I have a surprise for you.
That new Star Wars movie? It’s not what you expect.
It’s not about Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, or Chewbacca. And the new characters—Rey, Finn, Poe, and others? They are but a backdrop to the larger plot point: Digital engagement.
Think I’m not serious? Read these quotes from the latest installment in the Star Wars franchise and you might change your mind:
Rey: "Is That Possible?"
Han Solo: "I Never Ask That Question Until After We've Done It."
In many organizations, the status quo rules. It’s human nature—when something works well over time, we become accustomed to it. And then it becomes part of “how we do things.” But digital engagement today is different from engagement at any other point in history. So the best advice? Forget if it’s possible. Try it. Take action. With change moving at the speed of light these days, if it doesn’t work, you haven’t lost much. But if it does…
Finn: [holding Captain Phasma at gunpoint] “Remember me?”
Finn: “Not anymore. The name's Finn. And I'm in charge. I'm in charge now, Phasma! I'm in charge!”
Control has shifted. It no longer is in the hands of your organization. It’s owned by your customers. And, the sooner you accept this, the faster your digital engagement will improve. It means it’s not about the channels you deem most important...it’s not about the dollars saved by automating transactions...it’s not about making sure there’s always a live person to help. No, it’s about making sure your customer has the opportunity to engage in the way they want, when they want without being tied to any single channel. Yes...Your customer is in charge now.
Maz Kanata: [to Rey] “The Force, it's calling to you. Just let it in.”
You have a great power at your disposal that can bind you to your customers if you would only let it in. It’s your customers and their experiences. Listen to them. Take in what they have to say. Meaningful customer feedback, when analyzed, can provide you with incredible nuggets of intel that can help you engage customers in ways you previously did not consider.
Another way to take advantage of this from a service perspective? Ask for feedback from your service agents. Take the feedback to heart. Even what you’d consider small changes can improve agent attitudes. And happier agents usually map to happier customers.
Poe Dameron: “Why are you helping me?”
Finn: “Because it's the right thing to do.”
There is sage wisdom in this quote. Do the right thing. Especially when engaging with a millennial audience, doing the right thing—for your customer or even a cause—is a must. It’s OK to forget your policies and follow a different path once in a while. Even long-term customers no longer have the patience they once did. If you do the right thing, even if it seems out of the ordinary, your customers will love you. And, they’ll return the love with loyalty and advocacy worth hundreds (thousands?) of times more than your effort or investment.
Leia: “You know, as much as we fought, I always hated it when you left.”
Han Solo: “That's why I did it, so that you'd miss me.”
A single customer leaving you for the competition may not be terribly painful. What about 1000? 10,000? 100,000? More? You WILL miss your customers if they leave en masse. And, if you don’t provide them with the ability to engage with your organization at the time and in the way they prefer for any given interaction, you could feel that pain sooner rather than later.
Rey: “I've already fixed it.”
Finn: “Well can you un-fix it?”
Considering the speed of digital change, at some point—if you have not experienced it already—a new fix you make will be out of date as soon as it’s completed. Don’t fret. Just recognize it can happen and be prepared to step back to move forward. Recognize this could happen a great deal as you transform your organization for digital, and you’ll be in the best position to experiment, learn, and succeed.
Rey: “I didn't think there was this much green in the whole galaxy…”
Digital engagement is still in its infancy. The vast majority of businesses are so misaligned from what their customers truly prefer that you have an opportunity that just hasn’t been there until right now. If you unthink what you know…if you learn how your customers truly prefer to engage with your organization…if you make digital investments without being tied to the old rules of engagement….you’ll find that even small improvements can result in big gains.
So even if you’re not convinced….even if deep down, you know The Force Awakens is a worthy episode of the Star Wars story, watch it with Digital Engagement in mind. You might be able to extract even more wisdom from its dialogue.
And, if you’d like even more, download this digital disconnect paper, based on primary research conducted on how the new digital customer prefers to engage with your organization.
May the Force be with you!