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Building Customer Engagement During Challenging Times

To say 2017 has been a year of unpredictability would be something of an understatement. With political twists and turns dominating the headlines over the past six months, a general feeling of disruption and uncertainty has hovered over the nation. It’s therefore understandable that consumer confidence – always an insightful benchmark of how people are feeling – has recently dipped.

On 15th June, a decline in retail sales volumes sparked the biggest daily fall in the FTSE 250 since last summer. In particular, customer trading decreased from branded groceries to cheaper own label, with more visits to discount food retailers such as Aldi. In the midst of turbulent times, it becomes not only more important but increasingly difficult to manage customer relations. So what can customer-facing businesses across all industries – including banking and telcos – do to boost engagement and loyalty?

Make the customer experience truly omnichannel

Providing a holistic, seamless experience across multiple channels should be the core customer engagement strategy for any business, at any time. Customers need to know their needs will be met regardless of whether they are interacting with a bank employee in-branch, or raising a query over social media.

This is particularly true when external factors such as rising house prices, changes in interest rates or new legislation mean customers may seek extra reassurance and advice on important areas in their lives, such as their financial arrangements or home insurance provider.

But with tech-savvy customers able to transfer funds between bank accounts, renew insurance policies and book flights without talking to a single person, the role of face-to-face in the customer journey is dwindling.

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