The digital landscape we are currently living in has changed the way we do business and engage with customers dramatically. Long gone are the days of sending mailers (yea, we’re talking about actual mail), buying billboard ad space or having sales teams pick up the phone and cold call clients. Ok, so those things aren’t completely gone, but they certainly don’t compel customer engagement the way they used to.
So what does the current climate of customer engagement look like?
“95% of customers are looking for some degree of proactive communication from the companies with witch they do business.”
But customer engagement is more than just determining what your customers will need and where they will go searching for it. It’s also about determining the best way to keep them engaged.
- Tight Turn-Arounds & Low Bandwidth
A critical component of creating and executing an effective customer engagement strategy is having both the time and resources to bring it to fruition. Believe it or not, this is one of the most common challenges for companies of all sizes.
No matter how large or small, most brands do not have the time or internal reserves to execute a customer engagement plan, let alone strategize, create, launch and monitor said plan.
As a result, many struggle to connect with their customers.
Those that make an attempt, without a plan or resources, often fall short. Deploying poorly timed, sub-par messaging that misses the mark. The best way to overcome this hurdle is to increase your bandwidth and time.
2. Lack of Niche Skills & Certifications
The marketing landscape is in a state of constant evolution. While many brands have amazing in-house marketing teams, not all have in-house customer engagement experts. The industry is flooded with so many niche specialties that there is no way one marketing person or team can have mastery of every skill.
The best thing you can do when something is not really in your wheelhouse? Ask for help.
Chances are, there is an expert or a team of experts who can take on your challenges and overcome them for you, just an email away.
3. Disconnected Data Systems
With so many different platforms at our disposal accommodating our vast array of needs, the world is abuzz with talks of integrations and automation. There are a few reasons why many are struggling with integrating their systems and streamlining their processes, two of which include utilizing outdated systems as well as using too many systems/softwares that require outside help for integration. In both instances, there can be major disconnects, inevitably leading to increased error rates and decreased success rates.
For example, if you are utilizing a customized CRM system, specifically one that doesn’t integrate into an email marketing platform easily, your customer engagement emails cannot be automated.
This completely eliminates the possibility to utilize personalization of your emails. It also increases the likelihood of emails going out in error and missing out on vital customer contact opportunities.
How can you tackle this issue as quickly and efficiently as possible?
In an ideal world you would update all of your platforms to user friendly systems that seamlessly integrate together. Sadly, it is never that simple. To ensure seamless connection between your marketing and customer base, your best bet is bringing in a third-party expert to create an integrated system structure that suits your customer engagement needs.
4. Inability To Support Global Markets
Thanks to the interconnected global community that is the internet, brands often have customers all over the world. This is wonderful for expansion and growth, but only if you have the ability to support a global market.
For example, if 85% of your customer base resides in the United States, your marketing team may base their customer engagement interactions on US time zones and cultural norms. This is great for engagement and retention of your North American customers, but what about the other 15%?
On the other hand, let’s say your marketing team has done their research and proactively created a custom campaign tailored to your growing customer base in Europe. They have built personas and planned out journeys based on different time zones and peak hours across a majority of European countries.
Do your research and collaborate with a partner who is well-versed in global marketing and customer engagement strategies. This alignment will ensure optimal management of your global market. Not only that, but it will also allow your team to educate themselves on your specific global customer base and how best to market to them.
5. Diminished Brand Loyalty
Ultimately, having a great product and amazing customer service is not longer enough to generate brand loyalty.
There are ever-growing numbers of millennials and Gen Z entering the current consumer market. It is important to adapt your customer engagement strategies to suit their wants and needs. As a result, you can expect fierce brand loyalty. This means combining offers and a strong social media strategy and presence with rewards and websites that are easy to use.
The Bottom Line
Customer engagement can present many challenges to variety of brands, large and small. The dynamic current of the global market and constantly connected client base can be difficult to navigate.
As with any other aspect of business & marketing, the secret to creating and implementing an amazingly successful customer engagement strategy is knowing when to ask for help.
Check out even more customer engagement challenges and how to fix them in our follow up blog, linked here!