Companies claim customer engagement is key; but few deliver, finds E-consultancy
LONDON - Only 51% of companies say the economic crisis has caused them to place greater focus on customer engagement, according to the third annual Online Customer Engagement Report, published today.
The report, published by online publisher E-consultancy and digital agency cScape, examines the likely impact of a worsening economic environment on customer behaviour and psychology. It is based on a survey of 1,300 organisations and looks at initiatives which have helped companies deepen relationships with customers and where they will be increasing investment in 2009.
59% of respondents said that email newsletters are the tactic most likely to have driven a tangible improvement in customer engagement.
Areas associated with Web 2.0 and social media such as user ratings and feedback (41%), user-generated content (37%), blogging (36%) and brand presence on social networks (36%) are also expected to attract investment.
Linus Gregoriadis, head of research at E-Consultancy, said that organisations are setting aside budget for Web 2.0-type activities because they have garnered tangible benefits rather than because they want to be on the cutting edge "for the sake of it."
"More companies are viewing tactics such as blogging, user reviews and on-site video in the context of a broader customer engagement strategy and pulling only those levers which are most appropriate for their business model and customers," he added.
The findings reveal that, as well as preparing for greater price sensitivity, organisations are expecting a focus on quality, a desire for simplicity and an intolerance of poor customer service to be among the most prominent types of customer behaviour exhibited during 2009.
But, whilst the importance of customer engagement is widely acknowledged, the research found that fewer than half of organisations (45%) have a defined customer engagement strategy in place.
This article was first published on Marketing Direct
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