Verint Systems has announced the results of new research in partnership with analyst and consultancy firm Ovum, highlighting the global complexity of customer service expectations and provides advice on how businesses can respond. This article is copyright 2015 The Best Customer Guide.

Drawing on international research conducted by Opinium - where global consumer demand for quick and convenient service emerged as a primary driver of satisfaction - the following rules of engagement emerged for helping drive successful and meaningful customer experiences:

  1. Meet the needs of the customer. Arm the organisation with the right information, tools and processes to provide the speedy service that customers demand.
  2. Make it easy to engage. Offer a range of ways for customers to contact the organisation to provide flexibility and meet the demands of a diverse customer base.
  3. Avoid relying on discounts and loyalty schemes. Only an average of eight percent say offers and rewards actually make them more loyal.
  4. Going the extra mile will pay off. Creating memorable experiences are more likely to be rewarded by brand champions telling friends and family, sharing on social media and writing positive reviews.

To address these rules of customer engagement, Ovum outlines how businesses can put them into action in a report titled Customer-Centricity: The Rules of Engagement. Ovum's advice on how to implement the rules cover visionary leadership, having empowered and engaged employees that work collaboratively to support the customer-centric approach, developing omnichannel capabilities, and creating adaptive, simplified processes and IT systems that underpin the entire operation.

Jeremy Cox, principal analyst, customer engagement at Ovum commented: "The biggest challenge for any business to remain competitive is to be persistently relevant to customers. The rules shouldn't be seen as a one-time solution. To succeed, companies must sense, respond and adapt to customers and their changing needs on an ongoing basis. Incorporating the rules isn't a quick fix. It's complex and involves significant transformation as part of a long-term strategy."

"We've identified a compelling call to action from consumers, and businesses are called to respond in order to excel," added Nick Nonini, managing director EMEA for Verint. "Getting the basics right is critical to satisfy a demanding and digitally-savvy customer base. Successful customer engagement means embedding a customer-centric culture across the entire organisation. Above all, businesses must have strong leaders and the right people with the right skills in order to follow the rules and keep customers loyal."