Our lives are full of micro-moments (small time intervals that constitute our overall experiences) whether we are consuming a product, enjoying an event, getting on a plane, etc. Google identified 4 key moments that will define user interaction (ThinkwithGoogle, 2015), but there is one missing, and probably the most important one: the "I WANT TO SAY" MOMENT. Engagement is more than just about Knowing, Going, Doing or Buying. Very often we feel like expressing our feelings or needs during these micro-moments. Most micro-moments are related to a brand, but the problem is that brands have no effective way to capture feelings or needs from customers on a given moment. What happens to the “silent majority” that does not usually engage but does have something to say? Here are some examples of why currently-used tools are not the answer:
Brand engagement is not just about following a brand on social media. Brands should really follow you (follow = listening and understanding behavior, not stalking of course).
I) Not all customers use social media and only a fraction of those interact with brands this way, so a company that expects customers to go social alienates the majority. (Some large firms even ignore comments in their website and force you to go to their social media sites!)
II) Social Media does not relay messages immediately to the corresponding team.
- Some hotels operate 'Social Media Divisions' to handle issues, when in reality the manager on duty should be the direct recipient.
- If you cannot find your product in a store, no social media platform automatically informs the company´s logistics department that it is out of stock.)
III) Some sites´ comments originate in a public forum and require an extra step (private message) to send personal information.
IV) Upper management does not have an instant, detailed view of user data because the front-end platforms are generic. Firms should take advantage of existing technologies to obtain live, detailed views by building simple and more useful engagement platforms.
APPS – Impossible to download an app per brand and you lose the micro-moment if you need to download.
PHONE – Usually inconvenient wait times; not for micro-moments.
EMAIL – Significant constraints in follow-up time, overload, right recipient, etc.
CHAT – Not ideal for sending a quick message. Messages not automatically relayed.
SURVEYS – A company forces you to provide information it wants via unsolicited questions (for NPS, etc.)
Enable Direct Communication
So if you go to the store and cannot find your favorite soda, complaining on social media is beneficial, but triggering an alert to the Distribution Manager and the entire team is more efficient. Likewise, if you are eating a product at home that tastes bad, going social helps, but a message that alerts the Quality Control Manager and the entire team is even better. Technology exists to make this happen. Companies need to adapt their communication schemes to have a "Customer-Facing Back-Office" that enables internal departments to be connected to the customer. Now imagine if all of this data is immediately available to Top Management or any department. This is the ultimate transparency that customers need.
Establish A Universal Standard
The objective is to be able to capture any customer´s needs or feelings at any moment, in any location. The contact information in the back of a package simply does not engage consumers and current forms of communication are not the answer. If firms REALLY want to listen, they should establish a universal standard where any brand can be accessed the same way. Why don´t they make life easier with a simple, user-friendly touch screen? Enable access to a brand´s touch screen (web or mobile) with a link, a button, or a standard URL: favoritebrand.com/cx …or you could eventually google your "brand" and "/cx" to access the touch screen...even with your voice. Companies can develop the 'look and feel', but it comes down to a simple feature that enables users to provide input on what they desire (fulfilment, comments, uploading a picture, recording their voice, etc.).
Capture Any Moment
Customers that identify themselves create enormous opportunities for firms to personalize interactions with premium service, but there is another form of interaction with tremendous value: Quick Unidentified Data (QUD). Anonymous data can also go a long way to building better products or services. Just think of all the micro-moments you experience: a mean employee, dirty restroom, excellent product, outstanding service, etc. All this is critical insight to measure the performance of brands, and it does not always need to be personalized.
Even a great customer service department is not enough to provide an optimum customer experience because Customer Experience has to do with every company department. If brands are not able capture the micro-moments, they are failing to connect to their customers. Communication is vital t o improving our experiences with a product or service. Are we communicating whenever we feel something?. In reality, very few consumers take the time to engage with brands because they either feel a) brands are not enabling simple communication or b) the message does not reach the right people fast enough. Companies must do something about it.