Piecing Together the Customer Engagement Puzzle

By Amber Wesche, Lead Product Manager, SmartHub and Multi-Channel Messenger

This article originally appeared in the 2021 Fall/Winter issue of the CCA Voice. Click here to view the issue!

Customer engagement can feel a lot like putting together a puzzle. Getting a clear picture of your customer base can only be seen by putting a lot of smaller pieces together.

What do the pieces of the customer engagement puzzle look like? We’re beginning to learn what really makes a customer loyal and the importance of customer engagement to building a successful brand.

According to Salesforce.com’s “State of the Connected Customer” report, 80 percent of consumers say that the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services. The report also states that 66 percent of customers expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations (Source: Salesforce.com State of the Connected Customer).

This means that no matter how good the product – or necessary in the case of broadband – if the engagement isn’t there, growing and maintaining a customer base is going to be difficult. Customers want a great product, but trust and understanding matter just as much.

What does a truly engaged customer look like? Is it the example above where the customer pays their bill on time and hasn’t reported any issues? Partly, yes. But the truly engaged customers are the ones that are on your side. They’re talking about your products online or even stepping in on your behalf to correct a negative statement on social media.

The majority of these customers expect you to understand their needs, and the first piece of the puzzle is how you communicate. This is your puzzles border, and the technology you use to communicate will help create that outline.

Some of your customers prefer email notices, some text and some get push notifications from an app on their phone, where they also go to pay their bill. Engagement starts with communication, so ensure that your technology supports multiple channels and allows your customers to choose their notification method.

A big part of engagement in any situation is truly making people feel like they’re part of something, and that’s no different for a product or service. Getting customers engaged in a new product early enhances the sense of inclusion, increases satisfaction and adoption rates. This is the second piece of the puzzle. The pieces that start creeping inward from the border as the image begins to take shape.

Again, we can turn to technology for help with this in the form of crowdsourcing. If you’re considering rolling out a new product or building out your service to a new area, crowdsourcing can help you boost signups an ultimately ROI. A solid crowdsourcing solution starts by allowing you to establish zones in your territory. Once the zones are established, you can spread the word using your multi-channel messaging and allow customers to sign up online.

This solution will also help find the place for third piece of the customer engagement puzzle – data. This is your center, where you put the final piece and finally see the picture come together. The zone data will help you understand the best place to begin rolling out service to maximize your ROI. But the customer data is invaluable for truly understanding your customer base and enhancing engagement.

A crowdsourcing solution that includes advanced lead and data management can be a game changer. This data allows you to build customer profiles. You’ll be able to quickly see what services customers are using combined with demographic data. This will help you create personalized marketing and communication campaigns delivered through the most-effective channel.

Putting the customer engagement puzzle isn’t easy, but the right technology can help you get the pieces in the right place. NISC’s Marketing and Service solutions can help you soft through the jumble and get the pieces in the right place. Visit NISC.coop for more information.