In this engagement management blog series we have examined the business value of engagement and have introduced you to continuous engagement automation. However, enabling and automating engagement requires delivering experiences very differently.
Much as marketing automation taught us to configure for user buying journeys, engagement automation forces us to think deeply about different types of users and how to create a frictionless on-demand experience for them to achieve their task goals. Below are described three next practices for driving continuous user engagement.
Always be guided by user pain points as “true north” for curating an engaging experience flow.
Pain points in the context of engagement mean different things for different user roles and tasks. These pain points usually fall into two categories - inefficiency and disconnected infrastructure. Inefficiency is typically caused by having to wade through irrelevant information not pinpointed for the task at hand. Disconnects occur when there is a need to log into or synchronize data between a variety of systems and applications to accomplish a task. Next practice engagement automation eliminates inefficient irrelevant information through pinpointing content and systems with intelligent rules aligned with specific roles and tasks. It also connects a variety of applications, passing the user and task intelligence to those connected apps to create a frictionless experience.
Understand how user interaction journeys differ both by role as well as by task – curate accordingly.
I am struck by the difference in interaction journeys between inside and field-based sales teams.
Inside sales teams have a barrage of leads to “engage” with knowledge and intelligent dialogue. The key for these inside sales teams is to have information assets curated by customer need or use case and delivered according to their interaction sequence with these leads. These information assets might include 1-2 educational assets to get them prepared for the engagement, then assets to quickly move them through their interaction journey such as FAQs, customer-centric briefs, instant integration and synchronization with lead management in their CRM system.
An external sales team deals with only a few qualified leads from the inside sales team, but they have a barrage of customer relationships to stay on top of. Driving engagement for them is a flow-through guided information assets beginning with integration to key customer relationship assets (i.e. key decision makers, key IT project leaders and business stakeholders) in their CRM system. Beyond that, they too require integration with a customer intelligence system with both past customer transactional information as well as more qualitative information oriented to customer needs and strategic initiatives. Engagement automation would ensure key content assets are associated with this customer intelligence, guiding the sales and technical teams all the way through the right sales process to deal close and customer satisfaction hand-offs to the customer support teams.
Notice the intelligent and frictionless curation blueprint that has been described to eliminate these user pain points. With an engagement automation system that scales almost infinitely, experts can curate these interaction journeys. In addition, the users themselves can dynamically enhance their interaction journeys with just-in-time assets appropriate for just them or for their specific teams (e.g. lead-qualifying content, deal-winning content, etc.), territories or regions.
Treat engagement as a continuous service, not as a one point in time event.
Engagement automation depends on both real-time analytics as well as AI-driven learning and delivery. Most frequently, portals and intranets are constructed as static websites that require time lags for coding and that fail to dynamically serve very targeted users with very task-relevant information. Combining real-time engagement analytics with learning about specific roles and tasks and configuration-centric enablement turns engagement into a service rather than a development project. Because roles and tasks change, this intelligent dynamism is essential and requires this service-oriented approach.
In marketing automation, curators typically target audiences with a cursory understanding of their needs. In engagement automation, curators and rules are deeply aligned with roles, tasks and interaction journeys to ensure engagement is a continuous service delivery process.
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