Collapse Functional Silos with Customer Engagement Modeling

As Marketing Leaders, we are often charged with delivering consistent customer engagement across the many functions within our enterprise. Functional teams operate in silos and each function has their own view of the customer.   It can be quite a challenge for Marketing Leaders to influence these disparate functions without having direct control.  Building a Customer Engagement Model is an effective way to get functional teams collaborating and focused on delivering consistent customer engagement.

What is Customer Engagement Modeling?

A Customer Engagement Model is simply an action plan that spans every stage of the customer’s journey.  It describes the engagement strategies that can be deployed to better engage customers, ensure consistent brand value and guides the delivery of more personalized experiences for your customers.

How to Build Your Customer Engagement Model

Here are 5 ways Marketing Leaders can move from a function by function view of the customer to a company-wide customer engagement model that can be executed across the enterprise.

  1. Put the focus on your customers
    • Deploy a customer first strategy, and address issues from the customer point of view.
    • Create customer experience maps and leverage customer journey analytics.
    • Use customer surveys as well as social monitoring to keep informed about what is being said about your products, service and your company. Distribute these insights across functional teams.
  2. Collaborate Routinely
    • Many companies hold annual or semi-annual business planning events. Tap into these routine events and incorporate customer engagement model design and optimization.
    • Hold cross functional collaborative workshops to devise engagement strategies.
  3. Establish a Customer Engagement Cross Functional Team
    • Assign this team to work together to implement the customer engagement strategies as designed in your Customer Engagement Model.
    • Provide adequate decision-making power so that greater execution agility can be achieved.
  4. Think Total Cost of Customer Engagement
    • When investment is needed, look beyond just marketing. View customer engagement holistically and look across functions to effectively prioritize investments that impact customer experience.
    • Focus on eliminating investments that support outdated methods.
  5. Hire a Content Strategist
    • Adding value to the customer requires volumes of meaningful content. Centralizing content creation and distribution management can support consistency from the customer perspective– and create efficiencies from the functional team perspective.

Collaboration is The Key to Success

The marketing function is best suited to orchestrate customer engagement for the entire enterprise.  Putting the customer needs first and focusing on improving the customer experience gets everyone rowing in the same direction.  Of course, effective collaboration across the functional teams is the key.  Marketing must provide the strong leadership necessary to achieve function by function consistency in customer engagement.

For more ideas on creating a customer engagement model, download our e-book, Implementing Customer Engagement Across Multiple Touch Points.

About VeraCentra:  We’re a team of experts here to help you implement and execute the capabilities your company needs to make real personalized connections with your customers.

How Artificial Intelligence Drives Better Customer Experience

The world is producing more data than ever before and it is only going to continue to grow. A recent Harvard Business Review article cites that by 2020 44 trillion gigabytes of data, will be produced every day. For context, 1 gigabyte holds the contents of enough books to cover a 30-foot-long shelf.

For marketers charged with delivering better customer experiences this means mountains of data to plough through to extract actionable insights from a plethora of customer interactions.  However, as the article explains, there is a solution to this challenge. Implementing a system that utilizes AI and machine learning can help uncover the insights needed to deliver the brand experiences our customers expect.

Artificial Intelligence to the Rescue

Provided smart systems are set up properly, AI can predict customer preferences and drive better, personalized experiences.  And, AI not only facilitates better customer experiences. By deploying the right Artificial Intelligence technology, your business can benefit from:

  • Saving time and money by automating routine processes and tasks
  • Increasing productivity and operational efficiencies
  • Making faster business decisions based on outputs from cognitive technologies
  • Mining vast amount of data to generate quality leads and grow your customer base
  • Achieving cost savings, by optimizing your business, your workforce, and your products
  • Increasing revenue by identifying and maximizing sales opportunities
  • Growing expertise by enabling analysis and offering intelligent advice and support


Technology Alone Will Not Produce Meaningful Results

Machine learning is fundamentally only a facilitator. It brings all the data together and presents it in such a way as to be usable. But the machines still need human input. It is your strategy for applying advanced personalization that will reap results. To illustrate this point, the article cites two meaningful examples — two different businesses, two different approaches. Both leveraging AI and machine learning technology to drive better customer experiences.

