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Part 2: Context-based Omnichannel Customer Engagement

 Sajeel Hussain By Sajeel Hussain
Jan. 30, 2015

Omnichannel context-based customer engagement can be the secret not only to keeping all classes of your customers happy, but also drawing new customers to you through brand-friendly word of mouth.

In part one of this two-part series, we saw how online customers are generally spread across a three-stage continuum of classes — the Concierge Class customer, who expects a high degree of service and a significant amount of personalized touch, the Web-Class customer, who expects a full-enough end-to-end Web experience that enables efficient self-sufficiency, and the Loss-Class customer, who is on the verge of becoming a former customer because their service needs and experience expectations have been consistently underestimated and overlooked.

We also touched upon the importance of implementing an omnichannel context-based customer engagement platform for addressing the needs of these diverse customers. So, in this second part, I'd like to drill down a little deeper into this point.

Just to ensure we are using the same language, what do I mean by an omnichannel context-based customer engagement platform? I refer to a customer engagement platform that is robust enough to enable your employees and customers to communicate over any and all communication channels that the customer prefers, without ever losing the context of the transaction or service encounter, even while switching from channel-to-channel during any given session — for example, from voice-to-video-to-live chat to-text-to-email and more. Implementing such communications versatility and flexibility can help you provide each class of customer with just the level of service they need.

For instance, the Concierge-Class customer can be individually serviced in any media he or she desires, and even across multiple media, without missing a beat — an encounter first initiated, say, by starting the purchase of a fashion item on a mobile device, which was triggered by some on-the-go impulse, which then required the launching of a simultaneous video chat with a dedicated online shopper consultant to fine tune options and choices, facilitated by the forwarding of a photo of existing wardrobe to ensure a color match, and then finally switching to a home computer to finalize the transaction — and during the whole encounter, no link in the company/customer engagement chain was ever broken.

Similarly, in the case of the Web-Class consumer electronics customer, every condition for ensuring a purchase (and contingency for preventing an abort!), was always at the customer's fingertips, all with easy access directly from the site: full product descriptions, plenty of stock and choices, an instant live-assist helpdesk chat or text session to confirm a technical specification, a quick call to resolve a delivery address issue, and, finally, an email confirming the transaction with a coupon attached for future discount on a perfectly related accessory product. Throughout the session, contextual detail was never lost.

The news is even better for the Loss-Class customer, who is looking for any disruptively positive experience to keep him or her from giving up on you once and for all. This happy action or occurrence can come in the form of simply not having to once again rehash transaction information; or an unexpected personalized greeting on the phone; or an accurate knowledge of historical purchases; or an offer to video chat with a knowledgeable service agent; or even knowing in advance what delivery mode they happen to prefer. Simple surprises such as these can lead to compelling retention results.

Omnichannel context-based customer engagement can be the secret not only to keeping all classes of your customers happy, but also drawing new customers to you through brand-friendly word of mouth.

That's the customer retention and acquisition power of omnichannel context-based customer engagement. One versatile solution for exceeding the expectations of all classes of customers. It's what we call in the business, a no-brainer.