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Customer Engagement

Starbucks has always stayed one step ahead of competition in mobile based customer engagement. Even though long-term CEO Howard Schultz is set to step down this year, mobile based digital marketing and customer servicing continue to be on top of its priority list. The company at present has thirteen million Starbucks Rewards members, a slightly smaller number of mobile paying customers and six billion US dollars fed into its prepaid cards already. Starbucks beverages can be offered on the go using the Amazon Alexa device. Its latest version of the Starbucks mobile app is power using the concept of Artificial Intelligence. Latest on the anvil is availing offers via Apple Pay and the provision of gifting using Apple’s messaging app.

Source:https://www.loyalty360.org/content-gallery/daily-news/starbucks-ramps-up-mobile-customer-engagement-in-2

 

Customer experiences can be magnified using a system of reward points. This concept of diversified reward points is being used by players from several industries such as hospitality, retail and events. One such method is the H Honors system of Hilton. Here they customers with suitably high reward points may redeem them against a plethora of experiences such as Broadway shows or concerts in London. Sony Rewards is a system by which auctions are held for points winners to redeem them against a list of items whose prices are now reduced for these special privileged members. Airliner Delta has come up with a business innovation in which frequent flyers can win tickets to music awards or a vacation or even a high-end TV set. Marriott has tied up for similar purpose with the Coachella music festival. Verizon meanwhile allows loyalty card holders to win electronic goods against gift cards. They allow both points-only and point-plus-dollars options. Finally the Intercontinental Hotel Group allows points o be redeemed for food and wine festivals, golf events or car driving sessions with top automaker BMW.

Source:https://www.forbes.com/sites/bryanpearson/2017/03/21/auctioning-experiences-how-marriott-coachella-bid-for-customer-engagement/#27266491c4ba 

A latest financial technology innovation called Kabbage can endorse a small business loan in a mere seven minutes which is about a five thousand times less than a bank which typically takes up to twenty working days. This is one of the best examples of how technology is helping ease the customer experience. Business research conducted jointly by Ipsos and LinkedIn found out that two-thirds of affluent millennials are comfortable using non-financial-services brands. The existing players are also acting fast to adapt to this new reality. Newer methods are being developed to truly capture the customer journey. This includes activities such as code-sign, ethnographic observations, customer diaries, design iteration and live testing. Marketers would earlier be content just designing the user interface, but now are offering end-to-end customer experience. Companies are even embracing agile technologies to themselves having such work cultures. Traditionally, marketers worked under the guidance of their leaders, but now they are collaborating organically across the ecosystem.

Source:http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/what-it-takes-to-deliver-breakthrough-customer-experiences sNewRoman";mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;mso-ansi-language:EN-US;mso-fareast-language:EN-US;mso-bidi-language:AR- https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2017/03/03/why-you-should-treat-fundraising-for-your-startup-like-a-sales-process/#2fa2b3de24c6

 

Contrary to popular debates, one of the senior executives at Salesforce believes that customer experience is not owned by any particular department. Marketing has usually held the stranglehold but she feels that they do not completely control the touch points in the customer experience. That is because whenever customers face difficulties, they connect with either sales or customer service. They have a direct link to sales that marketing lacks. This is magnified by the fact that the gap between the two twains is rising. The top management needs to ensure that the entire organization chips in to the customer experience part. It must also be measurable for which tangible metrics must be put in place. Business intelligence about the experience must also be gleaned out of social media.

Source:https://www.forbes.com/sites/deniselyohn/2017/03/08/who-owns-customer-experience/#2b680ba64346

 

Legendary innovatory cum entrepreneur Walt Disney was renowned for his attention to detail and it is this trait that has permeated down to the present day Disney organization. The entire Disney World Park and other such attractions are sprinkled with stories of how this attention to minute details led to creation of other related offerings. An example can be cited of the queuing area at the Magic Kingdom Park in Florida where while waiting, guests can curate their own unique spooky music. Even during the corporate training handed out at the Disney Institute to employees, this attention to detail is focused on almost as an art form. A lot of organizations only work on the bigger picture, while ignoring the minute details and this is what sets Disney apart. Small changes have delighted customers over generations.

Source:https://hbr.org/sponsored/2017/02/how-an-eye-for-detail-can-reinvent-the-customer-experience?referral=00563&cm_mmc=email-_-newsletter-_-daily_alert-_-alert_date&utm_source=newsletter_daily_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=alert_date&spMailingID=16670407&spUserID=OTY0OTMwNTk5NwS2&spJobID=980043171&spReportId=OTgwMDQzMTcxS0

 

Most market facing companies have realized that the customer experience must be an important part of their corporate strategy. Companies must track what customers really want and what is relevant for them. Thus while framing procedures, the customer’s welfare must be thought of. Employees must be imparted the right corporate training to deal with customer expectations. To test whether the company is actually focused on the customer and this talk is not an eyewash, it must be observed that the company expects through its mission or vision. The key stakeholders must be aware of the customer segments and types most frequenting the brand. Methods to measure company success must be quantified and known to the people. Employees must also be aware of what exactly is it that customers are looking for from the brand. The company strategy must also not be a secret document for the top management, but easily shareable among the employees so that all may be apprised about the customer-centric approach.

