Friday, 6 February 2009

Employee Engagement - similar concept

Taking the concept a little further, exactly the same approach can be adopted for the engagement with employees. The "acid test" is one of advocacy in the form of the question "Would you recommend this company as a place of work to your best friend?".

The engagement is built upon :
  • a clear business strategy so that each employee knows exactly where they fit into the scheme of things, and what the collective business targets are. Equally information about how the business is performing is key, as well as customer feedback.
  • a company ethos and set of values that they can feel proud of. The values need to be lived, and not just on paper.
  • an efficient and effective information communications strategy. So employees feel well informed and empowered.
  • an open feedback option so employees are able to add a commentary and suggestions.
  • a self service framework so that employees are able to service their own needs with minimal effort. This includes the ability to "explore" the organisation to discover and find other key individuals.
  • a social context so that employees feel "part of a team"
Further, "innovation" can form a key part with employees being encouraged to contribute ideas and suggestions. They also need to recognise that change is a constant part of the business's evolution.

Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Student Engagement?

I've been giving some thought to what "engagement" means for students at a university. Many of the same principles still apply but obviously, the relationship between the university and the student is not highly commercial in nature. This will provide a fertile area to test the various theories emerging on the customer engagement subject. In particular I intend to use the Customer Engagement Maturity Matrix approach to make an objective assessment of the "As is" situation, and to then define the "To be" vision.

I welcome any feedback from anyone who has had any customer engagement (or more accurately student engagement) experience?

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Engaging in difficult economic times?

Is Customer Engagement a luxury item that can be discarded during difficult economic times, or is it a necessary ingredient for recovery?.

In these times, businesses tend to constrain spending and reserve cash as a reaction to the pressures. This is only to be expected. But it is at these times that businesses need to take a step back and look at their business model and ask some searching questions about the manner in which they engage with their customers.

If you were the Chief Executive of a bank at the moment, how are you going to repair the relationship with your customers?. How do you build the necessary trust into the relationship.

If you were the Director of a government department, how are you going to deliver services more efficiently?.

However, the move towards Customer Engagement has a major challenge. The vision is built on the enabling impact of new technologies. Unfortunately many business are (justifiably?) cynical about the potential positive impact of technology. And these individuals are right. It is only when the technology is accompanied with a clear business vision for delivery and the necessary leadership will it deliver.

Does the leadership exist to deliver true Customer Engagement, and spark some genuine business, technology and systems innovation, or is it drowned out by the political doubters?

Monday, 15 December 2008

Customer Engagement Maturity Matrix

The subject of Customer Enagagement (CE) is often mis-understood. To alleviate this situation, I have developed a Customer Enagagement Maturity matrix (CEMM) across a number of key dimensions. These include :
  1. Customer Strategy and Change Management
  2. Customer Data & Information Architecture
  3. Customer facing IT architecture
  4. eMarketing & Brand Management
  5. Online presence & services
  6. Channel Management
  7. eForms & Document Automation
  8. Customer Service

This provides a formal framework to evaluate the current CE capability of an organisation, and to compare it with others. It also provides an important basis to identify weaknesses and therefore, a basis to develop a CE improvement strategy.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Customer Engagement - misunderstood?

Customer Engagement is growing in prominence. The recently published report by eConsultancy and cScape is testomony to this.....
see http//

To explain Customer Engagement, it may be easier to explain what is is not :

  • It isn't CRM
  • It isn't the technologies of Web 2.0
  • It isn't customer service

Customer Engagement is a more holistic and architectural perspective on how customers engage with an organisation. It represents a cultural change within the organisation that places the needs of its cutomers at the centre of its activities. This is not achieved quickly. It is a transformational change that takes place over an extended period of time.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Customer Engagement, Innovation & the UK

At times of difficult economic times, innovation takes on an evengreater level of importance.

The area of Customer Engagement is set to become the area of greatest business innovation over the next few years as organisations seek to capitalise on the emerging technical capabilities to differentiate their business, utilise digital channels more effectively, and attract customers.

The UK is extremely well placed to capitalise on the emerging technologies and approaches given the very stronger base of design skills and competences already present.

There are those that "talk a good game" when it comes to innovtion but the UK needs to start living up to the words now. Enough government money has been spent on the promotion of innovation through expensively produced reports. Now is the time to show action. If the UK is to become a "hotbed" of innovation, then the politicians need to step back and encourage the business-technology guys to do their thing!!

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Technology led Customer Engagement

Emerging technologies are the catalyst driving the growing focus on Customer Engagement.

So what are these technologies?
  1. Rich media in general but specifically IP-video
  2. Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) - these are delivering the potential to deliver complex and powerful business transactions on the internet
  3. Intelligent Documents - business transactions are underpinned by transactional documents, whether they be sales orders, invoices, or whatever. Intelligent documents provide a powerful B2B and B2C transactional container that importantly encompasses eForms
  4. Interactive multi-media PDFs - a secure container for delivery of highly interactive eMarketing content
  5. Blogs - although simple in concept, they are a powerful information exchange medium

Collectively these technologies provide the basis to build compelling customer services and interaction features.