HomeBlog Laying the Foundation: What’s the Right Digital Approach for Customer Engagement?

Laying the Foundation: What’s the Right Digital Approach for Customer Engagement?

January 14, 2019 | By Amy Bills

  • Digital and non-digital interactions have a place in the customer journey just as they do in the buyer’s journey
  • Determining appropriate interactions begins with understanding the customer journey
  • Organizations should start orchestration of the customer journey with three key steps

A generic customer experience lacking personalization has gone the way of the rotary telephone: Still in existence, quaint enough to be intriguing for a moment, but ultimately not a viable option for the caller or the recipient.

Customers are accustomed to being acknowledged and understood throughout their post-sale experience, from early stage onboarding to renewal and beyond. Organizations can and should use a combination of digital and non-digital interactions to create that experience.

To do so well, they first must articulate the ideal customer journey. The SiriusDecisions Command Center™ shows customer journey mapping correlates with myriad success metrics, including high customer retention, ability to cross-sell and upsell, and a higher Net Promotor Score® and NPS response rate.

The interaction points are numerous and varied. How are customers introduced to the resources available to them? At what point are they invited to interact with other customers? When does the conversation begin about renewing, even growing, the relationship?

Teams responsible for orchestrating the customer journey and determining how to execute those many interactions should consider three important elements. (An expanded discussion of these elements is available in the brief “Three Steps to Determining a Digital Approach for B-to-B Customer Engagement.”)”:

  • Groundwork for understanding the customer. Organizations must first agree on the relevant profile and activity attributes – at the individual and account levels – required to drive digital customer engagement. This includes account segmentation, determining customer personas and assessing customer insights and feedback.
  • Identifying digital and non-digital interactions. Just as organizations should plan content and timing of digital and non-digital interactions in the buying journey, they should also do so for the customer journey. The organization’s digital type – digital first, digital support, or digital hybrid – helps guide those choices.
  • Ensuring data is available and accessible. Interactions driven at scale rest on a foundation of easily accessed, reliable and relevant data. This includes profile data describing the customer, activity data describing their behavior, and derived data inferred from other data.

Whether digital interactions play heavily in the customer lifecycle – such as in a digital first organization – or are in support of a higher-touch engagement cadence, organizations must begin the process of determining the ideal customer journey with a clear view of the customer’s needs and expectations.

The SiriusDecisions Customer Lifecycle Framework

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Amy Bills

Amy Bills is a research director of Customer Engagement Strategies at SiriusDecisions. She has more than 13 years of experience in demand marketing and customer marketing, including senior marketing roles at innovative b-to-b technology organizations as well as b-to-b marketing agency leadership roles. Follow Amy on Twitter @AmySilverBills

Customer Engagement Planning Assumptions Guide 2019

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