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Aliya Zaidi
Aliya Zaidi 7 November 2019

[Infographic] Four Key Findings from The State of Customer Engagement 2020 report

Most companies are still early on in their journey when it comes to providing customers with a more tailored and personalised experience, and fostering greater customer engagement. This is a highlight of The State of Customer Engagement 2020 report, produced by Digital Doughnut sister company, London Research in association with dotdigital. This infographic highlights some of the key findings from the research.

What is customer engagement?

Put simply, customer engagement is about interactions between your customers and your brand. Customer engagement in the 21st century means understanding your customer’s needs, how and when they interact, and the best way to reach them. The modern customer culture of always ‘being on’ means that brands must deploy a range of digital and traditional channels to meet the needs of the consumer. In addition, trends in the channels utilised vary across different segments, so companies need to have access to data to react to customer behaviour.

However, more broadly, research from the CMO Council indicates that a omnichannel strategy works across all generations of consumers. More than 85% of 2,000 consumers when surveyed, said they preferred a brand to reach them from both physical and digital channels, which includes email, social media and in-person interactions.

In addition, these different channels need to line up strategically, so that companies can communicate with customers at every relevant touchpoint, wherever there is any potential for key interactions.

1. Websites, email and social media dominate for customer engagement

The findings of this research indicate that companies are focusing their customer engagement efforts on three main channels: the website, email, and social media. It’s no surprise that 95% of companies are using their websites for customer engagement, as this is often the first port of call for a customer wanting to reach out to a brand.

However, it is also encouraging that while email has been around for years, the channel is utilised as a channel for customer engagement. Email is no longer about simply pushing promotional messages to your customers; companies are using email marketing to facilitate a deeper conversation and initiate other key interactions.

For many companies, email represents the low-hanging fruit to foster greater customer engagement. This is because email has been a channel that has always historically delivered ROI, but it is also ranked highly for post-purchase engagement, customer retention and loyalty. More than a third of companies (37%) make email their number one-channel for retention and loyalty, while 71% place it in their top three.

2. Customer engagement is crucial for both B2B and B2C businesses.

It’s clear that customer engagement is essential to modern-day business, regardless of your industry or type of company. The positive impact of customer engagement (in terms of an uplift on the bottom line) is recognised in both B2B and B2C spheres, with 73% of B2B and 79% of B2C companies reporting they measure customer engagement though increased sales.

For almost half of B2B companies, customer engagement is measured through garnering higher-quality leads for the sales team to pursue.

3. Most companies are in the early stages of customer engagement, with many describing their strategy as basic.

Despite the success seen through the proven uplift in sales, most companies are still at the beginning of their customer engagement journey. Only 9% of companies say they are at an advanced level of customer engagement, while 40% describe their level of sophistication as ‘basic’.

The good news is that the data and technology required to foster customer engagement is now readily available, but on the other side of the coin, a siloed organisational structure is holding companies back. There is little point having a wealth of data available if it is not made available to every department across the organisation through a single unified view.

4. The greatest challenge is getting a unified view due to disconnected technology.

While a vast volume of data is available, companies are lumbered with legacy IT systems and antiquated technology that do not fulfil the requirements of a forward-thinking organisation.

This report’s findings indicate over a quarter of companies (26%) cite both a unified view and disconnected technology as their biggest challenges.

The actionable insights from the data can only be utilised effectively with access to integrated technology platforms. From the customer perspective, the experience needs to be seamless and unified, so their experience is targeted, relevant and personalised.

There are plenty more trends, insights and data in the State of Customer Engagement Report 2020. The report is based on a London Research survey of 689 marketing professionals, which was carried out in the third quarter of 2019, with respondents in Europe, North America and the Asia Pacific region.

Download now to read the full State of Customer Engagement Report 2020.

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