Because Vsnap is a tool that business people use to make their customers feel valued, we think a lot about the larger trends in customer engagement. Here’s a quick rundown of three big shifts that we see happening.
Full Lifecycle Focus
Forward-thinking businesses don’t just think of customer engagement as a pre-purchase focus. No longer is it about just getting the customer through the funnel and past the point of conversion. Now, thanks to the incredible ability to measure the return on investment for customer engagement, there’s a much greater focus on the full customer relationship, extending well beyond the point of purchase. The emergence of really powerful CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools is helping to drive this.
One of my favorite Vsnap uses fits in this category. Companies that use their CRM to tell them when it’s a customer’s birthday or the anniversary of their first purchase, then use Vsnap to say thanks to that customer in a way that really conveys warmth and appreciation. Which brings me to the second trend…
Feelings, Not Just Facts
A few years back, there was a feeling that businesses simply needed to make information available to address customer questions and needs. Now we’re seeing a greater understanding that customer experience is not just about whether the business makes the right information available and accessible. It’s also about how that business makes the customer feel as they present the information in question. Consider, for example, the one-to-one nature of tweeting back and forth with a business regarding a customer service issue. There’s a feeling here that the business is really paying attention, which makes the exchange feel personal in a way that a more generic Q and A interface does not. The self-service information resource still needs to exist and be current and so on. But the company also needs to be prepared to interact more personally in order to make the customer feel valued. The two exchanges could provide the exact same information, but they make the customer feel differently – and those feelings really drive customer behavior and advocacy.
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Fluid Expectations & Standards
The bar is always moving. No longer do businesses think they can just implement a certain system and be done with thinking about customer experience. Smart businesses embrace the fact that new expectations will evolve, new standards for how businesses are meeting their customers’ needs in a 24/7 multi-channel world. This has businesses in the mindset of being ready to try new tools and tactics in order to stay on the leading edge of satisfying and delighting the most empowered customers in history.
I have to say that, as a consumer, I much prefer today’s web to the web of three or four years ago. And as a business person, I find it really gratifying to be building a company that’s pushing forward in these three areas. It’s all about making the web align better with our emotional needs and decision-making processes as human beings. I think this is super exciting.