Customer engagement requires a distinct, evolving set of business processes, managed systems, and explicit accountabilities among staff and suppliers.
The figure below depicts six broadly defined operational capabilities of the customer engagement process, emphasizing a synthesis of multichannel customer analytics, social media, online marketing, and traditional marketing and sales.
However, three crucial distinctions differentiate customer engagement processes from traditional or hybrid marketing and sales processes:
• Integration of many workflows into one end-to-end business process
• Online systems and activities that occur around the clock
• Several autonomous, loosely coupled systems comprising the customer engagement process
Many, many implications flow from these three distinctions; however, one overall principle prevails: the customer engagement process entails the active, managed provisioning of IT-based services.
Thus, an assessment of customer engagement capabilities includes an audit of IT service management.
Most companies will excel in one or more general capabilities of customer engagement, such as message creation for known (first-time) buyers and profiled (first-time and returning) buyers.
However, few firms will monitor buyers at any phase of the customer engagement lifecycle and still fewer firms will monitor contributions of lead generation or word-of-mouth (WOM) agents to the performance of the firm’s business model—the latest innovation of XBRL-based financial dashboards and related services.
Nor should any firm excel across all domains—at least not yet!
The assessment model below helps a firm first identify often hidden strategic options—future-state operational capabilities of customer engagement—that could change the prevailing business model or market structure.
GISTICS predicts that most firms will realize their highest return on investment in engagement cycle technologies in the customerized phase, using customer personas and policy-managed subscriptions to keep customers engaged and coming back for more.
Assess your current capabilities. Pencil or ink in the bubble by individual capability and state (I initiating, II refining, or III mastering) for each of the five phases of the customer engagement life cycle.