The future of customer engagement is simplicity

Published on

May 24, 2017

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The increasingly rapid changes in society and the economy are also changing the wishes and ideas of consumers at ever shorter intervals. Addressing customers and marketing in general poses a constant challenge.

In addition, marketing as an embedded process in the company itself is also affected, for example, by technological change in the available options and is encouraged to constantly reinvent itself. So what is the next development in addressing customers? What needs to be considered with regard to customer engagement?

Perceived and actual complexity among customers and marketers

The proverbial ever more complex world, which is simultaneously shrinking due to ever newer and faster communication channels, has led in recent years to the use of a whole range of media channels in the area of marketing and customer contact. From e-mail to social media marketing, from personal contact to chat bots, from classic advertising letters to targeted advertising - everything in every conceivable form can be found in marketing practice.

While new technologies and software solutions help marketers to get a little more control over complexity, the consumer seems to be overwhelmed by the multitude of channels through which he is addressed. Is this increasingly expansive multimedia approach really the right one for customer engagement?

Customers just want it

Both new and existing customers want communication with companies and dealers to be as simple as possible. The purchase decisions and experiences should not be experienced in an increasingly complex way, but should be simpler and therefore more satisfied. Companies that can build this bridge have an advantage over their competitors.

Efficiency and customer commitment

Efficiency is the magic word, as so often. Customer acquisition and customer care are considered easy if they are carried out as cost-saving as possible. However, many companies fundamentally misunderstand this approach. Chat bots can process customer enquiries in parallel and faster, vending machines can carry out routine contacts more quickly and with less personnel, software tools issue standardised procedures. However, what brings short-term savings and thus increases profits, damages in the long run. Customers expect a "real" environment, if desired a personal consultation and said simplicity, from their point of view. Companies that operate (supposedly) efficiency under the wrong aspects have fewer loyal customers, have more difficulty in generating new customers and will ultimately have to contend with declining sales. Incorrectly understood efficiency can lead to reduced customer engagement.

Realism as simplicity

The view of the company and thus also of marketing and customer approach in particular, requires an alignment from the customer's point of view. Consumers also fall back on the existing media mix, inform themselves in shops as well as online, via comparison sites as well as in social media. From a marketing point of view, it is therefore important to have a presence in all channels. But the feeling of the real thing must remain - despite all online communication - so that the customer feels understood and taken seriously. Only this can be converted into customer loyalty. Only then can customer engagement be increased.

From the consumer's point of view, the complexity of communication with companies has increased, as has the complexity of communication within society in general. This has again awakened a greater desire for uncomplicated and real (buying) experiences - whether it is a physical location such as a stationary store or an online shop is rather secondary to this. This is also the yardstick by which customer approaches and marketing must be measured. Marketing that knows how to create a real (and therefore simple) environment for the customer will also get the desired customer engagement.

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