How to Achieve and Maintain Customer Engagement Year-Round

The right software will give you access to an omnichannel cloud contact center so your customers can communicate with your business wherever they like, and vice versa.

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How to Achieve and Maintain Customer Engagement Year-Round

To nearly 50 percent of your customers, changing communication channels is as easy as switching back and forth between digital and in-person communications. And it’s not only easy for your customers to switch communication channels, it’s something they expect: 59 percent of consumers are frustrated when they can’t access the information they want in their communication method of choice. If your business makes it difficult for customers to engage with you on the channels they prefer, they might not give you another shot. In fact, 51 percent of people stop using a brand after a single bad communication experience.

If you’re among the many businesses who are unprepared for this, consider the following:

  • 70 percent of businesses think they’re effectively communicating with their customers, but only 2 out of 10 customers agree.
  • While 9 out of 10 global consumers want to text with businesses, only 48% of businesses are equipped with SMS.
  • In a recent study, 40 percent of contact center leaders revealed that their systems don't meet today's needs. Worse, more than half feel their systems won't meet future needs.

We feel your pain. Picking and choosing digital channels as quickly as your customers can create a new account can be difficult. That’s why businesses that achieve and maintain customer engagement over time embrace customer engagement software. The right software will give you access to an omnichannel cloud contact center so your customers can communicate with your business wherever they like, and vice versa.

But an excellent contact center solution isn’t going to solve all your problems. To truly engage with and understand your customers across touchpoints, you need a customer-first culture.

Customer-First: The Engagement Lifecycle

To become a customer-first company, you need to eat, sleep, and breathe the customer engagement life cycle — or at least make it a part of every interaction with your customers and leads.

Grasping the customer engagement lifecycle will help you let go of any silos that exist in your business, introduce ways for your employees to feel empowered to interact with customers, and design opportunities for automation to take on more mundane tasks so that customer interaction is quick and easy.

These are the four major touchpoints of the customer engagement lifecycle:

1) Your Brand’s Introduction From Marketing

The marketing team is not only in charge of how customers see and understand your brand, but are also responsible for introducing your company to your customers for the first time. Since marketing is driven by customer acquisition, this team communicates with leads more frequently than any other part of your company.

When you think of your marketing team and the type of omnichannel call centers you’re evaluating, understand that you’ll need engagement tools first and foremost. Specifically, marketing will need tools that can take charge of interactions as they happen, progress leads down the funnel by efficiently routing their communications, implement tracking methods to measure ROI accurately, and create custom interactions for specific leads.

2) Getting to Know Your Company Through Sales

After leads have spent enough time with marketing, your sales or business development departments get to give them a better glimpse into your company. Juggling all the prospects that progress beyond marketing can be quite the circus act, but some great new technologies can give your sales team a hand.

Tools that will be important for sales are those that will help your team seamlessly interact with leads on whichever channel they prefer and vet prospects using interactive voice response (IVR) software before your first touchpoint. The right solution will give your team insights into customer views and data, too.

3) Fulfilling Customer Needs With Delivery

Fulfillment is one of the toughest aspects of the customer engagement life cycle because it immediately influences the customer’s opinion of your brand. Your customers expect to see your product or service faster than ever before — look no further than Amazon’s now two-hour delivery timeframe.

However, delivery doesn’t have to be as difficult as it was even two years ago. Mobile-first tools have made systemizing fulfillment more responsive. To help your fulfillment department, use technology solutions that can automatically send notifications and reminders to your customers through SMS or IVR. The right software will also give both your customers and your fulfillment team access to tracking information through preferred channels, and it can connect customers directly with their delivery person via a mobile device.

4) Engaging With Customers via Support

A good support agent answers your customers’ essential questions, solves issues that might arise with your product or service, helps process payments and returns, and handles payment collections if needed. Your support team is the bedrock of your company, so you need to do what you can to support this role.

With automation, support can streamline any payment processing, transfers, and feedback loops through tools like IVR. Support can also answer questions more efficiently thanks to automated and context-driven text, route calls to the right agents more quickly with the right analytics, and meet customers on the channels they use every day.

Businesses that are customer-first report 55 percent annual growth in customer satisfaction. Not only that, but sales teams that are customer-first also see a 41 percent yearly increase in meeting their goals. Now that you know the customer engagement life cycle, you can become a genuinely customer-first business.

The Right Tools Make It Easier

There’s a reason why so many companies still use legacy technologies — it’s daunting to think about all of the information you have to transfer and all of the changes your business will have to make when you transition to the cloud. But it’s easier than you think.

Changing your company culture and adopting technology that allows your team to be more flexible and communicative creates value for your customers. Forrester's "Total Economic Impact of Twilio" study found that enterprises that turned to Twilio saved money, improved conversions, and enhanced their overall productivity. The study also found that customers gained $12.6 million in paybacks within three years of using Twilio versus just $3.3 million in costs.

We created Twilio Flex to help you achieve and maintain your customer engagement. This customizable contact center platform gives you the opportunity to easily create, program, and own your customer interactions to help you truly deliver the best service to your customers.