This is part 2 of a 3-part series on digital customer engagement:

As you read in our previous post, Transforming Customer Engagement in the Digital Agethe customer is now in control and seeks an experience that builds a relationship with a brand that spans any device, any channel and at any time.

But how do you provide such an experience  in a way that meets or exceeds your customer’s expectations?

As you craft your new digital customer engagement strategy, make sure you employ the following behaviors or traits listed below. It is by no means a complete list of every way you can or should engage your customers to meet their expectations, but it will serve as a guideline and solid foundation begin your journey transforming your organization’s customer engagement for the Digital Age.

1. Customer-Centric 

Everything is focused on the needs of your customers ,and those needs are put first. It’s more about making sure they’re happy and satisfied in every interaction. This shifts the focus for most organizations off of bottom-line results toward successful customer outcomes.

2. Context

With the customer now being able to control the context of your engagement, always understand the relationship between your brand and the customer, past and present, as well as where and when the interaction is taking place.

3. Consistency

Each channel and device where the customer can engage with the brand should be consistent in design, style, messaging and experience. This requires that all your points of engagement be developed with the same customer insights and segments in mind.

4. Continuity

Customers expect that if they transition from one device/channel to another, that they can do so seamlessly and pick up at the same point in their interaction. Don’t make someone start over with your customer support team if they switch from their computer to their phone while on the go.

5. Customization

Customers expect brands to understand their wants and needs and to personalize their interactions based on those insights. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to engaging with your customers. Get as close to one-to-one interactions as possible.

6. Convenience

Customers want to engage when they want and where they want. This includes any channel or device, day or night, 24-7. Be there and add value every step of the way.

7. Conversation

Always remember it’s a two-way conversation between you and your customer. That means listen more than you speak, and when you speak, add value to further the interaction in a positive way to continue building your relationship.

8. Collaboration/Coordination

Typically brands operate in silos and lack communication with one another about their interactions with customers. To deliver valuable interactions across the customer lifecycle, you will need to collaborate and coordinate your interactions between departments throughout your organization.

9. Co-Create/Contribute

People want to feel like they have control and the ability to shape the outcomes they have when interacting with brands. Allow customers to help create their experience through your interaction. This develops a feeling of ownership and increases the likelihood of loyalty and advocacy.

10. Commitment

True digital customer engagement takes a lot of work, and it may rustle some feathers when you can’t see immediate, bottom-line return. Be patient and willing to invest both time and money in your customers to see the true value/results of your efforts.

11. Creativity

People expect an experience, and they want to be wowed in their interactions with you. You can’t just do the same old same old thing that your competitors and everyone else is doing. Think outside the box and deliver something that will change the way your customer perceives your brand and interactions.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, whether you’re B2B or B2C, we are all consumers and have expectations that need to be met in order to feel satisfied. To meet these expectations, brands must treat every customer as an individual, building the relationship one interaction at a time. While the behaviors or traits above aren’t all-encompassing, if mastered, they will transform your customer engagement and the way the customer perceives your brand. Put your consumer hat ,and think with each interaction, “What would I want to happen here?” or “Would I be frustrated if this happened?” Sometimes simply thinking about the Golden Rule (“do unto others as you would have them do unto you”) can go a long way in driving value in your relationship with your customers.