How 2020 Is Shaping Customer Engagement Now And In The Future

Here’s how 2020 is shaping customer engagement now and in the future:

3/5/2021 5:30:00 AM

Here’s how 2020 is shaping customer engagement now and in the future:

Customer engagement has always been important, but 2020, Covid-19, and digitalization have put it into the spotlight. 95 percent of companies plan to continue investing in digital customer engagement even when the pandemic is over.

What Customer Engagement Trends Can We Continue to Invest in Moving Forward?Of course, history is valuable, but it’s only so helpful to understand trends of the past. Many companies, CMOs, and business leaders should be paying attention to how certain trends will impact the(ir) world of business moving forward. In the study, the data identified some key trends to pay attention to going forward. Here are a few takeaways and some analysis of how these trends impact business and how leaders should think about these trends. 

●   Personalization … at the consumer scale. This isn’t remotely something new. However, it is something that consumers are expecting more and more, and due to the vast amounts of new data being created because of digitization, even smaller companies should be able to offer it in meaningful ways. And yes, I’m talking about more than personalizing one’s name in an email campaign. I’m talking about personalized product recommendations, preventative maintenance messaging, channel-specific advertising. I believe we’ve hit an important moment for organizations to get on track with personalization. Several of the aforementioned tech companies use AI and ML to glean insights and recommend the next best action for customers. Turning to technology to deliver on the promise of personalization will be table stakes over the next year or two. 

●   Video. And not just the streaming kind. Consumers like video communication. This past year, almost all respondents agree that video communication accelerated more than any other media form. It makes sense, and this was accelerated by the pandemic and working, learning, and communicating on video more than ever before. If we can’t be there with people in person, we do the next best thing: we create video of us talking / doing / showing / teaching. Even though it seems we’re getting closer to “opening up” more parts of the economy, I do agree that this trend will likely continue reopening. Many companies have learned that they can save money with minimal impact by doing video in place of live events and training. And the trend of saving money— while never the primary way to accelerate a business, won’t be going away any time soon.

●   Digital engagement will grow in heavily regulated industries. In the past, heavily regulated industries like healthcare and finance may have found it difficult to engage customers electronically. But coronavirus forced them to find safe ways to serve their customers, and customers aren’t letting go of those methods any time soon. I’m talking about remote health meetings, text-based check-ins, app-based investment opportunities. If HRIs were nervous about jumping into digital before coronavirus, they’ve officially gotten past those fears. This will put pressure on the IT department and the board to deal with those sticky compliance and privacy rules, but the tech industry is working hard to address this. In my recent

Forbes piece focused on privacy and transparency, I mentioned confidential computing, which the likes of Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, Intel, and more are heavily invested in as one of the ways companies are looking to tie compliance heavy data and workloads to be more accessible for those that need it. For instance, financial services and healthcare will need to keep delivering services and customers want a secure but more streamlined method of customer engagement. If it isn’t clear yet, the privacy and compliance focus will grow quickly in 2021. 

 While 2020 was all about rapid transformation, 2021 will be about continuing that transformation with purpose. Adopting tech tools to your infrastructure and martech stack will become a key enabler for businesses to deliver personalized touchpoints. Using technologies like customer data platforms that digitize data, organize schema, and make it useful across the organization will be a focal point. Also, continuing to utilize video to create and deepen connections when face to face remains impossible for a little while longer makes sense—and this practice will long outlive the pandemic. 

Improving customer experience will continue to be critical for businesses looking to win market share and maintain market leadership, no matter what industry. The pandemic proved that disruption could come in any form, but the organizations focused on customers embracing the best of technology, and people will be the ones that last.

Read more: Forbes »

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