4 Smarter Customer Engagement Trends for 2017

When it comes to digital engagement, your customers expect you to know them and value their time. They expect every interaction to be personalized — even delightful. Hence, here is a series — ‘Smarter Customer Engagement’ that leads to better ideas of engaging customers in businesses.

Today, the 1st part of the series speaks on the latest customer engagement trendsthat gets the best out of your marketing efforts.

Cloud-based communications and Big Data are innovating faster and artificial intelligence is finally at a place where we can have comfortable voice interactions with computers. Along with it, changing consumer behavior are reshaping the way companies engage with their customers.

Key Customer Engagement Trends in 2017

  1. Artificial Intelligence

For 2017, we see the edge in using artificial intelligence that’s fueling three key trends:

  • Contextual communication: contact between a customer and company is driven by the context in which it was initiated.
  • Omni-channel conversations:the interactions between a customer and a company become a continuous conversation regardless of which channel is used for each interaction.
  • Human plus: As AI becomes more useful, bots will support the conversations we have with humans.

2. Personal Branding & Humanization

Facebook as well Google show posts by real people appear first in your news feed rather than of brands.

More brands are now realizing the power of personal branding. With Google and Facebook, the biggest traffic sources of most brands, have now started favoring individual faces over brands. Also, it makes your users trust you more. And trust sparks engagement, be it in any form(feedback, grievance, some good thoughts, you name it). It all loops back to the trust they have in you and your brand.

3. Customers Relying on Judgments

Customer-centric cannibalization seems to be a new trend, rising out of information overload.Facts no longer seem to be enough to convince people, because they have too many points that often contradict each other and it is difficult to validate each. Instead, this is driving people to focus what appeals emotionally over actual facts.

As people put out more information to express their ideas, it creates a volume effect that biases us to make judgments based on implicit trust in sources. So, this year, emphasis would be more on creating an impression rather than providing just information to customers.

4. Customer Relationship Management

Even with the growth in digital technologies, the significance of CRM has gone back to its roots. If the customer relationship isn’t central to an organization’svalues, then customer relationships will perish. Instead, individuals will seek those competitor alternatives who are willing to provide added value to the customer experience.

The brands set to reap the rewards in 2017 are those who have adopted a seamless, transparent and relationship driven approach across all silos and touch points of the customer journey. This is particularly true regarding the collaboration between marketing and sales departments!

Keeping things in mind, this year, brands need to serve customers through amutually beneficial interaction.

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