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Personalized customer engagement is not an event, it is a process. Once the appropriate infrastructure is in place, the journey can begin….

Companies are looking to provide world class service as a way to meet the challenges from increasingly demanding customers that are knowledgeable about their alternatives.

“…Technology is changing the game, and customers are changing the rules. Yet these are more than just trends; we are witnessing a profound paradigm shift in how companies engage with customers. Today’s customers are digitally connected, socially networked, and always on, and with technologies like smartphones, social networks, and mobile apps, they are more empowered than ever.” says Volker Hildebrand, SAP’s Global Vice President, Customer Engagement Solutions.

Facing these challenges may seem daunting, even overwhelming. Once the commitment is made to deliver personalized customer engagement, start where the biggest impact can be made, your Contact Center. This is the “face” you present to your customers and where you interact with them.

One of the challenges is the unpredictable nature of the communications. Your customers decide when, if and how they are going to communicate with you. Your challenge is how to appropriately respond in the communications mode your customers choose, and as quickly as possible.

Another challenge is that the customer dialogue is not a series of discrete, unique experiences, it is part of an ongoing relationship. Customers expect you to know about them and acknowledged them, and to be treated with dignity, and not kept waiting. Violating this relationship can have profound consequences. When musician Dave Carroll was unhappy with how United Airlines handled his concerns and treated him he created a music video “United Breaks Guitars” video that has been seen by more than 13 million viewers.

Companies like Wacker Neuson made a strategic decision to begin their journey to provide personalized customer engagement. They wanted to make sure that the agent could really help callers with their problems by being as knowledgeable as possible when customer called in. To do so, they wanted to arm their Contact Center agents with everything they knew about their customers and have all of the tools available. With a 360-degree view of the customer, agents will instantaneously obtain customer information from multiple systems that typically exist in separate silos. Financial and transactional information from SAP ERP systems where in one place and the sales histories from SAP CRM systems were in another. Seamlessly integrating these systems with the SAP BCM Contact Center gives the agents’ comprehensive information without the time consuming toggling between multiple screens.

Creating a new paradigm for world class customer service with personalized customer engagement is not an event, it is a process. Once the appropriate infrastructure is in place, the journey can begin and the goals of increased customer loyalty and greater long term profits achieved.

Business Analyst Sandy Reisenauer from Wacker Neuson loves sharing the tale of her organization’s experiences on this journey. Hear what she has to say.

This blog originally appeared on and SAP Business Innovations