Navigating the Winding Path to Effective Digital Customer Engagement
The phrase “Digital Customer Engagement” has been broadly
applied to incorporate a variety of elements: everything from developing interactive
websites and establishing responsive social media accounts to deploying
customer surveys and providing convenient user apps. However, this
all-encompassing definition has fostered misperceptions about what the term
If you boil it down to the basics, Digital Customer
Engagement refers to anything that involves an online interaction, using
digital tools to locate, listen to or electronically converse with a business’s
customers about a range of products or services. And as these customers become
increasingly accustomed to digital communication in their daily lives, they
expect the brands they interact with to keep up. That’s why, according to
Forrester Research, improving digital customer experiences has emerged as a top
CX business priority for 2020.*
What are some of the practical applications? Perhaps the
most obvious one is customer service where digital engagement is becoming a
powerful medium for answering questions and responding to requests for support.
But is also a tool for outbound marketing, by empowering a company to develop
campaigns over the web or on their apps, as well as a means for sales
departments to build and maintain interest for individual customers. These
multiple use cases highlight the power and potential of Digital Customer
Engagement, and why there are such great opportunities for growth.
But while digital engagement tools have already demonstrated
their value in building a business’s bottom line, the ability to effectively
deploy them and use them in ways that support their ongoing profitability is
not as easy as it sounds. In too many instances, companies make major
investments in time and resources to produce an array of digital touch points –
only to find that the app that so many customers downloaded is used just
sporadically, that their optimized website doesn’t always provide necessary
information, and that high call volumes continue to be an ongoing issue. In
such situations, the tools are in place and ready to be used, but the assets
are often not integrated and thus not achieving their purpose of redirecting
customer interactions to digital channels.
To make digital customer engagement work as envisioned
requires not just a commitment to long-term investment but a
strategic vision and dedicated conversational expertise. But while developing
an effective digital experience strategy is a goal many companies espouse, not
all organizations fully comprehend exactly what it means and how to go about
it. The key component for success is realizing that the ultimate purpose is to
upgrade the customer experience. While the “digital” part may be easy to
discern, the “customer engagement” part may still be unclear. The strategy
isn’t just based on finding and deploying the right technology, as opposed to
establishing a true customer needs-driven initiative. There’s a wide gap
between simply using digital technology and leveraging it to better address
The right digital engagement strategy is what breathes life
into a business’s overall customer experience strategy–shaping the design and
implementation of customer experiences across all digital channels. The most
critical component is making it possible for customers to seamlessly move from
one channel to the next across changing digital touchpoints.
To help companies better understand the process of
developing a path to creating a program that will be effective both now and, in
the future, conversational AI specialist Nuance offered a complimentary
“how-to” webcast on CrmXchange.
The session, entitled “The New Blueprint for Digital Customer Engagement”, was held on
Thursday, March 19, 2020. It was jointly
presented by Seb Reeve, Director, Intelligent Engagement, Nuance
Communications, along with Josefine Fourage, Senior Principal Solutions
Marketing Manager, Nuance Communications. Rounding out the distinguished
faculty was special guest Kate Leggett, VP and Principal Analyst, Forrester
Research, who shared her expertise as the company’s leading market
authority on customer service solutions.
Among the topics discussed were:
- What are the customer engagement megatrends shaping the future of digital engagement?
- Why conversations always should come before tech—and how this leads to tangible business outcomes.
- How AI is transforming the role of contact center agents—and how businesses can harness it to boost efficiency.
- What ‘channel-less engagement’ really looks like—and how it can be delivered direct to customers.
- Which leading brands have already transformed their digital engagement—and how companies of all sizes can follow their lead.
* The Three Customer Service Megatrends in 2020: Fuse AI and Agents to Drive Better Experiences, Forrester Research, Inc., January 14, 2020