21 Dec Customer Engagement in an era of “Digital “Darwinism”
The Local Search Association recently asked us to share our digital marketing predictions for 2016. Our belief: no local business should leave customer engagement solutions behind. Chief among those solutions is appointment scheduling software, which a full 29% of US consumers expect when browsing their local business websites. Check out all our 2016 predictions on this below!”
Consumer behaviour changes faster than what companies can offer
In 2016, 80% of the population of North America will have access to the Mobile Internet, up from 75.1% in 2014. Consumers will conduct more searches, comparison shopping and purchases online than ever before. The same applies to booking appointments online, calling businesses through their web-pages, and making inquiries or offering them live and public feedback through social media. Consumer behaviour will also continue to rapidly outrun the ever-expanding digital ecosystem shaped by websites, social media channels, landing pages and marketing through Email and SMS, meaning businesses and organizations will need advanced, distinct and easily integrated digital tools to truly connect with their customers. This way, businesses can give customers the information they need when they need it, instead of offering more “white noise”.
Real-time customer engagement becomes imperative at every digital touchpoint
In 2016, there will be no point to having an online presence without effective engagement tools. National brands as well as local businesses have to remodel their existing organizations and add these solutions around a continuum of engaging, converting and tracking customer activity. It will be key to create intuitive online customer experiences by allowing consumers to request real-time interactions with the business they visit through apps like Online Scheduling, Click-to-Call, Live Chat when they are ready to buy, whether through websites, social media pages or more. This will be important not only to assure great customer service experiences, but also to exercise influence on consumers’ choices before, during and after the consideration and decision stages of the buying cycle.
Currently, consumers are also receiving seemingly endless messages from companies advertising effectively the same products, thus the only way for these companies to differentiate themselves from one another is to provide the best and most reactive customer engagement experience possible – at all stages of a customer’s journey. As these interactions businesses have with their clients by phone, chat or through appointment scheduling apps grow, the need to keep track of a client’s history requires connecting all customer engagement apps to a centralized CRM, ensuring any staff member communicating with consumers will have the latest information necessary to help them along in their decision to buy. With the right engagement tools, businesses can be completely customer-centric at all hours, and thanks to updated client profiles, promoting the company with personalized offers becomes even easier, creating sustainable relationships and nurturing customer loyalty.
McKinsey & Co.’s Brussels office director, Jacques Bughin, has written that we’re entering an era of “Digital Darwinism”, defined by Brian Solis as “the phenomenon when technology and society evolve faster than an organization can adapt.” If established businesses fail to adapt to consumer behaviour, new businesses built on a core of customer engagement will emerge to take their place. It’s not only survival of the fittest, but also the most agile, responsive and personalized to whatever experience a customer demands.