How to improve customer engagement in three key steps

November 21, 2019 Alexandra Wendler

Alexandra Wendler attended this year's Money 20/20.

Each year, there has been a buzz topic. Regtech, Blockchain and AI have all been discussed at length in the past. This year the focus was on customer experience. Here we take a look at some of the key trends that emerged from Money 20/20 as businesses ask the question: how do I engage more with my customers?

How to create proper feedback channels

The buzz phrase for businesses at the minute is ‘customer engagement’. How do you create the best experience for your users? And more importantly, how do you collect feedback? Several key points emerged from the conference. Going forwards, businesses should focus on:

  1. Sitting with customers (in their environment)

  2. Aggregating and correlating data from Twitter to support calls

  3. Holding customer events in different markets—think about matchmaking employees with customers around the US 

Real-time payments on the rise

Millennials are known for liking new wave coffee shops and avocado toast. But they are also changing the way we interact with payments. Why? 

With more debt than previous generations, cash flow continues to be a major problem for Millennials. So what do they want from payments? They want to know how to get money got from point A to point B immediately. As one panelist put it ‘instancy is the new table stakes’. 

Fraudsters target e-commerce 

We are all familiar with the rise of data breaches. But businesses (especially e-commerce) continue to fail to protect themselves and their customers. And often the consequences are disastrous. There are significant costs associated with data hacks—the average total organizational cost in the US was $7.35 million1. And it also compromises business. 33% of people surveyed said they would stop shopping at the retailer for at least three months if it was hit by a data breach2

So how do we stop data breaches? How can we protect our businesses? For starters, having a multi-layered approach is key. Point-to-point encryption (which encrypts payment card data from the point of capture) is a good place to start. And for additional security against a data hack, ID verification is key. This includes both behavioral biometrics and identity verification

Understanding the buying triggers for Millennials and GenZ

What are Millennials and GenZ actually like? What do they struggle with? How do they make decisions?

Millennials in the developed world are often burnt out, exhausted, time poor and distracted. They are likely to engage more with brands that:

  • Make things easy and are straightforward

  • Transform speed to delivery

  • Focus on direct-to-consumer (in other words, offers less products)

Millennials and GenZ are also becoming more sensitive to the ‘hate’ culture that is permeating throughout society. They will engage more with brands that:

  • Are open and transparent, especially in the wake of a crisis

  • Track kindness as a KPI (42% of consumers will walk away if they are disappointed by a business’ action)3

  • Prioritize people over profits: it’s seen as a positive and deepens brand loyalty

Younger Millennials and GenZ in developing countries often feel they are on the precipice of making meaningful changes. Here’s how you can engage them: 

  • Focus on peer-to-peer (over direct-to-consumer)

  • Resale and re-commerce can be a huge opportunity

So what are the three key actions businesses can take to improve customer engagement?
  1. Get out there and get to know your customers. Meet with them, collect feedback and understand the factors that drive their decisions. And make sure your products and services meet their needs. 

  2. Protect consumer data with a layered approach. Point-to-point encryption, identity verification and biometrics are all ways to reduce risk. 

  3. The next generation of consumers are likely to engage with brands that: make things easy and straightforward, transform speed to delivery; are open and transparent and focus on peer-to-peer interactions.


12017 Cost of Data Breach Study, IBM Security 

2Consumer Loss Barometer 2019, KPMG

3Future Consumer Report 2021, WSGN NRF

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