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Customer Engagement

Interactive personalised media & the future of customer engagement

By Liz Roche, Director, Product Marketing Customer Engagement Solutions, Pitney Bowes

What will customer engagement in 2016 look like?

Often, when we think of the clear-cut ways that businesses can improve their standing with customers – both in attracting new ones and engaging with pre-existing ones – our minds gravitate toward tried-and-true channels, like mobile compatibility, email newsletters and social media promotions. And that’s all well and good, of course; in fact, they’re virtually required for any business to remain relevant and alive in the minds of 21st century consumers.

But that’s just it -- they’re requirements, and the bare minimum of what’s expected. If your business isn’t on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram yet, or you still haven’t optimized your website for mobile reading, then you’re already a couple steps behind the times. So when we think about customer engagement in 2016, what we’re really asking is, what’s the next cutting-edge solution for reaching your customers? Where is the next innovation in customer engagement coming from?

The answer? Interactive personalized video.

Interactive vs. Passive Video

It can be tempting to look at “interactive personalized video” and see the takeaway as just “video.” Outfitting your website with videos or maintaining a freshly updated YouTube channel can still go a long way in keeping customers engaged and interested. According to Cisco, video will account for 80 percent of web traffic by the end of the decade, so integrating more videos into your customer experience keeps you right on trend.

But it’s not exactly what we’re talking about, either. The key differentiator between those traditional, or “passive,” videos and more modern videos is the personalization and interactivity that goes into the latter.

Having your audience watch a pre-recorded video is tantamount to having them watch a commercial on TV: it may shed light on an interesting service and net some new conversions, but it could also come off as irrelevant to some customers, cause others to tune out and potentially have a negative net effect.  An interactive personalized video, by its very nature, does the opposite in keeping the customer completely involved in the experience.

When the customer is allowed to guide the conversation – following the tracks that most interest them, answering their own questions as they arise – they remain engaged. That kind of interaction not only speaks to their own interests, but also enables them to progress their personal sales cycles, significantly increasing the chances of both conversion and a long-term customer relationship.

The Personalised Touch

But it’s more than just making videos interactive. They have to be experiences uniquely tailored to the customer’s background, needs, location and even personality. When your video experience addresses the customer by name, presents relevant data from their individual situation, recommends certain products or new promotions based on their lifestyle or flags nearby stores around their location, it lets you add value to the interaction and go the extra mile in keeping them interested, engaged and feeling important.

After all, you don’t want your customers to think that you’re addressing a blank, generic audience when you’re speaking to them; they should feel that you’re speaking directly to them. By crafting the content, images and context of the video to a specific customer, you make them feel valued and important, making them more likely to not only buy once but continue coming back to buy.

EngageOne: Melding the Interactive with the Personalized

EngageOne® Video from Pitney Bowes is where these two components – interactivity and personalization – come together into one, customer-engaging product.

But how much more effective is an EngageOne Video experience compared to traditional video in keeping customers enthralled and involved? The proof is in the numbers:

  • More clicks: With EngageOne Video, one insurance company saw the rate of customers who opened an email containing a link to an EngageOne Video experience stand at 55 percent, heads and shoulders above the industry average of just 20 percent.
  • More time watching: Among those who opened the emails, 76 percent viewed and interacted with the video for at least four minutes, which is double that of the typical viewing time.
  • More satisfaction: And the videos resonated strongly with their viewers, with an overwhelming 98 percent giving positive feedback on what they had seen.

Why Interactive Personalized Video Stands Ahead of the Pack

Traditional, one-size-fits-all video content – the type you would normally expect to watch on a company’s website or YouTube channel – may interest customers, but it’s also a very passive way of attempting to secure that interest. Personalized videos go one step further, offering capabilities such as greetings-by-name, personalized account balances or giving viewers the time of day, while still communicating consistently to all audiences.

But interactive personalized video experiences are the real future of customer engagement, in 2016 and beyond. With EngageOne Video, businesses can create lasting impressions on customers that allow them to direct their own meaningful video experiences, inviting them to stay longer and learn more while boosting overall engagement through every step of the customer journey. 

Are you interested in learning more about EngageOne Video for your business and how it can help increase engagement with your customers? Read our new white paper, “Interactive Personalized Video: Real-time video for business success,” or learn more about requesting a demo of EngageOne Video.

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