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What is Digital Customer Engagement?

“By 2025, 40% of customer service organizations will become profit centers by becoming de facto leaders in digital customer engagement”
(Gartner)

  1. What is digital customer engagement?
  2. What is the difference between digital customer engagement and digital customer service?
  3. Why is digital customer engagement important?
  4. What makes a good digital customer engagement platform?
  5. Some digital customer engagement strategies
  6. What is the essential ingredient for digital transformation of customer engagement?
  7. Some examples of digital customer engagement

Defining digital customer engagement

Digital customer engagement encompasses all of a business’s or a government entity’s relationship with customers or citizens over their lifetime through digital channels and touchpoints.

What is the difference between digital customer engagement and digital customer service?

Digital self-service engagement

When consumers seek digital customer service, they are looking to complete a transaction, get an answer to a question, resolve a problem, or seek advice.

Digital customer engagement, on the other hand, includes the complete gamut of interactions between a business and the consumer. It includes reactive service, proactive service, advice, and sales. The scope of digital engagement is increasing everyday as technologies, like AI and ML, enable new capabilities — digital onboarding, Virtual Assistant-guided digital tours, virtual coaching, and collaborative form-filling through cobrowsing.

Why is digital customer engagement important?

Digital customers demand digital engagement The digital next-gen

Consumers have gone digital. So have your employees. Forrester says that 8 of 10 consumers will see the world as ALL digital in 2022.

Pandemic as an accelerant of digital transformation

The pandemic has ensured that people across generational groups have become comfortable with digital channels. In a consumer survey conducted by Dimensional Research on behalf of eGain, 80% of consumers said that they had increased the use of digital customer service since the pandemic hit.

Work-from-home, the present and future of work

According to Gartner, 81% of contact center leaders believe that many of their agents—between 30% to 80% of their agent pool—will be working from home by 2023, pandemic, endemic, or otherwise. Many of them will be gig or seasonal agents. They will need to be connected and be able to provide quality service, consistently, efficiently.

Read
How and why businesses need to do more with digital now

Digital customer engagement platform

The right customer engagement platform should enable digital-first but omnichannel engagement. It should unify interactions and knowledge for a 360-degree view of customers and their history with the business. It should be powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and analytics for automated, consistent, intelligent service delivery.

eGain’s digital-first customer engagement software platform comes with an expansive range of capabilities.

  • Cross-channel case management and interaction tracking
  • Single knowledge base with adaptive content management
  • Centralized business rules and workflow
  • Common user and system administration
  • Omnichannel analytics
  • Easy integration with other enterprise systems

Digital engagement strategies

Customer engagement is as much about tools as it is about best practices.

Pick your digital engagement tools

Digital engagement tools can include these and more:

  • Digital self-service
  • All messaging platforms, including WhatsApp, Twitter DM, Apple Business Chat, Google’s Business Messages
  • Social media
  • Cobrowsing or collaborative browsing (versus screen-sharing)
  • Chat, audio, video, and text
  • Conversational AI
  • AI-powered case-based reasoning
  • Chatbot or virtual assistant automation
  • Virtual coach
  • Sales advisor

Pick your best practices

Some of the common best practices are:

Digital-first processes

When you design customer service processes, think digital. Don’t be constrained by the limitations of legacy systems or point products for digital engagement that break down when the interaction calls for rich capabilities or the process involves more than one digital touchpoint in the same interaction.

Digital agents demand digital toolsDigital-first desktops for agents

Contact center agents have been stuck with the phone-centric desktop of the 90s for a long time. According to a Gartner research, 84% of contact center agents do not think that their desktop tools help in resolving customer issues. When customers dial into the call center or send an email or chat or vent on social media or contact through a mobile app, agents need to have all relevant customer information upfront. Ensure their desktops are digital-first, modern, and omnichannel.

Proactive engagement

Proactively engaging your customers has never been easier. The proliferation of digital channels has increased channel choice for customers and technology exists to ensure that businesses can send notifications whenever needed, at scale. Digital notifications can be used to preempt customer service issues reducing the need for human-assisted service and curbing service costs. It is a great way to provide timely, convenient, and memorable customer service. According to a Gartner research, proactive customer service results in a full percentage point increase in the net promoter score, customer satisfaction score, customer effort score, and value enhancement score.

Analytics

Analyze customer journeys, digital interactions, and knowledge usage. And make improvements on the go to see big improvements in customer experience.

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More digital experience best practices

Essential ingredient: Digital customer engagement needs knowledge to succeed

“Easier digital connection drives additional customer engagement volume. And more engagement volume compounds the challenge of finding answers when the underlying brains (knowledge and guidance systems) used to find answers are siloed and use legacy technologies,” says Ashu Roy in the Forbes article, The Missing Ingredient in Digital Transformation Targeting Customer Engagement. Businesses need to fix the flow of knowledge to these new channels. In short, they need to build a “modern knowledge brain” to match their “digital body.” Or they will miss the digital transformation train.

What are the building blocks of modern knowledge management?

While technology, process, people, and culture are all essential for KM success, technology matters in a big way as the world inexorably moves to digital and automation. The technology building blocks of a modern knowledge management system for the contact center include Machine Learning and AI reasoning, infused across the IVR, routing, and the customer service process, omnichannel content management, profiled access to content, search methods, including federated, faceted, and guided search, conversation guidance (next best thing to say), process guidance (next best thing to do), and analytics.

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Examples of digital customer engagement

1. Tracking an order through digital self-service: Chatbots or virtual assistants understand human language and can be integrated with an order tracking system in the backend to pull a customer’s order status without them having to talk to a human agent or wait in queue.

2. Parse inquiries through automation: Use AI automation to front live chat, messaging app, or IVR to take decisions on routing to the appropriate queue or agent.

3. Completing an online transaction through an omnichannel journey: Customers should, for example, be able to converse with a chatbot, escalate to human-assisted chat with all the context intact, and video chat and cobrowse with an agent to find their way around a website, fill out forms collaboratively, and complete a transaction (such as a loan application), without ever having to go to a branch or store.

4, Provide financial advice at scale: Financial advice and even ongoing consumer coaching, whether it is about improving one’s credit score or paying off student loans, could be offered at scale by an automated banker bot, complemented by human assistance, where needed.

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