The new digital era in which we live brings with it a collision of sales, marketing, social interaction, technology and human behaviour that is truly fascinating. It is also dangerous for businesses that are unprepared.
What is being discovered is that people are changing the way they use technology and how they like to be engaged in a service environment.
Consumers shun a long process that has multiple friction points. They desire genuine engagement, they look for third-party reassurance through product reviews of previous buyers, they value visual aids and video, and they relate to a language that is commonplace and conversational rather than detailed.
For example, the process of buying life insurance is, in many ways, the antithesis of what consumers want. Truth be told, all areas of professional services need a shake up and, to do this, we need to do two things. First, provide engaging solutions for consumers that are relatable, meaningful, easily understood and easily communicated. Second, for the businesses concerned, this also means efficiency in process and communication and finding new ways of engaging with clients.
The need and expectation is clear: better client engagement experiences are warranted.
What is the solution?
Those who have better tools and better processes are more productive and more likely to win. The good news is that the future direction is clear, with the expectation that by 2018, 50 per cent of coordination and communication will occur via mobile collaboration apps, (Cisco, Sept 2016), while simple, accessible, high-definition video conferencing has ushered in a new era of face-to-face collaboration.
From one-on-ones to team meetings, candidate interviews, training sessions, sales presentations – nearly any meeting you can do in person, you can do over video just as effectively. (Cisco, Sept 2016).
Why is this the case? As author Wendy Lea reminds us in The New Rules of Customer Engagement, “When the person can see eye to eye, they feel more comfortable and natural”. This means saying goodbye to those static, rigid and well-worn customer touchpoints and saying hello to an ongoing, dynamic, meaningful and expressive contact that actually drives revenue.
Now you can meet your clients in their very own secure virtual room anytime , anywhere. Hold video meetings and discuss documents as if you are in the same room together. Safely store them in the Cloud. screenshare any of the tools you use with your clients, including spreadsheets, PDFs, Powerpoint, Xero financials and other portfolio information. Take action in real time. Use electronic signatures for onscreen authentication to complete transactions. No more sending an email and waiting days or weeks for a response.
Most importantly you can connect, engage and enhance the interactions with clients more efficiently, more effectively with greater clarity and in real time.
The new rules of customer engagement require a new way of interacting. How prepared are you for that positive disruption?
Andy Marshall is the regional sales manager APAC at SuiteBox Solutions.
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