  • Sprint: Reduced customer churn rates by 10%, to an all-time historic low, by using Machine Learning and giving Customer Service the insights needed to have next best actions at their fingertips.
  • Royal Bank of Scotland: Used machine learning to help them move from a sales-driven culture to becoming a more trusted advisor than your typical bank. Through a new culture and technology strategy, the company pivoted and raised its Net Promoter Score by 18 points. Analytics helped the bank identify customers that need help and the bank calls them to give them financial advice.

To find out more about how AI drives better customer experience, download the Harvard Business Review article, AI Can Comb Through Your Data to Create More Compelling Customer Experiences, here.

About VeraCentra.  We’re a team of experts here to help you implement and execute the capabilities your company needs to make real personalized connections with your customers.


Rethink How You Are Delivering Personalized Experiences

It’s a given. Customers today expect brands to know them and deliver personalized experiences. Studies reveal that 86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience and by 2020; customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.

But while many brands believe they deliver an exceptional personalized customer experience, their customers think otherwise… In fact, the gap between what brands think they deliver, and what customers report, is getting wider and wider. Forrester’s US Customer Experience Index shows that compared to 2016, CX quality in 2017 worsened across the board.  Why is this happening?

Why Companies Miss the Mark When It Comes to Personalization

First – Brands have not fully transitioned to a customer first strategy.  Forrester’s 2017 report, Pivot to Person-First Personalization, points out that many personalization efforts are falling short because they overemphasize pre-existing data, stress business need, lack context, and miss the most important component – the person.

Second – We are over reliant on outdated technology.  Automation technology and canned personalization software packages, by themselves, do little to advance customer relationships. Birth date, for example, is an easy data point to trigger off a birthday offer.  What was once a novel surprise and delight now seems rote and undifferentiated – since so many companies send them.  And thanks to Amazon’s early use of product recommendation engines, we’ve become accustomed to singular marketing automation efforts.

The stakes are getting higher, requiring marketers to apply more insight into customer needs and desires. As marketers, we need to strategize more and be capable of orchestrating multiple interactions with customers… allowing us to move beyond our competitors and win our customers’ sustained loyalty.

Advance Your Personalized Customer Experience Efforts Now

To deliver on customer expectations and to improve business outcomes, we need to rethink how we approach the development of personalized customer experiences.

  1. Opt for a person first strategy. To achieve better results from your personalization programs, ensure your messages are delivering value to your customers. Think about how your messages help your customer along their journey.  The goal is to assist them in taking the next step.  Ensure the path your customer travels is easy to maneuver and informs them every step of the way. Treat your customers as people, and covey you truly care about them.
  2. Expand your technology tools to include “insight infused” execution. Take your execution tactics to the next level by operationalizing your customer analytics.  Customer engagement technology has advanced so that machine learning capabilities can drive next best actions for your customers — well beyond product recommendations.
  3. Go beyond single channel. With more modern advanced technologies, you can move from one-off triggers in a single silo, such as web, and opt for full cross channel engagement across your enterprise.
  4. Move to real-time interactions. Elevate your personalization strategy by moving to real-time capability.  This technology brings with it advancements in real-time customer identity matching, which allows marketers to deliver messages to more known customers, in better context.  Real-time capability also allows you to expand your personalization programs to include inbound as well as outbound communications.

To learn more about advancing your personalized customer experience programs with person-first strategies and modern customer engagement technologies contact VeraCentra, here.

About VeraCentra: Marketers everywhere want to use data to implement more modern customer engagement strategies. But there can be many obstacles standing in the way of success. That’s where we come in. VeraCentra provides easy-access Customer Data Hubs. We represent best of breed Cross Channel Engagement Platforms (so marketers get the right fit) and offer the Marketing and Data Services that guarantee speed to value and quick win ROI from technology investments. We deliver these solutions with an unmatched wholehearted approach bringing personalized support, care, and service to every client. That’s why many of our client relationships span more than a decade.