Delivering exceptional customer support is more important than ever.
With a wide range of digital channels at their fingertips, customers now expect quick, convenient, and personalised support experiences. To meet these expectations, businesses need to adopt customer engagement strategies that prioritise digital channels.
We call this Digital-First Engagement, and it offers a range of benefits for customer support.
In this article, we’ll explore what Digital-First Engagement is and how it can transform your customer support. We’ll also share real-world examples of businesses that have successfully implemented this approach, as well as best practices for overcoming common challenges.
Digital-First Engagement is a customer engagement strategy that prioritises digital channels.
In today’s digital age, customers have more options than ever for engaging with businesses, including websites, forum, knowledge bases, self-service portals, email, chat, social media, mobile apps, and more.
Digital-First Engagement, therefore, is where organisations prioritise these digital channels and interactions as the primary means of engaging and communicating with their customers.
The goal is to meet customers where they are by providing a seamless, consistent, and personalised experience across all digital channels.
However, one of the key features of Digital-First Engagement is its ability to provide a single, unified view of the customer across all digital channels. This means that businesses can track customer interactions and preferences across multiple channels and use this data to provide personalised support and services.
For customers, it means quick and convenient support experiences that can be accessed from anywhere, at any time. For businesses, it means increased customer satisfaction, more efficient support operations, and the ability to scale support services more effectively.
In the next section, we’ll explore the benefits of Digital-First Engagement for customer support in more detail.
Digital-First Engagement offers a range of benefits for customer support. Here are some of the key advantages:
Personalised support experiences are an essential component of a digital-first engagement strategy. By leveraging data from various digital channels, businesses can offer tailored support experiences to their customers that cater to their specific needs and preferences based on each customer’s preferences and history of interactions across all digital channels. This can help to build stronger relationships with customers and increase their loyalty to the brand.
Here are some examples of how personalised support experiences can be provided through digital-first engagement:
Customised support recommendations:
By analysing a customer’s browsing and purchase history, you can provide personalised support recommendations. This helps to ensure that customers only see relevant content that meet their needs, shortening their journey.
Personalised customer service:
Businesses can leverage customer data to guide customers to the service experience they prefer based on a their history of communicationn or specific challenge. For instance, a customer who prefers to use a chatbot can be directed to the open a new chat, while a customer who prefers solutions from outside the company can be directed towards the online community.
Better self-service portals:
With self-service portals, businesses can empower customers to resolve issues on their own. By providing a knowledge base or FAQs section, customers can quickly find answers to their questions without having to contact customer service. We can make self-service portals personalised by displaying relevant information based on customer data. e.g. raises content related to products or services they’ve purchased. Again with the goal of shortening the support journey.
With digital-first engagement, businesses can also connect data from across the various touchpoints and identify potential issues before they become critical. This enables businesses to proactively reach out to customers with personalised solutions.
By automating certain support tasks and using data to drive decision-making, Digital-First Engagement can help businesses to operate more efficiently and scale support services more effectively because (unlike traditional channels like calling) DFE channels don’t cause bottlenecks.
Here are some examples of how businesses can achieve increased efficiency and scalability:
Automated support tasks:
Businesses can automate support tasks such as answering frequently asked questions or routing customer inquiries to the appropriate support team. This reduces the triage workload for support staff, allowing them to focus on more complex issues that require human intervention.
Businesses can collect and analyse customer data to inform better decision-making in support services. For example, analysing customer feedback can help businesses quaickly identify areas for improvement.
Chatbots and virtual assistants:
With the explosion of ChatGPT, people are waking up to utility of chatbots and becoming familiar with using them to solve problems. These tools can now understand customer queries and provide relevant, accurate responses, reducing response times and increasing efficiency. More importantly, they can guide people to other digital solutions like community threads or knowledge base answers.
Scalable support services:
Digital-first engagement can help businesses scale their support services more effectively by leveraging cloud-based technologies. Cloud-based solutions can accommodate large volumes of customer interactions and allow businesses to quickly scale their support services to meet increasing demand.
Digital channels are available 24/7, which means that customers can access support whenever they need it. Likewise, digital channels enable businesses to respond to customer inquiries quickly and efficiently, even outside of traditional business hours. This can result in improved response times, which can further enhance customer satisfaction, as customers feel that their needs are being prioritised and addressed in a timely manner.
Digital-First Engagement enables businesses to track customer interactions and sentiment in real-time, providing them with valuable insights and analytics that can help them identify and resolve issues quickly, before they escalate. For example, if multiple customers are experiencing the same issue, businesses can quickly identify and resolve the underlying issue to prevent further customer frustration.
Meanwhile, insights and analytics can help businesses understand customer behavior and preferences, enabling them to tailor their support services to meet customer needs in real-time.
Digital-First Engagement provides customers with a range of support options, including websites, forum, knowledge bases, self-service portals, email, chat, social media, mobile apps, and more. This means that customers can choose the channel that is most convenient for them in the context they find themselves.
For example, voice solutions work well in the privacy of your home, but chat may be more appropriate in public. You have to give customers the choice to engage with you on their terms and make it seamless for them to jump across touch points.
Adopting a Digital-First Engagement approach to customer support can be a complex process, but there are some best practices that you can follow to increase the chances of success:
Not all digital channels will be appropriate for every business. It’s important to choose the channels that are most relevant to your target audience and align with your brand and goals.
This is where a knowledgable partner like 4 Roads will be helpful for figuring out your user journeys.
To provide personalised support experiences, it’s important to integrate customer data across all your digital channels. This will help you to provide consistent and seamless support experiences, regardless of the channel that the customer is using.
This can be an integration heavy endeavor that creates headaches down the road. In our experience, it’s simpler and more cost effective to leverage platforms that can offer a suite of digital-first solutions.
We recommend checking out Verint.
Digital-First Engagement involves the collection and storage of customer data, which means that security and compliance should be a top priority. Ensure that you have the necessary security measures and compliance processes in place to protect customer data.
Again this is why a robust partner platform can make things easier. They will have advanced security on their platform.
To ensure that your Digital-First Engagement strategy is delivering the desired results, it’s important to monitor and measure its performance regularly. Use data analytics to track customer satisfaction, support efficiency, and other relevant metrics, and make adjustments as needed.
Digital-First Engagement is becoming increasingly important in today’s digital age, as customers demand convenient and personalised support experiences across all digital channels.
By implementing a Digital-First Engagement strategy, businesses can increase efficiency, improve customer satisfaction, and build stronger relationships with their customers.
Ultimately, by putting the customer at the center of their support strategy and delivering a seamless and personalised support experience across all digital channels, businesses can differentiate themselves from their competitors and build a loyal customer base.