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Personalized Customer Engagement: How to Get Started?

Companies are looking to provide world-class service as a way to meet the challenges from increasingly demanding customers who are knowledgeable about their alternatives.

"Technology is changing the game, and customers are changing the rules," says Volker Hildebrand, SAP's Global Vice President, Customer Engagement Solutions. "Yet these are more than just trends; we are witnessing a profound paradigm shift in how companies engage with customers. Today's customers are digitally connected, socially networked, and always on, and with technologies like smartphones, social networks, and mobile apps, they are more empowered than ever."

Facing these challenges may seem daunting, even overwhelming. Once the commitment is made to deliver personalized customer engagement, start where the biggest impact can be made: your Contact Center. This is the "face" you present to your customers and where you interact most with them.

One of the challenges is the unpredictable nature of communications. Your customers decide if, when, and how they are going to communicate with you. Your challenge is how to appropriately respond in the communications mode your customers choose, and to do so as quickly as possible.

Another challenge is that the customer dialogue is not a series of discrete, unique experiences, it is part of an ongoing relationship. Customers expect you to know about them, acknowledge them, treat them with dignity and not keep them waiting. Violating this relationship can have profound consequences. When musician Dave Carroll was unhappy with how United Airlines treated him and handled his concerns, he created a music video, "United Breaks Guitars," which has been seen by more than 13 million viewers.

Companies like Wacker Neuson made a strategic decision to ramp up efforts to provide personalized customer engagement. The company wanted to make sure that agents could really help callers with their problems by being as knowledgeable as possible. To do so, Wacker Neuson aimed to arm their contact center agents with all available tools and with everything they knew about their customers.

With a 360-degree view of the customer, agents will instantaneously obtain customer information from multiple systems that typically exist in separate silos. Financial and transactional information from SAP ERP systems are usually in one place, and the sales histories from SAP CRM systems are in another. Seamlessly integrating these systems with the SAP BCM Contact Center gives agents comprehensive information without the time-consuming toggling between multiple systems.

Creating a new paradigm for world-class customer service with personalized customer engagement is not an event, it is an ongoing process. Once the appropriate infrastructure is in place, the journey can begin and the goals of increased customer loyalty and greater long-term profits can be achieved.

Business Analyst Sandy Reisenauer from Wacker Neuson loves sharing the tale of her organization's experiences on this journey. Hear what she has to say in an upcoming webinar.

Learn more about contact centers at Enterprise Connect Orlando 2014!