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3 things we learned at Khoros Engage 2021

by Franny Harold | Sep 14, 2021

What an event and thanks to everyone who joined us this year! We had our biggest virtual attendance this year, with almost 2,500 people who came to learn about the latest trends in digital CX for contact centers, social media management, and brand communities.

If you couldn’t attend, missed our live keynotes and fireside chats, or attended and just want a go-to summary — we got you covered! We compiled three key learnings from our customer chats and on-demand breakout sessions you don’t want to miss.

We found value in every session, and we plan to showcase all of the sessions on our Resource Center next week, so keep an eye out for that. In the meantime, we want to highlight three of our favorite customer engagement moments from the event, including how contact centers can master the digital service funnel, how to drive community engagement, and how understanding generational truths of your audience can guide your engagement strategy.

Khoros Engage 2022

1. Contact centers need to master the digital service funnel

Our Senior Director of Business Value, Ray Rahmati, chatted with Shopify and Rogers Communications in one of our on-demand breakout sessions, “Master the digital service funnel.” As a quick primer, the service funnel is made of four progressive steps: Deflect, Contain, Serve, and Optimize.

In this session we dove deep with Shopify’s Senior Lead of Social Care, Stephanie Shanks, and the Digital Channels Owner from Rogers Communications, James Tourout. We started with the common understanding that brands are trying to transform their digital service funnel because:

  • Digital transformation is growing at breakneck speeds and customer satisfaction is lagging behind

  • Omnichannel presence and automation is still a challenge for brands

  • Digital CX professionals need actionable and concrete steps, including a combination of strategy, tactics, and technology

In digital contact centers, the first line of defense, the foundational tactic is to deflect support inquiries that may otherwise be handled by a Customer Service Representative. Stephanie detailed some concrete steps to help brands learn how to take this important first step by recommending and showing how Shopify does this. We learned about Self-Help Portals, Help Forums (brand communities), Auto Responders, Proactive Service Content, Status Pages, and Video Tutorials.

From here, we went further down the service funnel and learned concrete steps to contain, serve, and then optimize. At the “Serve” stage of the funnel, we talked about how digital contact centers have many options to meet their customers where they are and can explore new channels that work for their audience. She recommended, “if you don’t have those channels yet, and aren’t sure if they are right for you, you can ask your customers in a survey, or look for Voice of the Customer insights (from a CX platform) to understand what they want.”

There was so much concrete information and actionable steps that we covered in this session. To get more insights about these strategies for your contact center, check out our Digital Service Funnel Guide.

2. Recognition is key for best-in-class community engagement

Jeff Harling, Head of Global Self-Service at Zoom, brought his 20-plus years of experience working in digital support and self-service to his fireside chat with our Chief Customer Officer, Staci Satterwhite. Zoom recently launched a community to better reach, interact with, and learn from their customers in a space that’s built just for them.

We wanted to know what advice Jeff would give to leaders thinking about launching a new community, and one of his tips was: gamification. “Gamification ensures we have a solid method to recognize users for their community involvement, which reinforces the value users bring to the community,” said Harling. Gamification, he explained, also provides important qualifications to active users and builds a level of trust and respect among their peers in the community. When a user speaks to or receives a response from a fellow user who has accumulated badges, likes, or whichever system a brand chooses to use to capture the hard work of their members, that user knows immediately that they’re having a quality interaction. “Gamification,” Harling explained, “helps to reinforce the trust that a community builds within itself.”

For more evolved community spaces, Harling recommends building out a champion network — that is, a network of super users within the community. By empowering champions with an additional layer of capability within the community, brands can build trust and respect between champions and community managers, and they can cultivate user groups, receive valuable feedback, and even gather unique ideas about brand products or services.

Jeff was clear: recognizing the contributions of community members is the key to continued growth and engagement.

3. Brand success depends on adapting to consumer desires

Jason Dorsey, acclaimed generational speaker and founder of the Center for Generational Kinetics, addressed the Khoros Engage audience in his keynote speech.

Dorsey explained that while generational trends are something that digital leaders have to navigate every day, so much of what is said about them makes great headlines but isn’t grounded in research — that’s why Dorsey’s work is so important. Dorsey’s organization investigates generational trends with scientifically-sound research.

A generation is defined as a group of people who were born at about the same time and raised in about the same place. Findings related to a particular generation, Dorsey emphasized, are clues, not a box. For example, Dorsey and his research team found that members of Gen Z tend to be practical and pragmatic about their money and care deeply about social justice and climate change. Millennials have a distinct relationship with technology: rather than being tech savvy, they’re tech dependent, and they expect technology and digital spaces to work seamlessly. Gen X is naturally skeptical, but they’re also the most loyal generation. And Baby Boomers, still the most influential generation in the workforce, care a lot about structure — how work gets done and how best to improve processes. Insights like these can be a jumping-off point for digital leaders hoping to engage customers across a wide spectrum.

“For the first time ever,” Dorsey said, “technology trends are being driven from the youngest generation — Gen Z — up to the older generations. If you want to see what Millenials, and Gen X, and Boomers are going to be doing, look at what Gen Z is doing now.” It used to be that you could force generations to adapt to how your organization wanted to communicate, buy, or sell, but this is no longer true. Now, explained Dorsey, a brand’s success relies on the brand’s ability to adapt to how consumer generations want to communicate, shop, and buy.

Meeting customers where they are, as Harling and Gokhale emphasized, is the key to customer engagement success, and one of the best ways to figure out where they are and what they want is to understand generational trends.


Thank you to everyone who joined us, and stay tuned for all of the on-demand videos, which will be posted and made available on our Resource Center next week.

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