In our previous posts we’ve explored the intricacies of customer engagement and dwelt upon the role of influence. Now, in this final post let’s look at the one characteristic that makes customer engagement particularly challenging: change.
With rapid technological proliferation, the number of ways in which consumers communicate with the brand is increasing day-by-day. What began with phones and face-to-face interaction, went on to include emails, chats and official websites. Today, even the smallest of enterprises have their own Facebook page, LinkedIn account, twitter handles and official blogs.
The effectiveness of each channel depends on its relevance to a given business, in addition to individual preferences as well as the age group of the customer base. In the case of a manufacturing behemoth a subtle and sophisticated online presence would suffice. While for a digital media business – where content is currency – the need to be omnipresent on the Internet is imperative.
However, it may be time to re-examine beliefs pertaining to the all-encompassing role of Internet. Razorfish, a full-service digital agency, makes some surprising revelations after collating behavioural data on engagement touchpoints, along with the data from social media and surveys, and then analyzing the results:
- Consumers don’t view Facebook, Twitter and geo-specific social media like Foursquare as the most important channels to engage with brands despite their rapid penetration
- Among the six consumer elements we discussed in our previous posts; Control was the least of the consumer’s worries. This comes as a surprise, especially given all the talk about ‘consumer in control’ fad in this digital age.
- Associating only particular touch points with particular strengths is a bit too presumptuous. For example, phone and email don’t always make a customer feel valued; on the other hand, even Facebook and twitter can accomplish this in some cases.
- Interestingly, the engagement data for transitional consumers (aged 35-44), matched that of the 45+ demographic, while the channels they used to interact with brands resembled that of the 25-34 age group. That is, transitionals function like the young and think like the old.
The essential takeaway from all this is that, perfect (optimal) consumer engagement is an evolving process and not an absolute outcome. So, the important thing in order to be successful is the ability to embrace and respond to change.
It has been an eventful journey exploring the nuances of consumer engagement over the week with you and we hope these insights will come to good use in growing your business.