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Optimize Your Customer Contact Process for Business Growth

Published on 11 November 14
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Business leaders understand the importance of customer communication and engagement. The right communication with your customer holds the key to your business growth.


PwCâs 16th Annual Global CEO Survey reported that 84 percent of US CEOswereexpecting changes in their growth, retention, or loyalty strategies when compared with the year before. For more than 60 percent of the surveyed chief executives, âgrowing the customer baseâ emerged among the top three investment priorities. Additionally, around 90 percent of the respondents claimed to be strengthening their customer and client engagement programs. Eighty-two percent of the respondents were also investing resources in strengthening the customer engagement programs, using social media.

There are obvious benefits that drive organizations across industries to become a customer-centric organization. But it will require you to redefine your organizational structure, along with technological intervention at the right junctures. Different functions of your organization, namely operations, sales and marketing need to overcome functional boundaries and keep the customer requirement at the centre of what they do. Technology will enable you to take a multi-channel approach to reach customers.


Trends

Today, customers have access to far more information than they could just a couple of years ago. The adoption of new technologies like mobile and social media is fast changing the consumer behavior in every industry.

The spread of social media:Facebook and Twitter might be the more prominent platforms representing social media. But, social media is not limited to these alone. There are several other platforms, attracting substantial amount of traffic. Depending upon your brand and business, other channels like blogs, forums, videos and news might make more sense to your existing or prospective customers. According to âHubSpot State of Inbound Marketing, 2012â, 92 percent of companies who blogged multiple times a day acquired a customer through their blog. The same report suggests that, out of all the companies surveyed, 77 percent of companies in the B2C space and 43 percent in the B2B space acquired customers from Facebook. Social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing.


Rise of multiple screens: A Google report from August 2012,âThe New Multi Screen World: Understanding Cross-platform Consumer Behaviorâ, puts to context the available data about use of multiple devices for media interactions. The report claims that 90 percent of users use multiple screens sequentially to accomplish a task. Ninety eight percent move between devices within a same day. The top four activities that happen as users screen sequentially between devices are Internet browsing (81%), social networking (72%), online shopping (67%) and searching for info (63%). Among different devices, smartphones are the most used to start online activities, PCs are more often the ones to start more complex activities like planning a trip, and users are more like to start their shopping with a tablet.

Now, add to the picture the fact that there are billions of Internet-enabled mobile devices already in use. A Forrester Research report titled âResearch Mobile Adoption Forecast 2012 to 2017 (US) projects that by 2016 there will be one billion consumers using smartphones alone. This gives the right picture of the data you are looking at.

Understanding customer behavior: Your customers, today, have access to more information, through different touch points, than ever before. Emails, calls, different social media channels, the company websiteand the traditional offline communication are just some of the ways. Every instance of connection with your customer through any of these channels creates some data. This data, if analyzed effectively can give all the insights about customer behavior. Analytics helps you in finding the pattern among all these data sources.

Customer demands

How will you redesign your organization to bring customer focus at the center of all the processes, functions and decision making? Your customers want you to sense their challenges and respond in time to solve them. This is different from reacting to your customersâ challenges. Basically, you need to turn your organization into a sense-and-respond entity. Technology plays an important role in this endeavor.

You need a single, integrated platform to monitor, analyze and generate insights out of all the data, both structured and non-structured. You can socially enable the existing system; or, go for a new, cloud solution. The right insights from this practice will enable you to engage with your customers fruitfully, resulting in customer acquisition.


Marketing automation is the next step. It enables your organization to serve the right message, through the right channel at the right time. Organizations that have adopted early, a well-developed, multi-channel approach towards customer contact optimization are better placed to reap the benefits of better customer experience. Adopting this strategy early on means you are better placed to find the right communication channel and right message for every customer.

Choosing the right IT partner


Customer contact is a part of your overall marketing initiative. Do you want to build in-house the technical know-how required to put in place the right technology? Roping in the right IT partner can save you from all the investment and time that would otherwise go in building the needed expertise from scratch. Your team can bring to table the right understanding of the business aspect. The IT partner can handle the aspects of marketing automation, building an integrated platform for data aggregation and analytics, and putting in place the communication processes to reach out to your customers.























