Customer Engagement in Unprecedented Times

Iain DawsNovember 14, 2022

We live in unprecedented times…or do we?

Nearly three years ago the world entered what many commentators referred to as “…unprecedented times…”

They meant, of course, the Covid-19 pandemic and the wide-ranging, tragic and ground-breaking effects it had on the global landscapes of physical and economic health.

In fact, a global pandemic was not, actually, an unprecedented event. There were three recognised pandemics during the 20th century alone. However, for most of us living through the Covid era, this was the first such event, of global significance, that we had experienced.

What was different this time around was the technological capabilities that we could bring to bear—for everything from vaccine development to supporting new ways of working.

And the changes wrought by those technologies look like they are here to stay.

Now, while the world is still attempting to recover from the consequences of Covid, more localised events are whipping up a whole other storm, driving rapidly increasing global inflation, food and energy insecurities, and putting the brakes on economic growth and confidence.

So what’s customer engagement got to do with it?

You might well ask. But think about it. Effective customer engagement is important because it helps you understand your customers better, sharpens your focus on delivering what they want, and helps to engender their loyalty and repeat business.

Shift to Digital

The rigours of containing and tackling the pandemic brought about a paradigm shift in how businesses operated and how customers engaged with them. During this period, the pace of digital transformation has been breath-taking and with it has come an explosion in the availability and use of digital engagement channels—text, video, chatbots and more.

There has also been an increase in the volumes of customer interactions taking place across traditional and digital communication channels.

This has given rise to what Verint calls the ‘Engagement Capacity Gap’—the difference between elevated expectations for better customer experience, and the budget and resources available to fulfil them. Fail to close the Engagement Capacity Gap and the rise of digital communications will ensure that there are plenty of competitors ready, willing and able to whisk your customers away!

Uncertain Economic Future

And now the assumptions that many of us have held dear—about our economic future, about where we can afford to spend our time and hard-earned cash—are threatened by events beyond our control and of uncertain outcome.

After a period of relative stability and growth, purchasing decisions are being re-examined, postponed and even cancelled altogether. Many businesses—large and small—face an existential crisis and need to exploit every resource they have at their disposal in order to survive.

The last thing you need at a time like this is to be losing business because you didn’t—or couldn’t—pay enough attention to the health of your customer engagement!

Enough of the doom and gloom…

…because some good has come out of the response to the pandemic that can help meet these challenges.

Explosion of Interaction Data

One consequence of the explosion in interactions and channels is that it generates more data about the nature of those interactions. This can feed deeper analysis of customer engagement and the formulation of more effective strategies to drive business growth.

At a time of so many challenges and uncertainties, being able to glean additional insights from the customer engagement data that your business routinely collects and stores could be the difference between thriving or merely surviving.

Elimination of Data Silos

Doing so, however, demands that you can break down the silos of interaction and customer engagement data that are created by that same expansion in communication channels and their various centres of operation.

Allowing interaction, customer experience and performance data to remain in their silos makes it extremely difficult, maybe almost impossible, to gain a harmonised and cohesive view of the state of your customer engagement.

Data analysis is hampered by unstructured data, held in different places, in different formats. As a result, timely decision-making and action is difficult to achieve—and opportunities to exploit AI and automation are diminished.

In short, critical data remains trapped and return on investment and competitive advantage are severely limited.

Enter the Engagement Data Hub (stage left)

Harnessing the power of digital and AI-driven engagement channels can deliver deeper insights that help transform your business and give you options to close the Engagement Capacity Gap.

To eliminate data silos, you’ll want to create an engagement data hub to capture interaction, experience and workforce data in one place. Once in the hub, the data can be harmonised, providing your managers, executives, analysts and planners with a single, cohesive view of the state of customer engagement in your business.

And from that analysis can come the insights, plans and real-time action needed to drive customer engagement and reinforce your relationship with your customers so that you can ride out the current storms together.

Verint has taken the hard work out of building such a data hub. The Verint® Engagement Data Hub™, provides a pre-built home for interaction, experience and performance data from any application in the Verint Customer Engagement Platform. As part of that platform, Verint Engagement Data Management™ allows the inclusion of data from other vendors’ applications and historical archives and provides easy connectivity to import and export data to and from enterprise data lakes, CRM and business intelligence tools.

It also gives you a single place to manage data enrichment, governance and compliance.

Unprecedented times? You decide

However, the challenges of managing and exploiting customer engagement data, and the necessity to do so in today’s challenging business environment, are real. The part that the Verint Engagement Data Hub can play in doing so was discussed during a recent webinar, “The Engagement Data Hub: What is it and why you need it,” hosted by TechTalk and presented by Verint’s Dave Singer and Matthew Monahan.

Watch the webinar on-demand to find out more about how Verint and the Engagement Data Hub can help you in these “unprecedented times.”