, are spaces where people can communicate and socialize in ways that cannot be replicated by any offline interactive medium. Customer Engagement marketing efforts that aim to create, stimulate or influence customer behavior differ from the offline, one-way, marketing communications that marketers are familiar with.
Let’s look at some of the upcoming trends of 2016:
Spread of Mobiles: A mobile-centric environment has been on the rise and 2016 is the year for it. Rising smartphone penetration of the market would ensure an increased number of interactions through the mobile platform.Nielsen reports that 85% of the millennial generation own smartphones. Businesses need to ensure to provide their customers a smooth interface.
Social media as an important channel: Social media will emerge stronger as an individual marketing platform and move beyond the shadows of being a strategy tool. Social media has massively influenced customer service, brand research, and customer experiences. According to Forbes, 62% reported that they wanted to engage with brands that are active on social media. An Aberdeen Group report states that 71% of consumers who have positive social customer service experiences are likely to recommend that brand to others.
Video-enabled services will reach new heights: As the importance of video branding is realized, many brands are swiftly moving toward video interactions for a richer, more personalized experience. Offering customers’ tutorials on your website, brand education, and video chatting for optimum customer service are now visible in organizations. These ventures began as pilot projects and are now emerging as premium forms of customer engagement that can strengthen brand relationships.
Big data is here to stay: With big data analytics, companies are able to analyze a mix of complex data sets from various sources to gain critical insights into customer behavior. Big data that has both structured and unstructured data is now fast coming into the grasp of marketers with the advent of tools that would make data mining and management easier than before. 2016 will see an epic rise of big data and its incorporation into marketing decisions.
Rise of messaging platforms:While social media is busy building messaging platforms, an easy-to-use in-app messenger system is slowly making a foray into the market. Apps such as Facebook messenger that is voice-supported have captured the attention of customers. Organizations need to focus a part of their customer engagement strategy around these platforms.
Automated virtual assistants:One of the most upcoming trends of 2016 is enabling customers with a dialogue service within the website or the app. A whole new generation of intelligent smart assistants or bots will assist customers with fully automated interactions, which will transform the entire conversational experience.
Organizations should have the right strategic direction, infrastructure, innovative methods and expertise to guide and adopt these technologies for optimizing their benefits. A whole lot of it depends on how companies focus on their customers and make value-based decisions.
Simon Hopes is a renowned author and social media enthusiast. The commerce-oriented features as well as the customer engagement part has to be actively marketed by the organization to ensure customer acquisition and then retention.