Trends that will Impact Customer Engagement in 2019

With the rise of the global economy, businesses are being compelled to focus on creating deep customer engagement with their products and services. In 2018, we felt how creating meaningful and interactive customer experiences had become a business imperative. Statistics support this as 67% of consumers and 74% of business buyers stated that they’d pay more for a great experience. Statistics also revealed that loyal customers were seven times as likely to test an offering, five times as likely to buy again and four times as likely to refer. A Salesforce report showed that 76% of consumers expected companies to understand their needs and expectations. As we prepare to welcome 2019, here’s a look at some of the trends that will impact Customer Engagement in the coming year.

Customer Engagement Gets Continuous

Customer experience is the driver of customer engagement. In the coming year, it will be imperative to ensure that these experiences unite to create continuous customer engagement especially when customer interactions move online. Engagement with the customer has to continue even after the sale has concluded to turn adopters into advocates. Right from product onboarding to assessing how the customer is engaging with the product, providing the right information at the right time in a device-agnostic manner and ensuring that contextual and relevant information is presented at all times will drive customer engagement in 2019. Businesses also have to ensure that they create the correct guidance path for their customers to push enablement closer to their work. Information exchange has to thus become more timely, contextual, personalized, relevant and continuous.

Unify the Customer Success team

66% of customers say it takes more for a company to impress them with new products and services than ever before. Customer engagement in the coming year also has to become more unified. While the customer success teams become the primary pallbearers, organizations have to realize that all the other contributors for customer success such as engineering team, the marketing team, the finance teams, the engineering team, etc. – all can contribute proactively to customer success. Customer engagement becomes linked with customer enablement as the organization orchestrates all resources at hand to make the customers happy. By unifying all elements of the customer success, organizations can create continuous customer engagement by engaging with the customer at the right touchpoint.

Support and Self-Service

Clear communication between the product and its stakeholders and the customer has been an important trend in the past. Customer loyalty and attrition is determined by each and every customer interaction – communication included. For deeper customer engagement, companies have to create a vehicle that enables two-way communication so that the customer does not shuffle between tools to connect with the right team or stakeholder to get a task done. The push toward self-service has been established. Almost 70% of customers expect a company’s website to have a self-service application. Software products thus have to provide self-service options to make contextual information available to their customers proactively. This provides greater control to the customer and aids in creating more meaningful experiences that foster customer engagement.

Data goes to work

The personalization economy will only proliferate in the coming years. As customer mature, organizations in the coming year have to work harder to deliver highly-personalized and yet contextual information exchange. Given that each customer journey is unique, organizations need a clear 360-degree view over the customer sentiment. These insights help create meaningful interactions and also help resolve customer problems and pain points proactively. The demographic, behavior, and event data from internal as well as third parties will increase in value in 2019 to create a unified 360-degree view of the customer.  This will help in curating meaningful customer interactions that deepen engagement.

AI meets Business Process Automation

Customer engagement, as mentioned earlier, will be driven by data. While we have been talking about data for a long time now, in the coming year the conversation will experience a slight shift. To push customer engagement, organizations will need access to not only the complete customer data but also the right customer data, and at the right time to tailor and create meaningful and personalized customer experiences – at a scale. To enable this, we will witness the rise of AI-powered Business Process Automation that will empower customer success teams to maintain a great mix of personalization coupled with scale. As connectivity disrupts customer behavior irrevocably, organizations have to adopt a new approach towards customer centricity in the coming year. Clearly, The Age of the Customer is upon us and businesses need to create winning interactions to create deep engagement to retain their customers. It is either that or being left behind.