Monday, April 14, 2014

Customer Engagement: The Glaring Blind Spot You Have Been Ignoring

Photo by paul bica

“You get hit the hardest when trying to run or hide from a problem. Like the defense on a football field, putting all focus on evading only one defender is asking to be blindsided." - Criss Jami, author, poet, essayist

During last week's Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit, Kunal Gupta, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Burke Institute, presented "Customer Engagement: The Glaring Blind Spot You Have Been Ignoring in Your Customer Measurement Program." Kunal contends that the ability to achieve business success comes from the desirable behaviors of engaged customers. To achieve higher levels of business performance, you need to understand and measure customer engagement.

Your customer measurement program should measure the underlying mechanisms that can foster stronger customer commitment by helping you answer these important questions:
  1. Is the behavior of your customers "black and white" or "shades of grey?" Customers can exhibit various shades of engagement toward a provider, either from being willing to pay a price premium or readily switch for lower price. At the same time, a customer can be loyal towards multiple providers, but be more sparing in their emotional attachment with a provider.
  2. What drives customer behavior - cognition, emotions or both? Customer measurement programs should make you think more actively about the role of emotions and how they affect the customer decision making processes. In reality, organizations believe that their customers are rational individuals. Increasingly, however, there is greater recognition that their customers also allow inclusion of emotions and the non-rational in their decision making process.
  3. Are needs of tenured customers different than newer customers? Tenured customers have more favorable as well as more consistent perceptions, including emotions toward the provider. In early stages of customer tenure, emotions might not even influence the choice process.
By applying a research framework that applies both art and science as the foundation of your customer measurement program, you can overcome the glaring blind spot and foster greater customer engagement.

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC is an Accredited Business Communicator specializing in corporate communication best practices. Connect with Peggy on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and on her website at

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