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Shoppers have more choices than ever - there are big box and department stores, online retailers, small mom-and-pops in their hometowns. To stand out many experts are advising retailers to create a more personal experience. One expert offers his tips.
Kristina: What trends are you seeing in customer engagement?
Ran Oelgiesser, CMO, vCita: Offering a personalized online experience will be an increasing trend to enhance customer engagement. Creating positive interactions for new and returning customers, in person, via phone or online increase engagement and drive business.
Developing a personal connection between the business and clients, even online, where there is no direct communication is becoming more and more important. Avenues to create this connection online will include everything from user generated content, interactive social media platforms, and personalized websites that offer real-time interaction and 24/7 self-service experience, so the client receives immediate gratification.
Kristina: How closely linked are customer engagement and customer experience?
Ran: The customer experience directly impacts the customer engagement. A positive experience provides the client with an emotional tie to the business. A great first impression, will ensure the customer will at least try the service you offer. Great customer experience and service will cause customers to refer others and return to engage again.
Kristina: As we move into the busy holiday season, what can brands and marketers do to ensure they're answering the questions customers have?
Ran: Customer engagement doesn't have to be a revolution in business processes. Businesses can improve in baby steps - each making a clear impact on their success. Brands and marketers should ask themselves what is hurting them the most in interacting with clients - losing leads, customer service, volume of phone calls or emails, coordinating appointments, collecting payments and so forth.
They should pick one and introduce a technology that can make their customer's life better for the holiday season and into 2015.
More from Ran and vCita tomorrow, including how to ensure the customer service tools brands use are preforming at peak.