Have you seen that GEICO TV commercial where people are heckling two camels at the zoo?“Hey, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike…
…Hey camel! …Guess what day it is?”…
…Huump Daay! Then, one of the camels complains: “It’s not even Wednesday.” And the other camel says: “Let it go, Phil.”
In the commercial, GEICO spoofs its “Hump Day” ad, which went viral in 2013. Whether you think the new TV spot is funny or not, it demonstrates how successful brands engage people. They connect with them on an emotional level, like the insurance company's latest camel commercial, which scored over 1.5 million hits on YouTube in less than a month.
Connecting with consumers like that creates a significant competitive advantage by engaging people in a way that many brands don’t. For the skeptics, the word "engagement" may have a fuzzy quality about it. But the only thing fuzzy about customer engagement is the loyalty of customers who can’t connect with your brand.
If you view customer engagement as a phone call, chat, or digital interaction that happens only at the tail end of the sales process, if this is your model of customer engagement, you’ll only end up with consumers who are okay with that level of interaction. The problem is, these low-expectation consumers are increasingly becoming scarce.
Consumers have changed. They’re more digital, more mobile, more demanding than ever. And, by demanding, I mean consumers want more control of the customer experience. They want a highly personalized experience, a new model of engagement that can happen at any point in the customer journey.
Meeting that expectation creates a positive customer experience, which builds trust and opens the door to even more interaction opportunities. In other words, consumers will spend more and engage with your brand more often, if you engage them in a way that lives up to their expectations. For example, 70 percent of mobile consumers are willing to spend more for excellent customer service, according to our research.
On the flip side, when digital consumers don’t get the customer experience they expect, they'll quickly turn their backs and walk. Our data shows that over 40 percent will take their business elsewhere, if you tick them off.
Here's the thing. If it’s worth giving consumers an experience that fits their mobile lifestyle, an experience that doesn’t chain them to a single channel or interaction point in the customer journey, it’s also worth creating an experience that’s highly tolerant of interruptions, where people can start an interaction when it’s convenient for them, stop for any reason, and pick up right where they left off– even if it’s hours or days later, on another web-enabled device.
The best customer engagement models offer that kind of user-friendliness, like My:Time from Contact Solutions. My:Time's centered on the smartphone, but it’s not limited to that. It remembers your preferences, your interaction history, and the context of your interactions, as you move across channels– including mobile apps, the web, mobile web, and live agent interactions as well.
With its messaging functionality, My:Time allows you to ask a question, exit the app to do something else. Then, it’ll send you a notification, when a contact center agent is available to answer your question. That’s a much more engaging alternative to getting stuck on hold, or waiting in a chat queue to get the assistance you need.
Additionally, My:Time gives contact center agents visibility into your interaction history. Which means you don’t have to waste time repeating information that you’ve already provided via mobile, IVR or web. This is a new approach to customer engagement, which pretty much turns old school engagement on its head.
But the real magic of My:Time is in the cloud. The My:Time cloud platform manages all My:Time conversations, conversation history, and personalization. It serves up all the self-service features of My:Time, and supports integrations with back-end enterprise data bases, such as CRM and payment systems.
What it comes down to is this. Digital consumers are driven by the mobile lifestyle. Contact Solutions handles over 100 million customer interactions every month in its cloud. And, 70% of these interactions originate on a smartphone. All of which underscores the value of digital engagement.
Here’s another way to look at digital engagement. Your success in engaging digital consumers could be the difference between life and death for your brand. Here’s why. Digital commerce is soaring. Mobile sales by retailers surged to $83.78 billion in 2014, up over 79 percent from $46.6 billion in 2013. And online spending will reach $370 billion by 2017, according to Forrester.
At the same time, Fifty-six percent of consumers have used mobile devices to research products at home, according to Forrester. And more than 50 percent of all sales in physical stores are influenced by online research.
Cue the camel video. Digital engagement marks a massive cultural shift in how consumers expect to be served. It’s about connecting with consumers, at their convenience, throughout the buyer journey. Successful brands do this all the time. It’s what you do to earn the loyalty of digital consumers. Whoo Whoooottt!! Yeeeeeah!