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Next-Gen Customer Engagement

Posted on: Friday 17th of September 2010

A number of stars seem to be aligning to transform the role and content of customer touchpoints (wherever and whenever a customer and an organisation ‘touch’ each other). They could be adding up to a strategic revolution for organisations.

Behind this revolution lie a number of converging trends. They include:

1. Increasing competition for customers’ time, attention, trust and for access to customer information.

2. Customers gaining increasing control over who they engage with, when and how.

3. Organisations becoming increasingly aware that customers have more to offer than just money e.g. ideas and suggestions, word of mouth recommendations, willingness to provide personal information – even the willingness to engage itself.

4. An increasingly digital environment, which is opening up multiple opportunities to create and deliver new types of content in new ways, to offer information-rich services, interactive experiences etc, all of which can add new layers of customer value.

Together these trends seem to be pointing a rather different world of ‘next-generation customer engagement’:

  • the value a brand or organisation offers is the equivalent of the value generated by the sum total of all its touchpoints (minus the pain and hassle the customer might incur). (In other words, it’s not just about the product or service.)
  • touchpoints also become a place where customers contribute value to the organisation by, for instance, volunteering ideas or extra personal information.

Get both of these right together and you could have something very powerful on your hands.

Our new research

We’ve set out to research this strategic revolution: what it looks like, why it’s happening, what its practical implications are.

Our short White Paper lays out the five mega-trends: why we think this is becoming a strategic issue. But it’s not just ‘strategic’ in the sense of long-term and far away. It’s intensely practical and immediate. Currently, there’s an explosion in ‘touchpoint innovation’ as all sorts of organisations start doing all sorts of neat, new things that add extra customer value in ways large and small.

This could be the start of something much bigger so, to start our research programme off, we’re doing a round-up of ‘some of the interesting things that are happening out there’. Some of them are tiny and trivial if viewed in isolation. But they all illustrate potentially big ideas – themes, such as:

  • using information to offer decision-making support (expert advice, technical support, problem-solving tools)
  • creating communities to share ideas, knowledge and support
  • improving customer processes (e.g. alerts and reminders, streamlined e-processes such as e-tickets or ‘one-click’ ordering, ‘track your order’ and account management services, etc).
  • offering rich content for consumption (games, entertainment, fascinating facts)
  • using transparency to address concerns and allay anxieties

Have you come across something recently that you think really deserves a mention? Please toss it into the mix!