The dynamics of contemporary buyer / seller relationships have dramatically changed over the past several years. With a growing ability to access and share information that impacts purchase decisions, today’s customers command greater control in their interactions with businesses — a notion defined as “empowered customers.” Aberdeen’s new research on Real-time Unified Customer Engagement (RUCE) identifies numerous best practices that organizations can deploy to manage the changing dynamics of buyer / seller relations.
Before delving into an overview of the best practices outlined in the report, let’s first identify what RUCE is. As part of this research, we defined RUCE as an enterprise-level initiative where numerous organizational stakeholders (e.g., sales, marketing, and customer service) work together to deliver consistent messages that address each buyer’s needs through multi-channel and multi-touch interactions aimed at engaging clients in a relevant and timely fashion.
Now, what is the business value of RUCE? Does it help improve customer satisfaction results or drive revenue? Figure 1 below demonstrates that it does indeed address organizational needs for performance improvements in these key metrics. However, its benefits go beyond these two measures. It also helps companies rapidly identify and handle customer requests, reducing (improving) response time to customer requests — a key metric as the longer clients wait to have their needs addressed, the more likely they will become unsatisfied.
Figure 1: Year-over-Year Performance Improvements
Source: Aberdeen Group
The building block of RUCE programs is ultimately organizations’ ability to better utilize existing customer data within their business activities. This helps companies improve the relevancy and personalization of each customer interaction across numerous touch-points (e.g., social media, web, email, print, and phone). Findings within the recent Aberdeen report outline the following strategies as some of the key ingredients that help companies build a successful RUCE program and accomplish the aforementioned performance results:
- Determine the most relevant key performance indicators (KPIs) that are indicative of organizational success in delighting customers
- Establish a centralized repository of product / service information
- Use multi-channel customer feedback and experience data to personalize buyer messaging
- Facilitate employee collaboration to execute a consistent CEM program within the broader enterprise
Please read my recent report on RUCE to learn more about secrets to establish and nurture the capabilities noted above as well as learn the technology enablers RUCE users deploy to automate these activities.