In today’s fast-paced world, customer demands are constantly shifting. For CEOs and leaders, it’s an ongoing challenge to deliver what customers want. Organisations are under pressure to adapt traditional ways of working to suit customer needs – but many don’t know where to start.

For leaders wanting to drive business growth, the burning question is: How do I best serve the customer and deliver an engaging experience that will keep customers coming back?

At Verint, we recently launched an Engage Index to canvass strategies and opportunities for organisations to enhance their customer service offerings. We interviewed close to 40 business leaders from a range of industries who are active in the customer service space, and gathered timely and relevant insights into best-practice customer engagement.

5 insights into best-practice customer engagement

Here's how CEOs and leaders are driving sustainable business growth through a combined focus on people and technology.

  1. Place the customer at the heart of your business strategy.

    Forward-thinking leaders know that the customer must be at the heart of everything. At a time of accelerated disruption, delivering above and beyond customer expectations has become an organisation’s secret weapon and competitive advantage.

    Today’s tech-savvy customers want convenient and omnichannel solutions to simple queries. However, when it comes to addressing complex problems, customers still want the reassurance of human empathy and understanding. Organisations should tailor services to customer demand, striking a balance between omnichannel solutions and meaningful human interaction.

  2. Build an emotionally intelligent workforce.

    It’s no secret that employees who are emotionally in tune with their customers will build stronger relationships on the front line. Customers want meaningful interactions with empathic people – so it’s crucial for leaders to build an emotionally intelligent workforce.

    Almost three-quarters of our Index respondents felt that engaged employees with high emotional intelligence (EI) are the most valuable asset for differentiating the customer experience. Employees with high EI tend to engage with customers in a more personalised way, which translates to a positive customer experience.

  3. Invest in innovation and technology.

    Today’s leaders know that their customers want quick and efficient digital solutions. With the rise of automation and robotics, technology is rapidly reshaping the customer experience and simply cannot be ignored.

    To adapt effectively to disruption, almost three-quarters of our Index respondents are innovating via web services and speech analytics. One in three Index respondents are investing in data analysis and key performance indicators based on customer feedback – and then looping this information back to employees. With greater measurability of customer data, organisations can align future technology investment with customer preferences.

  4. Ensure customer data is secure.

    With disruptive new players constantly shaking things up, it’s more difficult than ever to retain customer loyalty. At the same time, organisations moving to digital risk losing customer trust over data security concerns.

    When customers – especially digital natives – engage with a brand via digital channels, they want to feel secure in the knowledge that their data is being protected. A robust data security and privacy policy is a sure-fire way to instil trust in your customers and establish a competitive edge in the market.

  5. Be an engaged leader.

    For any organisation wanting to get ahead, a culture of continuous improvement will pave the way for an enhanced customer experience. Strong leadership is a fundamental ingredient in achieving this cultural shift.

    An engaged and purposeful leader inspires the kind of cultural shift that transforms not only employee behavior, but the customer experience. One in four Index respondents believe that good business models and behaviour circle back to the customer and drive business growth. Leaders should therefore role-model positive behaviour and connect their people to a sense of purpose, as this will trickle down to the customer.

In a fast-moving world, leaders who don’t guard themselves against future disruption risk being overtaken by their competitors. From the top down, the best-performing organisations will be those that place technology and innovation high on the agenda, along with people and the customer.