Source:http://customerthink.com/how-to-ensure-customer-experience-is-a-key-element-of-your-business-strategy/

 

While the entire organization needs to be geared up towards customer engagement, the most important person drafting the corporate strategy is the CEO. However, often CEOs are found to be inconsistent in their customer engagement assessments. This is because many of them focus most on the bottom line as this is what they will ultimately be evaluated on. Fortunately the trend is evolving with Jeff Bezos of Amazon stating his belief that customers needed nurturing. Similarly, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase has also stated that quarterly results must never be published as that raises pressure. Instead strengthening of long-term relationships with customers must be accorded top priority.

Source:http://www.forbes.com/sites/blakemorgan/2017/02/22/customer-experience-starts-with-bold-leadership/#49ff4e473f3d

Video games are being used for corporate training as well as customer engagement by several firms these days. In order to truly measure the impact of the same, a team from the Ross School of Business analyzed a substantial sample. Their results were that gamers could broadly be divided into three categories depending on their levels. At the top, they cared least for challenges, but simply in their rank achievement. At the bottom level, the engagement was different as both challenges and achievement had moderate impact. It was at the middle level, which was the largest anyway that the impact was greatest as gamers responded positively to both the stimulants. Rather than simply winning, they actually wanted to improve their overall game play.

Source:http://www.ns.umich.edu/new/releases/24616-what-video-gamers-can-teach-us-about-customer-engagement

Over the past few decades, software developers have focused on features, scalability and robustness for their deliverables. Little emphasis was put on user experience at the workplace. These same professionals who used these cumbersome internal applications had the benefit of using cutting-edge, easy to use applications form Google or Amazon at home and demanded similar ease at work. CIOs across the board are thus now investing greater amounts into perfecting the UX at offices. Some improvements have already taken place in that regard as evidenced by Fisker Automotive’s use of mobile phones to track orders, resulting in a dramatic reduction in errors reported. At Dunn-Edwards, more simple-to-use products are being developed such as their new CRM. To manage human resources, the Walt Disney Co. embarked on a journey to provide personalized access to employees at their offices. The access is now mobile-friendly, globally common though locally modifiable, simple to use and a one-stop solution. Offshore logistics firm Greatship is using data to elicit real-time business intelligence that has increased resolution of IT related issues by a third. Overall, this focus on UX has led to improved talent retention, greater degree of satisfaction among employees, enhanced internal collaboration and a resultant better performance.

Source:http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/user-experience-reimagining-productivity-and-business-value/

Engagement marketing is set to veer towards its next stage. It is pertinent that marketers develop user personas on their customer base as that will enable them to pinpoint their digital marketing efforts towards the right target using right channel. Buyers typically go through three stages. First of all, they identify the problems they have. Then they flip between the broad kinds of solutions possible. Finally, the buyer chooses between the alternate solutions to the given problem. In engagement marketing, prospects and buyers are apprised of solutions through specific content. Marketers use extensive bits of data, analyst reports and industry specific benchmarks. Some adjustments however are needed to the present approach. As a thumb rule all its proponents must speak the same language and not differ excessively in opinions. Also the content, collaterals and campaign itself must be designed around customer needs and not solutions that are readily available. Companies need to shed their selling personality as that can lead to short-term thinking and instead try to develop long term relationships with various stakeholders.

Source:http://diginomica.com/2016/02/25/the-engaging-attraction-of-engagement-marketing/

Customer experience is one of the hotly contested battlegrounds among service centric organizations. Some important statistics related to the same have been collated together that are relevant for all business leaders. More than half the customers polled confessed to be ready to pay more for a good experience. Even more so up to eighty six percent of them confirmed the desire to pay more for any upgraded experience. This is particularly true for air travel and tourism sectors. A similar percentage feels at odds when the concerned agent does not possess the relevant information. In the age of digital marketing, each experience gets multiplied when customers share their experiences. Nearly three-fourths of consumers share their positive experiences. Not all those unsatisfied complain, many simply leave the brand. Two-thirds of companies manage to cross-sell or up-sell to existing customers. This figure comes down to a mere twelve percent when it comes to new customers. Three-fourths of brands aren’t even aware what exactly engagement refers to. Also two-thirds of those who have switched from their older brands, have done so due to poor service received and a similar figure is preventable if nipped at the bud. A large percentage up to eighty five percent of customer churn takes place due to preventable factors. As customers are always hungry for the relevant information, more than half of them want to right answer but two-thirds of them do not trust the same bandied out. In fact nearly half have even confirmed to have received the wrong information. Social media shows dismal figures as well with more than half customer service requests not even acknowledged by the brand and another nearly three-fourths feedback incomplete. About six-sevenths of social media service interactions get passed on to other channels. A shocking two-thirds of them are sent back to point of origin.

Source:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/vala-afshar/50-important-customer-exp_b_8295772.html?ir=India&adsSiteOverride=in

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