Customer engagement in the digital age
Thunderhead.com, a leader in enterprise solutions for customer experience and customer engagement Engagement 3.0: A New Model for Customer Engagement, a report containing fresh customer research and a proposed framework for redefining customer engagement in the age of digital transformation.
The Engagement 3.0 framework is based on in-depth research of 2,026 customers in the United States, supported by detailed market and academic research in addition to 33 in-depth interviews with senior leaders of customer strategies including C-suite executives from leading businesses.
The newly defined Engagement 3.0 model for customer engagement provides the most detailed picture of how customer and business relationships need to work today, in this era of the customer. Research concluded that organizations are struggling in this brave new world in three distinct ways:
- Customers are more easily disappointed than ever. Over half (58 percent) say they’ve seen no improvement in their relationship with businesses in the last three years.
- Customers are quicker to judge businesses critically and are less willing to forgive. A quarter (25 percent) say they will switch providers after just one negative experience and 20 percent of customers say it takes more than a year to re-establish trust with a company after a mistake or error. A similar number, 19 percent, say they will never trust the company again.
- Customers are more prepared to act decisively when their relationship with a business takes a turn for the worse. One third (30 percent) say they will share a bad experience online, on the phone or in-person with an average of 25 people.
The report also unearthed three major challenges that undermine the business’ ability to improve interaction with their customers and build authentic engagement:
- Communications are irrelevant and impersonal. Eighty-two percent of customers feel being treated with a one-size fits all approach results in a negative perception of that business. Sixteen percent regard such a mishap as grounds for considering a change in providers and 12 percent would definitely change as a result.
- Businesses are struggling to keep pace with customer expectations. Ninety-three percent of customers say failing to act quickly enough would reduce their opinion of the business. Twenty-four percent would consider changing providers as a result and 13 percent would definitely change.
- Disjointed communications caused by company silos presents a major challenge. A large majority (85 percent) of customers feel negatively toward businesses that require them to provide information multiple times and 27 percent say it would make them consider leaving for a competitor.
Thunderhead.com set out to create a model for customer engagement that provides a framework for thinking about how customer relationships really work today and how organizations can build engaged relationships at scale. Thunderhead.com recommends that businesses take the following steps to empower effective customer journeys across all channels, unifying silos that may exist:
- Remove organizational barriers to managing the customer experience. Address the obstacles that prevent the delivery of experiences throughout the entire customer journey.
- Ensure the business is learning from every interaction in every channel. Monitor customer behavior and interaction and use insight to inform and enhance the customer experience.
- Consolidate customer insight and ensure it is transparent. Provide systems to all departments giving them access to real-time information about customer interactions that are personal and context-aware.
“Restoring the customer relationship back to its pivotal position at the heart of business is the strategic imperative for today’s enterprise, and is at the frontline of digital transformation," said Glen Manchester, CEO, Thunderhead.com. “As a pioneer and leader in the emerging customer engagement market, we are driving a new and disruptive era in CRM. With cloud technology designed for business users, our Engagement 3.0 framework and customer managed journeys, enables businesses to build enduring customer relationships at scale.”
Thunderhead.com’s ONE Engagement Hub transforms the way customer-facing teams manage their customer relationships. The solution gives business users – not just IT experts – the ability to easily design and deploy great customer journeys based on rich customer insight and value-driven interactions that lead to long-term engagement.
To learn more about the new model for customer engagement, download the Engagement 3.0: A New Model for Customer Engagement report and the Engagement for a Changing World research study co-authored by Thunderhead.com and ThinkJar.