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Published February 12th 2016

Marketing: Transitioning from Customer Service to Customer Engagement  

Want to move beyond simply offering great customer service? Customer engagement is the next logical step.

Customer service has always been considered one of the keys to a successful business, and phrases such as ‘the customer is always right’ have driven the way that businesses work with their customers.

For many years it has been a proven way for businesses to operate, but while the idea of customer service is still important, it’s time for businesses to find a way to take that idea to the next level. Enter: customer engagement.

Customer service versus customer engagement

Before a business can start to work with the idea of customer engagement, they need to learn what it is, and how it is different to customer service.

Hand turning a knob to the top position, blue light and blur effect. Concept image for excellent customer service.


In some ways they are similar – customer engagement after all starts with customer service. The expectations of customer service include:

  • Listening to a customer’s needs, such as a problem or complaint
  • Trying to resolve the customer’s problem or complaint, or offering what the customer needs.

Customer engagement involves including the customer service in the process.

  • Actively seeking out the customers to find out what they need, want or don’t like
  • Including the customer in the actions taken to resolve the customer’s needs, problems or complaints
  • Providing multiple ways for the customer to interact with the business
  • Continual follow up with the customer to help them feel involved in the business.

Why transition to customer engagement?

Understanding the difference is not always enough to make a business decide to provide customer engagement.

It is a good idea for a business to learn how customer engagement will benefit from it. These are five reasons to consider.

1 – Customers can find a business everywhere.

Customers are able to find a business in many different places – on social media, in person, on the phone and on the internet.


Interaction between the business and the customer can go both ways through many of these avenues.

Many of these ways to interact are more personal and it gives a business the chance to connect with a customer in a way that can turn them into a lifelong customer.

2 – Systems are in place to make it easy.

There was a time when engaging customers and finding out what they think, want and need was difficult and required the resources that only the biggest companies could afford.

Image copyright Catherine Lane 2015

But now modern technologies like cloud based phone systems can give businesses an easy and cost effective way to connect with their customers and engage them in conversations.

These systems help in making customer experience better, such as with features that ensure no call is left unanswered.

It also helps customers to reach the right department and even to the right person without any delay, enhancing customer engagement.

3 – The benefits go both ways.

When a customer is able to engage with a business, they will feel like the company is listening to them and that their opinion matters.

It gives many customers a feeling like they gave made a difference. For the business it provides them with more information on ways they can improve their business.

It helps improve areas they do not do well, and it helps them emphasize the things they are doing well.

4 – Information is important.

Customers want to know as much as possible about the business they are dealing with.


Businesses want to know what the customer is thinking about their business. When customer engagement is used and with the help of cloud based phone systems, it is easier for everyone to communicate and share information.

5 – Essentially, it’s marketing.

Customer service is in place to solve problems that arise.

Customer engagement is in place to help the customer serve all of their customers better. Because customer engagement is done through so many different outlets, it can also be an effective part of a marketing plan. In many ways it can be used in the same way that word of mouth advertising has been used.

The more customers talk about a business in a positive way, the better it is for the business.

Customer engagement is the future

Smaller businesses may not have the resources that the big businesses have, but that does not mean they cannot take advantage of what customer engagement has to offer.

A business needs to realize that customer engagement is driven by the customers; the goal is to take what is learned from the customers and to utilize it in the business – this could help lead a business to more success.

If you have any thoughts or ideas on customer engagement, please do take the time to share them with us.

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