In this episode of the Lead to Loyal™ podcast, we discuss the “Age of Customer Engagement” with SilverTech’s newest partner, Thunderhead.
Thunderhead has long been a customer engagement pioneer and its ONE Engagement Hub is revolutionary. It’s a customer engagement solution that sits on any customer relationship management (CRM) platform and integrates with all major content management systems (CMS) to give you a multi-dimensional view of your customers.
Joining the podcast this week is Pat Coyne, Thunderhead’s VP of Sales for North America.
Listen or continue reading for some of the podcast highlights.
Before we dive into our conversation, I think it would be helpful to define customer engagement and the idea of value exchange. How do you define customer engagement at Thunderhead? Could you speak to the importance of value exchange?
Pat Coyne: Customer engagement is…a move that many brands are trying to make to become more customer-centric and to build longer lasting relationships with their customers. Long-term engagement is a very strategic way to look at customer/business relationships.
At Thunderhead, we spent a great deal of time on research…we created Engagement 3.0…to understand customer engagement from both the customer’s and the business’ perspective.
Our definition of customer engagement is “an on-going, value-driven relationship between a customer and a business, which is consciously motivated according to the customer’s reasons and choices.”
Today’s customers expect consistent, high-value in-person and digital experiences – and as Jody Sarno from Forrester put it: “The Age of the Customer requires a more intelligent enterprise…There is no time for business as usual.” How do businesses get there? What kind of questions do they need to be asking?
PC: [At Thunderhead], we have developed the concept of customer-managed journeys to help businesses organize themselves. When businesses think about customer journeys, they need to think of about it from an outside-in perspective. This means moving away from the idea that the customer journey is a controllable process. Customers are ultimately in charge of the interactions they have with a business.
Some of the questions that businesses should be asking are:
- “What does ‘a customer should be in control’ actually mean?”
- So, what journey or journeys are your customers on? How do customers perceive them and their control over them?
- Where are the ‘moments of truth’? Are they different based on audience type or are they changing over time?
- When do you intervene to help customers along the journey?
In this, the “Age of the Customer,” where expectations have become so heightened, customer engagement is a challenge for many marketers. Yet, on the Thunderhead blog, you speak of engagement in such simple terms: Happier Customers = Brand Success. What are some of the key ingredients of this “effortless” engagement?
PC: In order to have effortless engagement, some of those ingredients are:
- You must build a hub across all channels; customer experience, web content management, and customer relationship management (CRM)…
- You also should enable the customer-managed journey where your customers feel they have the freedom to interact with your brand on their own terms. You need to ensure that every interaction your customer makes with your brand should be based on a choice they make rather than your desire that they follow a pre-prescribed process.
One of the steps toward effortless engagement requires “greeting your anonymous [website] visitors.” When you don’t yet have a face to a name, how do you greet them with relevant information? Is it possible to move beyond generic campaigns for your anonymous visitors?
PC: You can start to associate anonymous journeys to visitors based on the concept of having ‘recognized’ the individual on their device or devices previously. Therefore, even though they are currently anonymous, the journey can be associated to a specific visitor and their individual behaviors and intent, and conversations can be tailored with every interaction. You can still personalize content, even though you don’t know exactly who they are.
[Listen to the rest of the episode above.]
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