American poet Walt Whitman declared, “Oh, to be alive in such an age…,” and is an expression that evokes promises of unknown potential. It’s how I often feel as we enter the age of customer engagement. Customer engagement is radically changing how businesses interact with customers, and customers’ expectations from businesses.
A definition of customer engagement I found recently stated that, “it is not customers’ participation or utilization experience, but the way they choose to make use of these experiences to achieve a purpose, such as solve key challenges and address specific needs.” To increase and improve customer engagement at this purpose-driven level, there are two key business processes that large enterprises need to embrace.
Enable the customer to contribute directly to the business process using their mobile devices
Allowing direct access into a business process leverages two facts: Consumers today are accustomed to retrieving and sending information from their fingertips within seconds; and they are quick to share their satisfaction or frustration about a company over social media. Customer frustration typically hinges on some sort of delay in the business process, such as a response time to an inquiry, quote, status of a transaction or inability to know that documents have already been submitted (twice).
Several industries, including financial and insurance, are recognizing the benefits of mobile devices and are leveraging mobile capture technology to enable customers to contribute information directly into a loan file or insurance claim by simply taking a picture of a document with their mobile device’s camera and sending it into the process through the organizations’ mobile app. By accepting information at the point of origination from customers, the engagement level increases and so does customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Incorporate adaptive case management processes that effectively and quickly handle routine and unpredictable customer engagements
Having a solid architecture of engagement that integrates multiple touchpoints will channel and foster responsiveness. In the lifecycle of a customer’s engagement with an organization, whether in a single business process or many, there will be multiple touchpoints such as account opening or registration, orders, claims, appeals, service requests, incident reports, complaints, etc. Additionally, there is the need to document and cross-communicate over several channels including social media, mobile, face-to-face interaction, paper-based mail, email and fax. Responsiveness is vital. Adaptive case management (ACM) supports the needs of knowledge workers to be able to answer with speed, quality and flexibility and ensures customer’s needs are met in a more efficient and timely manner.
Enterprises need to invest in their customer-facing infrastructures to incorporate mobile capabilities and re-evaluate ways to improve responsiveness across all customer touchpoints – from the mailroom to the mobile device. The age of customer engagement brings great opportunities for business processes, “…when miracles are everywhere, and every inch of common air throbs a tremendous prophecy, of greater marvels yet to be.”
Are you ready to embrace customer engagement?