Is customer engagement a source of never-ending conundrums for your company? Perhaps you are already doing it, but it has not always yielded positive results. When it comes to finding customer-centric solutions within the organization, is there a better way than enlisting the help of your employees? And no, it’s not just the sales and marketing teams that need to get on board. We are also talking about the technology and human resources teams, the senior management and the new hires.
Are you uncertain about where to start? Check out these 7 ideas that can help you transform your customer engagement from being mediocre to exceptional.
Start from the top
Management consulting firm McKinsey points out that customer engagement is now everybody’s responsibility. It explains that today’s customers form impressions at every encounter. So, it is not just your sales and marketing teams that need to handle people. CEOs need to be aware that it has to be done across the organization, and it matters that they model how it should be done.
If you are clueless about where to start, you can consult with your marketing team as they are well-positioned to orchestrate customer engagement for the entire organization.
Strengthen internal communication systems
There are multiple ways to look at it. One of them is allowing teams to collaborate seamlessly, especially the front-liners and backbones of core services. For instance, Uber relies on its tech people to keep its ride-sharing system working as flawlessly as possible. At the same time, the company also depends on its customer care officers to communicate with customers and relay real-time issues to the tech team.
There should be a strong line for each internal party to share information back and forth. Otherwise, as it is true for Uber and anyone else, the holes and cracks will show as a less satisfying experience for the end users.
Another way to solidify internal communications is to align individual goals and vision with those of the business. This approach is what some experts call employee engagement. And there are multiple ideas to implement it, depending on the culture and values of an organization. According to this compilation of 50 employee engagement ideas, some examples are providing ergonomic workspaces, offering sabbaticals, paying for parental leaves, taking employee feedback seriously, and ditching the dress codes.
At the core, employee engagement is about considering the feelings of employees. Some studies propose that in doing so, you are enabling workers to become better at serving your clients or customers. For instance, employees become more open to collaboration, which in turn helps create solutions, when they are taken care of inside the company.
Involve them in content creation
It doesn’t have to be the end product per se. In the course of creating products or content pieces, you can include an unlikely team in the brainstorming stage. Take the following scenario as an example. If you are in the consumer tech space, you know that augmented reality and virtual reality are the hottest topics today. While the tech team is in charge of designing and developing AR/VR gizmos and the marketing team in promoting them, you can include the HR in testing them. Remember that these people are also consumers at some point, and you may glean unexpected yet useful insights from them.
Empower them with productivity tools that work
Investing in productivity tools can do more than boost work performance. It can create a virtuous cycle that extends to the customers. Experts say that it can be empowering for employees to find opportunities to be better on their jobs if they have access to better resources. As an effect, the staff will be able to see customer issues with clarity. They will be able to show empathy, making end users feel that they are connecting with the company on a personal level.
If you’re worried about budget constraints, know that productivity tools do not have to be high-cost to be effective. Read the infographic below to find out 10 of the best productivity boosters that cater to the demands of our changing times.
Infographic Source: 10Machines.com
Create a space to answer FAQ
Aside from a dedicated Frequently Asked Questions page, some companies add a community, bulletin board, or forum page to accommodate queries not covered in the FAQ. This tactic is especially useful if you are offering cloud-based services or software products that constantly undergo updates. The Microsoft Community is a popular example of how employees can respond to those who crowdsource solutions for their software product issues.
If you lack the money to run such a space, you can look at alternatives such as Quora. Here, employees become advocates of their organizations as they help resolve actual problems while also building a community. Quora, for example, has 40 million users in the US alone and 190 million worldwide (2017 data). This infographic from Kissmetrics will help you understand the impact if you establish customer connections on the Q&A platform.
Host an event
Organizing a face-to-face interaction with existing and potential customers can still draw a crowd in the age of video calls and conferences. “No matter what industry you work in, we are all in the people business,” says Michael Massari, senior vice president of National Meetings and Events of Caesars Entertainment.
Some studies say that it is easier for a prospect to say no in an email or a phone call than in person. It also works to your employees’ advantage, because they can read and react to the body language of your prospects during a physical meeting. So, strategize around this concept. Should you set up a pop-up store, join a fair, or schedule one-on-one meetings?