Conversations at the Intersection of PR, Traditional & New Media

Customer Engagement – the next competitive battleground for brands

Customer-Engagement-customer-serviceCustomers are demanding superior service and relationships with companies from across sectors. Companies need to broaden their horizons and address customer-engagement needs, enable more rapid responses, and building internal lines of communication, these steps will help create nimbler organizations.

Customer engagement is quintessential for all industries and requires strengthening your relationship with your current customers and establishing high-value customer relationships. It is all about understanding the rational and emotional needs of your customers thus showcasing the value of your services.

The PR industry that primarily functions on relationships and engagement has somehow lost the essence of this competency. Managers and executives are engrossed in the rigormorole of media coverage and the leadership team is running behind getting more business and does not do much to maintain the existing client base.

Here are some ways to enhance customer engagement across your organization:

  1. Leap in Consulting Value: Be more proactive in analyzing customer insight; conduct an on-ground study to understand their requirements basis which you could recommend a communications strategy which will directly impact the company’s business. For example, a renowned tyre manufacturer which caters to the agriculture sector and supply’s its products to farmers in tier-2 & tier 3 cities through dealers. Make the effort of visiting these cities and meeting the dealers to understand what drives the decision making of the farmers. Your client may or may not be aware of grass-root level facts and information; however your proactiveness in understanding the client’s business in-depth is most likely to strengthen your relationship.
  1. Strategic Communications Support: Customer engagement is all about having a conversation with your client and basis your understanding of their business and the environment. Prepare a strategic and an executable communications plan which should provide a meaningful value proposition to the client and provide higher ROI. You need to become the brand custodian of your client where he can rely on your advice for all communications with its key stakeholders.
  1. Interpreting the world to the clients: Sharingdaily relevant industry news alerts and FYIs are not enough, you need to take a step ahead and have a macro-understanding of what could impact your client’s business. For example, Government Policies, Reforms, Elections or geo-political scenarios which is likely to impact the business in which your client functions. Have a 360 degree view of the industry happenings and prepare relevant analogies for your clients.
  1. Crisis Management: Crisis/Issue Management is the emerging driver for the PR industry. Managing the brand reputation has become crucial for businesses especially in the digital era. Be thoughtful, responsive and share updatesona real time basis. Remember during adverse situations you can always rally forces from the organization.
  1. Be Human: Know your client a little more than their business, know about their birthday – send them a greeting card, remember the anniversary with the agency – when the client was signed on – celebrate it together. Celebrate successes together; this will help to develop a good rapport and relationship with the client in the long term.

Please do tell us, how you approach engaging with your customers in the comments section below.

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Categorised in: Opinions, PRQuest, Vikypedia Exclusives

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Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The thoughts expressed by me in this blog are my personal views and do not represent the views of my employer or the organizations I have been associated with. I believe in the principle of sharing information. Feel free to link to any of the posts in this blog.
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