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    • Focus on eliminating investments that support outdated methods.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.

Personalized Customer Experience 2.0: How Would Customers Score Your Brand?

Marketers know that to be more relevant and deliver a great customer experience they need to drive towards the idea of “the segment of one”. And, that being adept at “the segment of one” demands using data and advanced technology to tailor marketing messages and offers.

Gap Between What Brands Deliver and Customer Expectations is Widening

But, while many of us think we are doing a good job at “personalization” the customer continues to think otherwise. A recent article in Forbes Magazine cited Forrester’s US Customer Experience Index. It showed that compared to 2016, CX quality in 2017 worsened across the board — the number of brands in the excellent category fell to zero, and the percentage of brands with a poor score was a shocking 1:4.

How Can the Gap be Widening?

The simple answer, which holds a lot of truth, is that customers’ expectations are moving faster than our organizational capabilities. But it is never that simple. There are two key, but very separate issues.

Delivering Personalization vs. Delivering an Exceptional Customer Experience are Two Different Things

Customer experience is predicated on the total brand experience and not all components of a customer’s experience fall into marketing’s purview. The complete brand experience needs to equate to a great customer experience not just the marketing campaigns.

What’s the solution? All silos need to be broken down – marketing channels, customer service, sales. Our whole organization needs to be able to coordinate efforts using the latest technology and tools. And, we need to recognize that personalization 2.0 means the customer is the channel, not the distribution platforms we use to deliver our communications.

Personalization vs. Individualization are Different

Personalization is pretty easy these days – we have been executing mass personalization campaigns for a number of years now – customer names in email newsletters, birthday discounts etc. Mass personalization is the norm in most organizations. However, individualized insights are harder to execute as they are predicated on having the technology and intelligence to uncover the insights that give each of your customers what they want, when they want it. Individualized insights allow us, for example, to have the insight to know that Anne prefers free shipping over a discount, or that Joe wants get a SMS when he is close to a store location, or can predict next best action if a product is out of stock.

What’s the solution? Individualization demands an insightful understanding of the individual customer’s journey from start to finish and beyond and being able to act on that insight across all customer touch points.

The brands that close the gap, between the high bar of customer expectations and the customer experience, will enjoy competitive differentiation, customer loyalty, increased ROI and topline revenue. Will that brand be yours?  To find out where your brand sits, download our Customer Engagement Readiness Framework. It describes increasing maturity capabilities across 9 categories, including personalization strategy, skills, and technology.

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.