NEW YORK (February 8, 2016)—According to a new report by Forbes Insights, in association with Pitney Bowes, “Engagement in the Age of the Customer: Using Technology to Build Relationships,” price and product have become less important business differentiators, while quality and consistent experiences have become more important competitive differentiators. Consumers now hold the power and demand to be met on their own terms, and businesses must learn to meet those needs. Otherwise, they risk being overtaken or having their business models disrupted.
In today’s consumer-led environment, it is increasingly critical that businesses deliver a high-quality experience, consistent across a growing number of digital and physical touch points, and increase customer engagement with their brands.
According to the report, two key strategies can help address these new business challenges and establish a competitive edge for businesses. First, businesses must build a 360-degree view of the customer (also known as the single view of the customer). Second, emerging technologies like interactive personalized videos are driving levels of engagement never seen before. The report offers case studies to support these claims, including one case study focused on solving a particular pain point within the larger context of a customer-focused organization, while the second shows how managing relevant, personalized and timely customer communications can enhance overall experience.
Interactive personalized video allows brands to compile videos tailored on-the-fly to user specifics, while simultaneously allowing viewers to be in control of their unique video experience. Using pre-recorded content segments addressing, for example, frequently asked questions, in combination with viewer personalization (like the customer’s name, for example), data from internal systems (products held, location, etc.) and external providers (such as demographics and regional news), interactive personalized videos deliver specific and relevant information to individual viewers. These videos can be invaluable for explaining complex products and services, such as insurance policies, healthcare coverage and billing statements.
Single (360-degree) views of the customer, unified customer experiences, omnichannel strategies—these are all different facets of the same lens. Software such as Pitney Bowes’ customer engagement solution can manage communication across touch points—email, phone, direct mail and SMS—and throughout the customer life cycle to provide relevant information and newsletters, to reduce churn, to manage survey feedback and to capitalize on upsell opportunities.
“Customer engagement is becoming the key arena of competition for many industries,” says Bruce Rogers, Chief Insights Officer and Head of the CMO Practice at Forbes Media. “This report illustrates some useful strategies and concrete solutions.”
“For years, customer engagement has been an enigma for businesses. Dirty data and traditional, static technologies didn’t create a great environment to engage customers in personalized ways,” says Andy Berry, Vice President of Software Solutions for Pitney Bowes. “However, that’s not the case anymore. Today, advances in technology and data analytics are empowering businesses to offer customer engagement experiences they used to only dream of.”
Key points include:
- Customer engagement must be approached holistically. By itself, engagement is just one part of the greater whole of a customer’s experience of a brand.
- Ensuring the quality of customer data is a foundational step, one that can be followed with the deployment of tools that practically advance engagement—like CRM platforms to build 360-degree views of the customer, and interactive personalized videos to engage customers with easy-to-understand explanations of complex contracts.
- Good customer engagement strategies help in both retaining existing customers and acquiring new ones: speeding up acquisition and improving retention, while increasing upsell and cross-sell opportunities.
About this research
For this report Forbes Insights interviewed a number of senior executives and experts to understand the need for customer engagement solutions and how they can hone a company’s competitive edge.
About Forbes Insights
Forbes Insights is the strategic research and thought leadership practice of Forbes Media, publisher of Forbes magazine and Forbes.com, whose combined media properties reach nearly 80 million business decision makers worldwide on a monthly basis. Taking advantage of a proprietary database of senior-level executives in the Forbes community, Forbes Insights conducts research on a host of topics of interest to C-level executives, senior marketing professionals, small business owners and those who aspire to positions of leadership, as well as providing deep insights into issues and trends surrounding wealth creation and wealth management.
About Pitney Bowes
Pitney Bowes (NYSE: PBI) is a global technology company offering innovative products and solutions that enable commerce in the areas of customer information management, location intelligence, customer engagement, shipping and mailing, and global ecommerce. More than 1.5 million clients in approximately 100 countries around the world rely on products, solutions and services from Pitney Bowes. For additional information, visit Pitney Bowes at www.pb.com.
Forbes Insights Laura Daunis 212-367-4874 firstname.lastname@example.org
Pitney Bowes Emily Simmons, 843-467-1071, Emily.email@example.com
Download the report at www.forbes.com/forbesinsights/pitney_bowes_ces/
This article was written by Forbes Corporate Communications from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.