by Brad Banyas | 6/30/15
2015 is the year that “customer engagement” takes center stage in the theater of enterprise business strategy. Whereas in recent years much of the focus was on customer acquisition, C-Suite executives from all industries and segments are today aiming their attention on ways to extend existing customer lifetime value. Even organizations in the government, education and healthcare segments – which are typically slower to adopt next-gen strategies – are taking a fresh look at new ways to boost customer engagement and value.
Customer Lifetime Value
The notion of “Customer Lifetime Value” (CLTV) is a concept and calculation that helps organizations determine the dollar value associated with their long-term relationship of any customer, determining just how much that customer relationship is worth. In short, CLTV is a prediction of the net profit associated with the entire relationship with a customer. While the calculations can be a bit arcane, the idea of customer lifetime value is an important one because it encourages firms to shift their focus from customer acquisition to the long-term health of their customer relationships.
More and more organizations are retooling their efforts to more ardently optimize customer lifetime value, and that means keeping customers engaged and compelling them to purchase again and again. But it can be an uphill battle. According to Ernst & Young, the world’s third largest professional advisory firm, just 25% of US consumers consider brand loyalty as something that impacts their buying behavior. Research from Nielsen, the global marketing research firm, found that 78% of consumers are not loyal to any particular brand. It is becoming more and more important for organizations to communicate with their customers in a more personal and effective ways in order to build brand loyalty and customer lifetime value
Tips for Top-Shelf Customer Engagement
Hundreds of pages have been written, published and debated online, and numerous high-profile conferences address the topic of customer engagement. But the question is: How can firms gain advantage? Here are three techniques to get it done.
# 1 – Customer Communications Management
Customer Communications are no longer a back office problem, they are critical front-and-center business imperative. But brand managers and corporate marketing executives often struggle to provide a consistent brand experience across all their communications. Customer Communications Managementis an approach and technology that work to unite outbound and inbound communications, making the job of improving customer engagement across channels much easier.
# 2 – Integrated Campaigns
Print, text, online, social – they all matter, and marketing ROI is increased when organizations integrate marketing campaigns across multiple channels and understand their impact on one another. These days, a typical consumer will use up to five different channels to discover and evaluate a new product or service. OMNI channel marketing can improve campaign results in the neighborhood of 300% to 650% over traditional campaigns.
# 3 – Feedback Management
If you want to improve customer engagement, it simply makes sense to listen to the voice of your customers. But notions like “satisfaction” and “experience” are subjective and not easily codified. The key is to thoughtfully monitor and measure your customers’ perceptions of their interactions with a firm. Advanced customer communication tools make it easy to reach across communication channels in social media, mobile and online formats and then quickly analyze the effectiveness of those social connections. Look for capabilities like message personalization and target segmentation, and in-depth campaign analytics to understand customer feedback and continually adjust your campaign strategies.
Customer engagement has become increasingly complex, distributed and digital. As a result, companies and organizations from all industries and segments face the challenge of managing their message and their methods in ways that make a difference. A new level of planning and operational flexibility a critical success factor. Look for tools like our own 366 Degrees that can make a difference by providing a single cloud-based platform to manage all of your customer communications no matter what form they take. Bottom line: Now is the time to take control of your customer communications and adopt techniques for truly effective customer engagement.
Brad Banyas is CEO of OMI, a leading cloud-based customer communication management service and platform provider. OMI delivers cost-effective solutions for marketers and brand managers to connect with customers through the OMI platform. The company boasts a roster of customers that include financial services, healthcare, manufacturing and nonprofit verticals. To contact Brad or learn more please visit www.omi.co and follow Brad on Twitter @BradBanyas.