Business leaders understand the importance of customer communication and engagement. The right communication with your customer holds the key to your business growth.

PwCâs 16th Annual Global CEO Survey reported that 84 percent of US CEOswereexpecting changes in their growth, retention, or loyalty strategies when compared with the year before. For more than 60 percent of the surveyed chief executives, âgrowing the customer baseâ emerged among the top three investment priorities. Additionally, around 90 percent of the respondents claimed to be strengthening their customer and client engagement programs. Eighty-two percent of the respondents were also investing resources in strengthening the customer engagement programs, using social media.

There are obvious benefits that drive organizations across industries to become a customer-centric organization. But it will require you to redefine your organizational structure, along with technological intervention at the right junctures. Different functions of your organization, namely operations, sales and marketing need to overcome functional boundaries and keep the customer requirement at the centre of what they do. Technology will enable you to take a multi-channel approach to reach customers.

Trends

Today, customers have access to far more information than they could just a couple of years ago. The adoption of new technologies like mobile and social media is fast changing the consumer behavior in every industry.

The spread of social media:Facebook and Twitter might be the more prominent platforms representing social media. But, social media is not limited to these alone. There are several other platforms, attracting substantial amount of traffic. Depending upon your brand and business, other channels like blogs, forums, videos and news might make more sense to your existing or prospective customers. According to âHubSpot State of Inbound Marketing, 2012â, 92 percent of companies who blogged multiple times a day acquired a customer through their blog. The same report suggests that, out of all the companies surveyed, 77 percent of companies in the B2C space and 43 percent in the B2B space acquired customers from Facebook. Social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing.

Rise of multiple screens: A Google report from August 2012,âThe New Multi Screen World: Understanding Cross-platform Consumer Behaviorâ, puts to context the available data about use of multiple devices for media interactions. The report claims that 90 percent of users use multiple screens sequentially to accomplish a task. Ninety eight percent move between devices within a same day. The top four activities that happen as users screen sequentially between devices are Internet browsing (81%), social networking (72%), online shopping (67%) and searching for info (63%). Among different devices, smartphones are the most used to start online activities, PCs are more often the ones to start more complex activities like planning a trip, and users are more like to start their shopping with a tablet.

Now, add to the picture the fact that there are billions of Internet-enabled mobile devices already in use. A Forrester Research report titled âResearch Mobile Adoption Forecast 2012 to 2017 (US) projects that by 2016 there will be one billion consumers using smartphones alone. This gives the right picture of the data you are looking at.

Understanding customer behavior: Your customers, today, have access to more information, through different touch points, than ever before. Emails, calls, different social media channels, the company websiteand the traditional offline communication are just some of the ways. Every instance of connection with your customer through any of these channels creates some data. This data, if analyzed effectively can give all the insights about customer behavior. Analytics helps you in finding the pattern among all these data sources.

Customer demands

How will you redesign your organization to bring customer focus at the center of all the processes, functions and decision making? Your customers want you to sense their challenges and respond in time to solve them. This is different from reacting to your customersâ challenges. Basically, you need to turn your organization into a sense-and-respond entity. Technology plays an important role in this endeavor.

You need a single, integrated platform to monitor, analyze and generate insights out of all the data, both structured and non-structured. You can socially enable the existing system; or, go for a new, cloud solution. The right insights from this practice will enable you to engage with your customers fruitfully, resulting in customer acquisition.

Marketing automation is the next step. It enables your organization to serve the right message, through the right channel at the right time. Organizations that have adopted early, a well-developed, multi-channel approach towards customer contact optimization are better placed to reap the benefits of better customer experience. Adopting this strategy early on means you are better placed to find the right communication channel and right message for every customer.

Choosing the right IT partner



Customer contact is a part of your overall marketing initiative. Do you want to build in-house the technical know-how required to put in place the right technology? Roping in the right IT partner can save you from all the investment and time that would otherwise go in building the needed expertise from scratch. Your team can bring to table the right understanding of the business aspect. The IT partner can handle the aspects of marketing automation, building an integrated platform for data aggregation and analytics, and putting in place the communication processes to reach out to your customers.

This blog is listed under Development & Implementations and Enterprise Applications Community

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