With the evolution of the customer-centric trend, it has become imperative for organisations to focus on changing customer behaviours to stand ahead of the competition.  In this digital world, traditional call centres are becoming a thing of the past. Today, every small and medium-sized company is investing in setting up the customer engagement centre–particularly the customer hubs– which not only provide useful information to the customers and resolve issues but also support sales and marketing initiatives.

“Organisations that have not embraced the trend of customer engagement model will lose customers to rivals that have.”–according to Gartner.

When Gartner amended its focus from customer service to customer engagement, it triggered several questions in the mind of business leaders. Is customer engagement a major transformation in the industry? How can SMEs leverage this change to become the role model player?

A decade ago, when we spoke about customer engagement as a primary strategy, the idea would have been accepted with full disregard. But, when we talk about the current year, the paradigms have changed and interaction with customers has become the key to achieve success. Businesses are adopting the following approaches to boost customer engagement and drive high revenues.

Embracing a proactive customer engagement  approach

In the current times, optimizing costs and operational efficiency has been the major area to focus on the call centre outsourcing industry. Even with a myriad of technological advancements including self-service channels, predictive dialer systems, IVR, speech analytics, the approach has always been responsive. However, SMEs are now shifting from the “one size fits all” approach and embracing a more proactive approach.

This modern trend “engagement” ensures a higher level of involvement from the customer, making them an important of your company’s collaborative value chain. In fact, proactive customer engagement also overcomes one of the major challenges of businesses: driving revenues from a shrinking customer base.  A recent study has cited that customer engagement remains the top concern for over 52% of C-level executives, with only 11% are satisfied with their initiatives in this area.

Attending customer calls, responding to customer requests and processing their queries immediately is no longer sufficient to accelerate the business growth. Efficient Call centre outsourcing companies should carefully track, identify and measure every interaction (a phone call, a webchat, an email, a re-tweet or comment on your blog) and cultivate these things to build long-term relationships.

There is no denying the fact that social media has changed the way customers connect with companies. Nowadays, consumers demand real-time response, they need true engagement. In essence, digitally-connected consumers require a focused engagement strategy and call centres focused on digital-first trend will boost this initiative.

Using technology and analytics to nurture customer engagement

To nurture the customer engagement, today companies need to focus on personalisation. For this, companies need to re-design their offers on the basis of holistic customer data e.g. what are the customers’ social media interactions, what are their preferences/needs, their purchasing history, etc.  Managers are now working closely with the technical departments to capture information from both structured and unstructured sources to create perfect customer engagement strategy.

Companies are inclined towards marketing automation tools, unified communication channels predictive analytics to not only connect with consumers across multiple touchpoints but also to personalize every customer interaction.

Enterprises in this digital era are investing heavily in technology-oriented analytic platforms to capture a 360-degree view of their customer interactions including what they are buying, what are their preferred channels of communication, and why they are buying. Well, this is a goldmine of information for any marketing specialist to collaborate with consumers across multiple touchpoints and develop marketing campaigns to acquire, retain and grow customers.

In overall, every interaction is an opportunity to build and reinforce customer relationship, and businesses today are relentlessly finding new opportunities to turn call centres into engagement centres, which in turn, increases retention and boosts revenues.