Monday, July 7, 2014

The Art of Customer Engagement

Customer Engagement is used often in the same sentence with CRM. But are the two synonymous?

With CRM, it is very easy to use the tool and engage the customer. We can easily communicate and promote business offerings to the customer. But are we communicating and promoting things that are of value to the customer? Customer Engagement is not just about maintaining communication with the customer. It's more about using the right channels to send timely and value-based communication to the customer. To do this well, we need to gain a better understanding of the customer. We need to build a real relationship with the customer.

CRM is a powerful tool as it is able to track transactions like communication interactions and purchasing history. The relationship part of CRM is not formed by merely tracking these transactions. It's capturing other pieces of customer information such as education, family information, special interests, and lifestyle, including likes, dislikes, and preferences. This information is captured over time and can be used to personalize communication that is both timely and of interest / value to the customer. Communication can be few but impactful if they are value-based.

Customer Engagement is the ongoing interactions between company and customer, offered by the company, but determined by the customer. This is an art form that we can easily apply in higher education.