According to Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer, 80% of customers say the experiences provided by a company are as important to them as its products and services. Customer engagement is now a focus at most organizations, but for those that are doing it well, we’re only at the tip of the iceberg as we explore how to improve across all touchpoints of the customer journey.
For most organizations, this experience is owned or managed by a department, or multiple teams like your customer experience, marketing, sales and others. However, your risk department plays a larger role at critical times than you may believe.
The current climate
Customers are more discerning than ever and as they adapt, along with businesses, to the economic climate, we’re seeing household debt balances set a fresh record high of $17.05 trillion during the first quarter, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. A development of note – credit card balances were flat during the first quarter – a first in more than 20 years that there hasn’t been an outright decline in that category.
As your risk department evaluates the implications of rising debt levels and an uncertain economic outlook, they are likely considering what that will mean for your bottom line and how teams can prepare for new realities. Here’s why you should consider your risk department’s role in customer engagement now that will build loyalty and satisfaction while sheltering your bottom line.
Why engagement is critical at the risk stage
From our research, we know that consumers facing financial uncertainty or those who have fallen behind on bills, experience barriers to engagement at an increasing level. For example, 56% of respondents find minor daily decisions overwhelming, but for those that are behind on bills, that number jumps to 78%. Consumers want to make the right decision and they’re looking for your business to help.
Leading with empathy at this critical stage could be the difference between creating a lifelong advocate or experiencing churn. As consumers look to their providers to support them in their decision-making, it all comes back to trust. Trust that their provider has their best interests in mind, that they are partners in the process and that it will be a positive and/or easy user experience to complete tasks at hand.
Every negative experience leads to compounding barriers that are more difficult to break down. For example, having a poor experience trying to set up payment arrangements could mean you are less likely to seek help from your provider in the future, may have preconceived notion of what other processes will be like, or could be more easily convinced to go to a competitor that promises a better or easier experience.
What are the benefits?
Actively fostering connections, understanding needs, and providing exceptional experiences, allows businesses to reap a multitude of benefits. From improved customer loyalty, to increased retention rates, and higher customer satisfaction, it enables businesses to gather valuable insights, identify opportunities for growth, and tailor products and offerings to meet customer expectations. Moreover, strong customer engagement builds brand advocacy, generates positive word-of-mouth, and attracts new customers. Considering your engagement strategy across all touchpoints in the customer journey will set you apart from your competition and keep your customers coming back to you.
If you haven’t yet considered your risk department as a key stakeholder in this journey – think about how you can begin to engage them today. As the stewards that are managing this potentially more sensitive segment of the customer experience journey, they are the key to unlocking the next level of engagement with your customers.
Download our 2022 consumer report, The Great Shift in Billpayer Behavior, to discover more about what’s driving consumer behaviors. Find out what support service providers can offer customers to overcome the impact of exhaustion and uncertainty, and to engage with them more effectively.