Customer Engagement | Pitney Bowes

3 Innovative customer experience strategies in a connected world

By Greg Van den Heuvel, SVP Global Sales and Solutions, Customer Engagement Solutions, Pitney Bowes

As customer expectations become more demanding and profit margins are increasingly squeezed, focusing on customer experiences that boost engagement and value to your business is no longer an option: it's imperative.

Research shows that when customers are fully engaged, they’re both emotionally attached and rationally loyal to a brand. Not to mention, they’re considerably more valuable. In fact, the Gallup State of the American Consumer says that customers who are fully engaged represent an average of 23 percent premium in share of wallet, profitability, revenue and relationship growth compared to the average American consumer.

In this increasingly connected world, it’s clear that there are huge opportunities for businesses to leverage the power of customer engagement strategies and see impressive returns – whether that’s improved customer engagement or benefits to that bottom line.

So, what are some customer experience strategies brands can implement to achieve those goals?

1.       Transform the customer engagement center

Contact centers are costly endeavors for businesses – from both a time and financial perspective. So, how to turn your contact center into a revenue generator instead of a cost center while improving customer experience and engagement?

By focusing on the customer rather than the channel, companies can map every touchpoint that impacts customer experience and create an integrated omnichannel strategy. This includes finding the right customer engagement solutions to allow for real-time access to customer information and analytics, businesses can ensure that their contact centers are that much more effective and engaging for their customers. Imagine if you could improve experience and prevent calls by offering an interactive personalized video to explain bills and statements.  Image that your reps can see exactly the documents that their customers are seeing when on the phone. That ensures quicker and more efficient conversations that can resolve customer questions on the first call – not the third or fourth.  

2.       Implement customer-engaged billing

Customers read their statements more often—and more closely—than any other communications.  This is important because your current customers receive more mail and email than ever before. On top of that, there are texts, instant messages, twitter updates, and a host of social media applications.  You know from your own experience that many of these go unread—they are deleted or thrown out upon arrival. Tired of the constant bombardment—many customers simply choose to opt out—and avoid hearing from you altogether. There are some companies where up to 80% of customers have opted out of receiving marketing messages.

But bills and statements are different. Your customers open their statements. They review their statement. And they spend time going over the details.

Now that you have their attention, what do you want them to do? If you really want to break through the noise, your statements need to truly reflect your customer’s needs on a person-by-person basis.  A few years ago, people were using the word “TransPromo”.

But for a lot of companies, what they ended up meaning was the ability to add color messaging—and turn mass-produced, pre-printed statement inserts into mass-produced statement messages.  If you really want to break through, your statements need to truly reflect your customer’s needs on a person-by-person basis.

Customer Engaged Billing is a smart way to reduce costs and increase the business value of monthly bills and statements. With the right solutions in place, customer-engaged billing brings together customer insight and analytics, with an omnichannel approach, to help businesses reduce customer queries, expedite cash flow and even boost cross-sell and upsell opportunities.

3.  Offer digital self-service opportunities
Customers have come to expect a customer experience that can address their needs across every channel possible – from their computer to their mobile phone – whenever and wherever they are at the moment of their need. The key is to provide personalized options for digital self-service, for improved customer convenience and efficiency.   Online bill pay is increasingly a standard offering for businesses. In fact, research shows that 72 percent of customers prefer getting their answers online, yet only 58 percent of consumers are actually satisfied with their online self-service. 

Interactive personalized videos are one such solution for improving customer engagement across a variety of industries. These allow companies to use customer data to allow their customers opportunities for digital self-service in a personalized and interactive way. That, in turn, can help businesses lower customer service and increase satisfaction across the board.

To learn more about customer engagement management and growing customer lifetime value, please click here. Or tune in for our Tweet Chat on Thursday, September 24, 8-9pm ET