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Next-Gen Customer Engagement: Getting Holistic
Enterprises are moving beyond brand building to accelerating customer acquisitions, boosting lifetime value, and reducing churn. These changes have seen the role of customer-facing employees elevated to a position that focuses on business outcomes.
To succeed in this new continuum, customer experience (CX) leaders need systems that not only help them distill information about customer buying journeys, but also proactively orchestrate relevant offers and communications at the right times and places in those journeys. To navigate, survive, and thrive in this increasingly complex and competitive landscape, enterprises must transform into intelligent organizations capable of using data, people, and workplace assets in unique ways. They must connect customer and employee insights and actions, creating systems of record and engagement for intelligent, proactive customer interactions.
These strategic changes require an understanding of the metrics that matter, communicating the value to the broader business and stakeholders, and building a foundation of insights culled from the combination of first- and third-party data and made accessible across business units. By connecting operational and customer data, insights, and experiences, CX leaders are better equipped to monitor, manage, and respond to the end-to-end customer journey.
Enterprises are realizing the importance of connecting customer data to view journeys in real time and optimize business outcomes, as evidenced in Omdia’s “ICT Enterprise Insights 2019/20” survey. In that survey, 50% of the 4,800 respondents said they were either in the early stages of, or progressing with, exploiting data across their businesses. The emergence of the intelligent customer engagement platform is inevitable as enterprises look to adopt technologies that allow them to create a connective tissue over which data can stream end to end.
Such holistic engagement requires enterprises to deliver an experience at every step of the customer life cycle. Success depends not just on being able to access data from first- and third-party sources, but also to orchestrate appropriate actions across all channels at the right time. With end-to-end integration, enterprises will be able to engage with customers based on their needs, delivering real-time omnichannel experiences that motivate them in the channel of their choice.
Accessibility and transparency require next-generation experience platforms that help build trust, enable proactive outreach, and maintain context from one conversation to the next. Such evolutionary platforms will help enterprises move from having the ability to understand single sessions to visualizing all the touchpoints in a customer's journey, putting them on the path toward customer lifecycle orchestration.
These next-gen platforms will achieve these feats by including structures that capture and disseminate insights, provide customer interaction analytics, and empower employees to respond to and fix customer issues. They will layer on intelligence that uses machine learning (ML) and AI capabilities for predictive models and recommendations, producing powerful, actionable insights. They will share the resulting insights with other systems outside of marketing, and they will leverage the data for sales and customer service functions with accurate, real-time intelligence culled from all customer and third-party sources.
Then with proper business context gleaned from integrated real-time data, AI can identify touchpoints and tactics that shape the customer behaviors behind enterprises' primary measures of performance. The increased communication of data and intelligence among these next-gen customer engagement platforms and other systems will open new opportunities such as omnichannel attribution, improved predictions on activities happening across the customer journey, accurate recommendations on next-best steps, as well as the ability to automate customers' entire journeys.
The enterprises that will thrive will have deployed platforms that feature a range of capabilities, from data ingestion and analysis to engagement orchestration and journey visualization. Until these pieces come together onto a single platform to enable real-time visibility and response, enterprise management of customer experiences will remain static for the foreseeable future.
Click here to read the full report, “Ovum Market Radar: Customer Data Platforms."