How to Scale Customer Relationships the Human Way
Every person is on a journey. And every journey requires the right traveling companions.
As a customer marketing manager, it’s my job to be that helpful companion within my company—the one who remembers the directions, navigates unfamiliar terrain, and is even good for a story now and then. I help customers by highlighting their successes, but I also help smooth my company’s journey by finding the right people to share their experiences with us.
At Genesys, we empower companies to create exceptional omnichannel experiences, journeys and relationships through our Customer Experience Platform. We're trusted by over 4,700 customers in 120 countries, to orchestrate over 24 billion contact center interactions per year in the cloud and on premises. So whether you’re talking about your company's app, or email, or website, or in-person interactions, we're all about linking it together and making the experience of the customer more of a journey than a series of separate instances.
Using Influitive’s software has helped to transform customer marketing at Genesys because it taps into the appeal of gamification to increase customer engagement and consistently grow our audience of advocates.
Since coming onboard at Genesys five years ago, I have witnessed our customer marketing capabilities evolve by harnessing this technology. A few years ago we created GCAP, our Genesys Customer Advocacy Program—which rewards customers for advocacy activities with meaningful Genesys services, experiences, and merchandise. As our team sought to make the program more relevant and streamlined, we realized we needed a more automated system that did not rely on time-consuming and cumbersome manual back end spreadsheet accounting and redemptions methods. We also wanted a portal for our customers to have transparency into how many points they had.
One of our largest ways of connecting with customers is through our popular annual G-Force event. In the weeks leading up to G-Force, we would be swamped with requests from our sales team seeking tickets for our customer advocates, which could be earned through our program. So just prior to the event we’d discover this large customer base of advocates willing to build case studies, film videos, take surveys, and provide reference calls. However, during other parts of the year, we had difficulty accessing these customer relationships directly, as these were mostly coordinated through the sales team, and there was no more sense of urgency.
We needed a way to drive advocacy behavior year round. We were struggling with getting a steady stream of content monthly, versus one concentrated time of year.
During this time, we weren’t aware of any sort of technology that existed that could help manage these aspects of our customer engagement. We then discovered Influitive and saw what was possible with the right tools. With Influitive, the technology would allow us to build customer relationships on a scale never before possible. By evolving our Genesys Customer Advocacy Program (GCAP) by integrating the Influitive online environment (aka the GCAP Hub), we quickly discovered that we could communicate with customers all year and instill consistent advocacy behaviors with trackable results.
We exchange information and can have ongoing conversations, share a laugh, or have relatable dialogue around current events. The technology has given our customer marketing team a personality and a voice, and has deepened our company’s customer relationships in important and fundamental ways. As a marketing tool, it’s a game changer.
Traditionally, customer relationships reside solely with the sales teams and regional marketing teams. A customer marketing team has to work through these groups to interact with customers and slowly build rapport. Now we can form customer relationships directly, while involving the other teams in the process. Over time customers get to know us based on what we reveal about ourselves through the GCAP Hub. When we finally get to meet in person, like at our G-Force event, it’s like meeting old friends! This new technology that connects marketers to customers allows us to speak with a more natural, casual tone outside of the corporate narrative. It’s like our company is letting its hair down. The way the GCAP Hub is built humanizes our brand and builds authentic relationships with our customers, no matter where they are in the world.
A fun example of how we’ve used these new tools to introduce our customer marketing team to our advocates is our Two Truths and a Lie question that we've offered through our GCAP Hub. You’ve probably seen this classic ice-breaker game pop up on Facebook or around the dinner table with friends. We posted three facts about each of our team members and then challenged customers to guess which facts were false. Customers were then asked to offer up a piece of information about themselves too. We got a lot of positive feedback from the exercise, and it allowed customers to relate to with us on a more personal level.
Influitive’s technology gave us an opportunity to break down global silos. Company departments that used to be disconnected from customers are now working with our team to engage with the system and better run their operations. As we share content through the GCAP Hub, we get direct and immediate feedback on these pieces of content. We offer opportunities for customers to star in case studies, videos, and webinars led by different teams. We encourage customers to speak to analysts about our solutions, where they get the opportunity to network with big names in the industry.
Gone are the days of expecting customers to dig through static, inhuman web page content that doesn’t speak to them directly. Today’s technology allows direct customer engagement. We can get important information to our customers in digestible and engaging ways, and with the right tools, we can customize that information even further so it’s relevant to each particular customer journey.
The best tools aren’t limited to just one-way communication. They also allow your customer to give you feedback. Just being able to share information with your customer community is awesome, but knowing they find it appealing and worthwhile is inspiring.
That’s the evolution of customer marketing.
When you are able to demonstrate the power of customer marketing through metrics—through tangible statistics and numbers—then the people who are concerned with the bottom line are naturally more supportive. Our results clearly show the impact of developing deep, meaningful relationships with customers.
We at Genesys believe that technology shouldn’t remove the human element. Rather, it should enable it so that through experiences, customer relationships are nurtured beyond regional or physical barriers. For our team, the old way of having to guess at what the customer wants, or beg for feedback, is ending. Customer marketing is becoming more and more of an organic process, with customers raising their hands to participate and be heard in a real conversation. Just like through the contact center interactions we support, we at Genesys have to be aware of the entire customer journey and enhance it. We now contribute to that through the GCAP Hub. I’m excited to see how far we can continue to evolve the platform.
We have ambitious plans at Genesys for the customer marketing team, and the technology that Influitive offers is helping us navigate this new terrain, one happy customer at a time.